20 Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency & Foods that Contain the Zinc Benefits You Need

zinc deficiency

Most people would consider calcium, sodium, and iron, to be essential minerals and usually forget about zinc.

Zinc happens to be a very important mineral not only to our metabolism but also our health in many significant ways such as:

  • Sense of smell
  • Building of protein
  • Function of the Immune System
  • Creation of DNA
  • Metabolism of RNA and DNA
  • Gene Expression
  • Signal Transduction
  • Triggering Enzyme reaction
  • Regulation of apoptosis

And those are just some of the benefits, but the downside to zinc deficiency can also trigger many problems.

Zinc foods

Those zinc deficiency can lead to complications such as:

  • Impotence
  • Stunted Growth
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Depressed Immunity
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Eye and Skin Lesion’s

Is Zinc deficiency common?

Zinc deficiency affects nearly 2.3 Billion people around the world, making it a far too common issue for us.

Zinc deficiency can also impact the absorption of copper and iron, which in the long run spells trouble.

The fact is that zinc plays as a vital cofactor to a number of critical enzymes.

This means that zinc participates directly in the activity of the enzymes, which honestly makes zinc deficiency a problem.

Research has shown that there are over 300 zinc dependent enzymes currently known in science. This means that even a minor form of zinc deficiency can have far reaching health implications.

Which in turn means that zinc deficiency can lead to problems in immunity, reproduction, vision, and skin health.

zinc deficiency

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So what does this all mean?

Since zinc plays an important role in many body systems, an adequate amount of zinc supplement is vital in our daily nutrition.

In fact, the World Health Organization has even stated that zinc deficiency is over 31% prevalent throughout the world.

The studies also showed that zinc deficiency is ranked as a leading cause of diseases world wide.

This means that zinc deficiency in the underdeveloped world is even more damaging, as third world nation face high mortality rate.

They face problems such as diarrhea and pneumonia, which has to lead to death in children.

The figures are even more startling as zinc deficiency has to lead to over 410,000 pneumonia deaths, 170,000 diarrhea deaths, and 210,000 deaths from malaria.

Although these deaths were not in first world countries, it only further highlights the importance of zinc supplement.

How much zinc can you take a day?

Adult men and adolescent boys between 14 and 18 years of age should aim to consume about 11 milligrams of zinc daily, while adult women 19 years old and over need about 8 milligrams. Girls between 14 and 18 require 9 mg per day.

The importance of zinc supplement can further be seen as how important of a role it plays in the brain and central nerve function.

This is due to the fact that zinc is stored in specific synaptic vesicles through glutamatergic neurons.

This process helps to modulate brain excitability, which plays a key role in synaptic plasticity critically affecting learning.

This can be seen through how zinc homeostasis plays a key role in the normal functioning of the central nervous system and brain function.

Can zinc make you itchy?

Zinc can cause itchiness and irritation if applied on broken skin. Some others might experience different side effects which is listed at the bottom of this article.

So what is Zinc made of?

Zinc happens to be an essential trace element for humans and many other animals, plants, as well as microorganisms.

Zinc happens to be the second most abundant transition metal in organisms next to iron. It is also the only metal that appears in ALL enzyme classes.

You can find a heavy concentration of zinc in the brain, bones, muscles, prostate, liver, kidney, and certain parts of the eye.

In cases for men, semen is particularly rich in zinc, which happens to be a key factor in prostate gland function and reproductive organ function.

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

Since many Americans fall under normal zinc levels we went on to detail what certain zinc symptoms are. These are the most common zinc deficiencies:

What are the effects of zinc deficiency?

Loss of Hair. One of the main problems in zinc deficiency is and a common problem is a loss of hair or thinning of hair. This is due to the fact that zinc deficiency is connected to hypothyroidism, which causes thinning of hair and alopecia.

Researchers have shown that thyroid hormones are essential for zinc absorption in the body. Unless zinc supplement is added even thyroxine won’t improve hypothyroidism caused hair loss.

zinc supplement

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Worsening Neurological Function. Zinc makes itself overall important for brain function because zinc is essential for neuropsychological performance and growth. In fact, zinc deficiency has been linked through research with attention and motor disorders in infants that can persist all the way into adulthood.

The same studies showed that with an increase of 50% supplementation of zinc produced improved cognitive function as well as attention.

Intestinal Permeability. Research and scientist first discovered intestinal permeability over 68 years ago. They found that zinc deficiency leads to intestinal permeability which leads to many complications and issues.

Those complications included skin disorders, auto-immune disease, and malabsorption of nutrients, allergies, and thyroid complications. Zinc supplement actually helps tighten intestinal permeability and has been proven in clinical studies.

