Zinc - effects, deficiency symptoms, source of occurrence

Zinc - effects, deficiency symptoms, source of occurrence

Zinc is one of many important micronutrients for the normal functioning of the human body. First and foremost, it stimulates the pancreas, prostate and thymus glands and is also involved in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is thanks to it that we can smell and taste different flavours. It protects us from colds, conjunctivitis, ringworm, flu and a whole host of other infections, as it improves the functioning of our immune system.

Adequate amounts of this micronutrient have a positive effect on intellectual performance, helping to treat illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia and dementia. It provides protection for the macula of the eye. In addition, it accelerates wound healing, relieves symptoms of osteoporosis or inflammatory bowel disease. It is also very helpful in the treatment of diabetes and hypothyroidism. It helps with skin irritations, acne treatment and also strengthens our hair and nails, which is particularly important for women who want to take proper care of themselves.

Zinc deficiency

The easiest way to recognise a lack of zinc in the body is that we sometimes have a lack of appetite, easily catch various infections, have problems with concentration, hair loss, brittle nails and an unpleasant feeling of tiredness almost all the time. Deficiency is also associated with dry mouth or skin diseases. It probably contributes to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, a really huge number of people are at risk of a deficiency of this important element for our health. The reason for this is simple: Zinc is simply not found in the foods we eat often enough, and usually in small quantities.

Zinc deficiency can result in taste disturbances, such as a metallic taste in the mouth, no taste at all or a stronger taste than we should have. In most cases, this condition is also accompanied by depression. Zinc's enemies are mainly alcohol, sugar, as well as bran and products that have a high copper and iron content. Therefore, people who struggle with alcoholism, digestive diseases, orthodox vegetarians, confectionery lovers, drastic weight loss or even athletes due to their higher demand for this micronutrient are prone to problems with adequate zinc intake.

Zinc when to take?

Zinc tablets are a supplement indicated for anyone who sees symptoms of zinc deficiency in themselves. These include pimple acne, impaired wound healing, increased skin inflammation, alopecia areata, decreased libido, visual disturbances and growth disorders in children. Zinc should also be taken prophylactically by vegans and vegetarians (due to the exclusion of red meat from the diet, which is the best source of this element), alcohol abusers and all those who use drugs that interfere with the absorption of zinc from the digestive tract. Zinc supplementation during pregnancy is also advisable. In consultation with a doctor, pregnant women can use preparations that minimise the risk of obstetric complications and guarantee the proper development of the foetus and a high intellectual performance of the child.

Zinc and selenium

Dietary supplements very often combine zinc with selenium. This is because the action of the two elements is complementary and dependent on each other. A deficiency of one can prevent the other from working properly, while an excess can affect health. A good solution is therefore to use preparations that are balanced in terms of zinc and selenium content. In the case of healthy people, a few tens of percent of the daily requirement in the form of a supplement, combined with natural sources of these elements, may already be sufficient. However, if one is deficient in any of these elements, it is better to reach for products with high doses. The duo formed by selenium and zinc is particularly important for the health of our thyroid gland, which contains these elements in the highest concentrations. They influence metabolic processes and the synthesis of hormones in the thyroid gland, which is why an adequate supply translates into its proper functioning. According to studies, there is a direct relationship between the amount of selenium and zinc in the diet and the size of the thyroid gland or the incidence of willpower.

Occurrence of zinc

Zinc is mainly found in large quantities in seafood, such as mussels and oysters. In addition, calf and pork liver, pumpkin seeds, cheese, roast beef, white beans, buckwheat groats and even dark chocolate also contain high levels of zinc. So everyone is sure to find something that suits them, so that they can reconcile their health concerns with their taste preferences. It is worth mentioning that it is better to choose zinc of animal origin than of vegetable origin, as it is much easier to absorb.

The daily intake of zinc should be between 4 and 15 mg of this substance, but in the case of adolescents and adults, larger quantities of this micronutrient should be included in their diet. If an individual has problems balancing his or her diet and various symptoms of inadequate zinc intake are easily observed, supplementation with appropriate preparations may be necessary. Herbs such as nettle and burdock are effective, but if you are not sure what to choose, it is worth asking your pharmacist for help and you will certainly get it.

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