Sources of zinc from nutrition
Meat, fish and other seafoods, intestines (liver, kidney), eggs, dairy and wholegrains all contain a lot of zinc. Also many seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds), beans and nuts contain zinc. However, iron, calcium, magnesium and the phytates in vegetables all reduce the absorption of zinc in the body.
Recommended dietary intake of zinc
Problems with nutrient absorption (e.g. elderly people), excessive sweating, medication and diabetes can all cause zinc deficiency.
The official recommendations for the dietary intake of zinc for adults are:
- Women 7 mg / day
- Men 9 mg / day
As zinc participates in many functions in the body, can the symptoms for zinc deficiency also be very diverse. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include lack of appetite, the weakening of the immune system, hair loss, diarrhea and impotence, to name a few. However, these symptoms don’t always imply a zinc deficiency but the reason can be something else.
Children who eat poorly and elderly people most commonly suffer from zinc deficiency. Especially children, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should ensure a sufficient intake of zinc because it is needed for normal physical growth and development.
Other risk factors for zinc deficiency include a one-sided and insufficient diet, weight loss, sicknesses of the digestive system, infections and alcoholism.
Excessive intake of zinc
Long-term excessive intake of zinc can cause anemia, weakening of the bones and the decrease of the HDL cholesterol in the body. This is because the excessive intake of zinc reduces the absorption of iron and zinc.
An acute excessive intake of zinc can also happen. Symptoms of this include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, headache and lack of appetite.
The approved health claims of zinc
- Zinc contributes to normal acid-base metabolism
- Zinc contributes to normal carbohydrate metabolism
- Zinc contributes to normal cognitive activity
- Zinc contributes to normal DNA synthesis
- Zinc contributes to normal fertility and reproduction
- Zinc contributes to normal metabolism of macronutrients
- Zinc contributes to normal fatty acid metabolism
- Zinc contributes to metabolism of vitamin A
- Zinc contributes to normal protein synthesis
- Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal bones
- Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal hair
- Zinc contributes to normal maintenance of nails
- Zinc contributes to maintenance of normal skin
- Zinc contributes to normal testosterone levels
- Zinc contributes to maintenance of normal vision
- Zinc contributes to normal function of the immune system
- Zinc contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress
- Zinc participates in the process of cell division