Weakened Immunity. When it comes to zinc supplement, it plays such a vital role in immune function. Zinc plays a structural component to hormone receptors as well as proteins. These zinc benefits help in a healthy balance of mood and immune function. Zinc also plays a key role in T-cell growth as well as white blood cell count.

This two are both important cells that fight off diseases. Another zinc deficiency immunity related problem is apoptosis. Apoptosis helps in killing off dangerous bacteria, cancer cells, pathogens, and viruses. Zinc problems in our diets can also lead to problems in gene transcription, which happens to be the first step in gene expression.

The final immunity problem caused by zinc deficiency is the protective functions of our cell membranes. The studies conducted by India showed that with proper supplementation of zinc, immunity response became overall better.

Zinc deficiency also caused problems with excessive histamine production in the body that caused many symptoms. Those symptoms included problems such as a runny nose, sneezing, and hives. Excessive histamine also caused an increase in overall allergic reactions. This is due to the fact that zinc deficiency causes chronic stress that leads to adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue further leads to calcium, magnesium, and zinc deficiency. The reason for this is that zinc is required in order to store histamine, thus zinc deficiency leads to histamine being released into the surrounding tissue.

zinc deficiency

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As stated above, zinc also plays a key role in immunity and gut health. Zinc deficiency causes impaired immunity, which leads to diarrhea, bacterial infections, and cold. Problems with zinc deficiency and gut health have impacted over 2 million children globally.

Although zinc supplement and lack thereof can lead to major complications, people with other certain health conditions can also be zinc deficient.

Those people who suffer from the following complications should check to see if they are zinc deficient.

Those implications are:

  • Diabetes. Research has linked many Doctors to indicate that people with diabetes should use zinc supplement. Doctors, however, did caution the amount of zinc to supplement, as an overproduction of sink can have implications to low blood sugar level.
  • HIV/AIDS. Also linked to lower life spans, the processes of zinc have been cautioned for those who suffer from infection.
  • Alcoholism. Alcoholism can have a big impact on liver function as well as immunity response. The alcohol also leads to low zinc absorption levels throughout the body. This is due to the fact that overall excessive alcohol causes considerable zinc deficiency.
  • Nutrition Absorption Syndrome. Zinc deficiency can cause malabsorption syndrome in many people especially those in second, and third world nations.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is well known through factual data that patients with rheumatoid arthritis suffered low zinc absorption rates. This is due to the fact that zinc plays a vital roll in cell membrane permeability.

Food High in Zinc

When it comes to foods that are high in zinc we found the top foods throughout the industry.

The proper supplementation of nutrient dense food makes zinc absorption levels even better.

Spinach. Spinach might not fully be a food high in zinc, but it plays a vital role in overall nutrient absorption. Zinc is although found in spinach which makes it great overall, also has many other nutrients that play a bigger role.

If you include spinach in your sandwiches or salads, it will improve overall zinc absorption levels. Out of 100 grams of spinach, you can expect to find .53mg of zinc.

Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds happen to be extremely high in zinc content. Pumpkin seed benefits don’t stop there, as zinc supplement plays a vital role in sleep cycles as well as helping in blood sugar levels. Pumpkin seeds also contain omega 3, which provides overall health to the body.

You can expect to find 7.81mg of zinc in ever 100mg grams of pumpkin seeds. Other research has also stated that pumpkin seeds are considered an anti-inflammatory food.

Beef. When it comes to zinc supplement in beef you can expect to find higher levels than many other foods. Overall beef is definitely a great food to boost zinc levels. Within one serving of steak, you can expect to find over 4.20mg of zinc. Other than pumpkin seeds, not to many other foods can supply that much zinc supplement in one sitting.

Shrimp. Shrimp, shellfish, lobsters, crabs, clams, and mussels are all great sources of zinc. In fact, they happen to be on the food high in zinc list for many years now. This is due to the fact that a serving of 6 oysters can contain over 76mg of zinc. That high in zinc content makes it a once in a few days type of food because zinc overproduction can cause ulterior symptoms.

Shrimp also serves as a great food for zinc intake and absorption. Shrimp also provides antioxidant properties that can further help your overall health. These antioxidants can further help the body fight off inflammation. In one serving you can expect to find 1.34mg of zinc. When it comes to shell fish you can expect to find 76mg of Zinc for every 100grams of serving.

Whole Grain Wheat Germ Cereals. Whole grain cereals such as multigrain and barely contain high levels of zinc supplement. In a serving of 100grams, you can expect to find over 52mg of zinc. Wheat germ is also an effective source of zinc as it contains high levels.

You can expect to find over 17mg of zinc with every 100grams of servings. This plays out to a total of 110% of your daily zinc intake levels.

