Are You Deficient in Zinc?
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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During the holiday season, some of our visitors have definitely shown signs of catching cold/flu, so the discussion of zinc deficiencies bringing on frequent colds and infections got started. Since zinc is directly toxic to cold viruses and stimulates one’s body to produce antibodies to destroy the virus, this trace mineral in the form of lozenges have been sold to relieve cold symptoms for many decades. In addition to relieving cold symptoms, zinc plays crucial role in cell growth, gene transcription (allowing cells to read genetic instructions), strengthening one’s immune system, stabilizing one’s metabolic rate, balancing one’s blood sugar level, and maintaining one’s sense of taste and smell. Apparently some have found that adding zinc to the diets of teenagers have led to cause improvements in memory and attention span.
When one is zinc deficient, one’s body may become less able to repair genetic damage caused by oxidative stress and more likely to experience various diseases and aging. Having low levels of zinc have been found to cause DNA strands to break and to often associate with various types of cancer, infections, and autoimmune diseases. Zinc deficiency is far more common in developing world, but about 12% of the U.S. population and up to 40% of the elderly are also at risk of zinc deficiency. This is due to the fact that many people do not eat enough zinc-rich food while the mineral is not well absorbed, further complicated by the fact that most people are not tested for zinc levels and available tests are not very accurate. Some of the common signs indicating that one may be zinc deficient, below:
- Lack of appetite
- Impaired sense of taste or smell
- Frequent colds and/or infections
- Depression or emotional stress
- Growth failure in children
- Thinning hair
- Acne, dermatitis, skin inflammtion
- Leaky guts or diarrhea
To avoid zinc deficiency (zinc is of particular importance for pregnant women and vegetarians, since adequate zinc is essential for fetal development and zinc from plant sources may not be well absorbed), try some of these food rich in zinc minerals, below:
- Organic Liver
- Organic Grass-fed beef
- Sea vegetables such as kelp
- Pumpkin seeds
- Green peas
- Crimini mushrooms
- Kidney beans
- Sprouted nuts or seeds
If one is suspected of zinc deficiency, it is best to work with a health care professional to avoid excess zinc if supplementing indiscriminately. However, Dr. Joseph Mercola (New York Times Best Selling Author) recommends that about the only time you may want to consider a zinc supplement would be if you come down with a cold, as zinc lozenges (that you suck on, and don’t just swallow) may help to relieve your symptoms. He also indicated that daily allowance for zinc at a level over 50 milligrams a day may be excessive (personally I am taking a calcium-magnesium-zinc supplement daily with 20 mg of zinc in this daily supplement) . Just how many high-zinc foods will you need to eat to get to ?
- Four ounces of liver will supply you with 72 percent of the daily recommended value
- Four ounces of beef tenderloin will supply you with 42 percent
- Four ounces of lamb will give you about 31 percent
- Five ounces of crimini mushrooms or one cup of spinach will give you around 10 percent
Hope these are helpful information for you.
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