Flax Seeds. Flax seeds are another great source of zinc supplement. What makes flax seeds even greater is that it contains other benefits such as Omega-3 and fiber. Not only do flax seeds come with their own benefit but they also help with the absorption of zinc into our bodies. You can expect to find 5mg of zinc for ever 100grams of flax seeds.

Watermelon Seeds. Zinc potency in watermelon seeds is high. Watermelon seeds don’t only contain zinc benefits but are also packed with protein, magnesium, B vitamins, and healthy fats. You can expect to find 10mg of Zinc for every 100mg of watermelon seeds.

Kidney Beans. Kidney beans are one of the best non-meat sources of zinc available. This makes zinc supplementation easy for all of our vegetarian and vegan readers. Kidney beans also play an important role in blood glucose levels, as well as provide the body needed energy throughout the day.

The high fiber content within kidney beans also further help the absorption rate and level of zinc. You can expect to have 2.79mg of serving for every 100grams of kidney beans.

Egg Yolks. When it comes to eggs, the yolks tend to have high levels of zinc supplement. Recently egg whites have soared in popularity due to its low-fat content, but egg yolks have fallen into the shadows even though they have a good health impact.

In fact, egg yolks contain many of the nutrients that you lose in only using egg whites such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. They also pack additional minerals and nutrient that help further deliver zinc nutrients to the body. You can expect to find 4.93mg of zinc for every 100grams of egg yolks.

Peanuts. Peanuts and a handful of other nuts provide high levels of zinc content. Not only do peanuts and other not such as almonds and cashews play an important role in reproductive health, it also aids in the absorption of zinc, which ultimately plays a key role in reproductive health. You can expect to find over 3.3mg of zinc within every 100grams of peanuts.

Salmon. Another great fish source that contains high levels of proteins is salmon. Salmon is not only rated as one of the healthiest food in the world, but it also packs its own benefits such as Omega-3, 6, and 9. Salmon also happens to be a good source of protein, which only further helps the absorption of zinc supplement.

Although zinc levels might not be as high as pumpkin seeds, salmon plays a vital role in the intake and use of zinc and protein.

zinc deficiency

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Lobster. For all those lobster fans rejoice, because lobster is a good source of zinc. Lobster also helps in this process by providing protein, which is ultimately crucial for the absorption of nutrients specifically zinc. You can expect to find 8mg of zinc for every 100grams of lobster.

Dark Chocolate. For many years not many nutritionist and trainers have touted the benefits of dark chocolate. Not only does dark chocolate contain high levels of zinc but it also contains antioxidants that help further establish the intake of zinc.

Dark chocolate can also add to satiety that helps with feeling full. You can expect to find 9.8mg of zinc for every 100gram of dark chocolate.

Chickpeas. Although chickpeas are also labeled as garbanzo beans, they still pack high levels of zinc and other benefits that further help supply zinc intake. A variety of developed chickpeas can be for an example Hummus, which has good levels of zinc available.

Not only does chickpeas pack a great zinc supplement, they’re also a great source of protein and fiber. You can expect to find 3.4mg of zinc for every 100grams of chickpeas.

Brown Rice. Brown rice is great because it has a lower glycemic index level that white rice but also packs a good source of zinc supplement. Brown rice also contains good amounts of potassium, magnesium, and selenium.

Although zinc levels might not be as high as in other foods, the added benefits as well as source eating of rice on a daily basis makes it an observable food for zinc supplement. You can expect to find 3.5mg of zinc for every 100grams of brown rice.

Lamb is another meat that is filled with zinc benefits. Zinc benefits in lamb are very high for every serving that is given. Although lamb can have a lot of calories, the benefits of healthy monosaturated fats, as well as zinc intake, beat out the cons. You can expect to find over 8.66mg of zinc for every 100grams of lamb serving.

Mushrooms are another great source of zinc supplement. Regardless of the type of mushroom you pick, you can usually expect high levels of zinc in all mushrooms. Mushrooms also provide the body with healthy minerals and vitamins.

The added advantage to mushrooms is that they complement any food well, so if you happen to pair it with another good source of zinc such as lamb, or beef, it can further help the absorption of zinc. You can expect to find 7.66mg of zinc for every 100grams of mushrooms.

Crab meat is another great source of vitamins and minerals. In fact, stored protein in crab can attach to zinc receptors that can help zinc spread to all parts of the body. Crab is low in fat content and high in protein, which makes it a great source of zinc. You can expect to find 2.8mg of zinc for every 100grams of crab serving.

Peas. An amazing side dish that has existed for some time now and is a good source of Zinc is peas. Peas come with its own set of benefits such as cancer prevention, energy production, anti-aging, and regulation of blood glucose levels.

What makes peas great for zinc and zinc supplement is that the added advantages of zinc further help proper zinc benefits and functions. Peas are a great side dish and can always be easily supplemented within our diets. You can expect to find 1.24mg of zinc for every 100mgs of peas.

Sesame seeds. Sesame seeds provide a great source of zinc benefits that can go a long way into a healthy diet. Sesame seeds are packed with zinc and have healthy monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Those fats are needed in the human body in order to further help burn off fat.

Sesame seeds are not only high in zinc but add their own set of benefits that play a big role in the overall absorption of nutrients. You can expect to find over 7.75mg of zinc for every 100grams of sesame seeds.

What is Zinc Sulfate?

Zinc sulfate is another form of zinc that is used in order to treat low levels of zinc.

Zinc sulfate happens to be an inorganic compound that is well known to have three hydrates.

In general zinc sulfate plays a key role in the development of healthy body tissues.

Zinc sulfate can be used as its own zinc mineral to replace zinc deficiency.

When it comes to zinc sulfate side effects they are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Upset Stomach
  • Vomiting

Although this is not a complete side effects list of zinc sulfate is highlights the major side effects that have been reported.

Zinc Sulfate also interacts with certain other foods such as foods that are high in calcium and phosphorus.

There are other forms of drugs that might interact with zinc sulfate, depending on the supplement itself.

Zinc Sulfate dosage should be followed as directed by product label or Doctor. There are zinc sulfate limits to the body so make sure to understand full dosage levels on your zinc sulfate product.

zinc supplement

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What is Zinc Chloride?

Zinc chloride happens to be the name of a chemical compound that is also a hydrate.

Zinc chloride, unlike zinc sulfate, has over 9 crystalline forms.

It’s found in many industries such as textile processing, chemical synthesis, as well as metallurgical fluxes.

Zinc chloride happens to be one of the only mineral compositions in its form. Aside from very few minerals, zinc chloride sets itself apart.

Actually, applications of zinc chloride happen in the form of manufacturing magnesia cement for dental fillings, as well as certain types of mouth washes.

This ultimately makes use of zinc chloride in many industries and fields a standard.

Zinc Benefits

Healthy zinc benefits as seen throughout this article are many. To further highlight and simplify zinc benefits I’ve listed a short list below.

  • Zinc Benefits for Acne. Many types of research have shown zinc to be an effective treatment for acne. Zinc benefits in acne are started by zincs process of stimulating white blood cell function. Zinc benefits of acne are further benefited by the production of collagen, which is a connective tissue required for skin repair and growth.
  • Zinc Benefits for Eczema. The zinc benefits of the skin is even further seen by how it helps fight off chronic infections as well as inflammation, which happens to be a big cause of eczema. Zinc benefits the body by allowing restoration ability and recovery of the skin. Research has shown that zinc benefits to the skin can be cleared up by balancing the zinc levels in the blood.
  • Prostate Disorder. Another great zinc benefit is how it deals with prostate disorders. Zinc deficiency actually causes the enlargement of the prostate gland, which makes it vulnerable to cancer. Studies have further added to the evidence by showing that zinc benefits in the reduction of tumor growth, reduce significantly when normal zinc levels in the blood were reached.
  • Zinc benefits for Weight Loss. The added advantages of Zinc benefits extend it into helping with weight loss as well. Further, more zinc has played a key role in weight loss for obese individuals. Zinc benefits in weight loss start with zincs ability to decrease appetite naturally.Zinc supplement is also able to manipulate ghrelin hormone levels, which is what gives the body the sensation of hunger.
  • Zinc Benefits for Pregnancy. The benefits of zinc in pregnancy can be great due to the fact that zinc is essential for repair and the functioning of DNA. Zinc supplement is a major part in the development of cells and growth of cells throughout the course of the pregnancy.
  • Zinc Benefits in Reproduction. A vital important element in zinc benefits is its ability to greatly effective reproduction. In a male, for example, zinc supplement helps in the development of the sex organ as well as assisting in spermatogenesis.Zinc supplement plays a key role in the life of sperm as well. In fact, zinc benefits in sperm are many such as protection of expanded sperm energy, as well as protection in reproductive DNA in the sperm itself. This helps ensure the proper transfer of DNA. Zinc supplement also plays an important mission in helping the sperm penetrate the egg.
  • Bone Loss. Zinc benefits are not only essential in our reproductive system, but also even within our own bone matrix. In fact zinc supplement aids in the production of bone matrix, which adds strength and hardness.This process occurs because zinc is a component of hydroxyapatite, the salt that strengthens the bone matrix. Due to dietary loss, zinc deficiency can happen more as we age. Since bone health is an important aspect of our overall life, it’s important to supplement zinc in properly if you are deficient.
  • Zinc Benefits for Night Blindness. A very important problem that many people suffer from happens to be an unexpected problem. Zinc supplement has been shown to improve overall visual function.One of the key vitamins that are essential for night vision is Vitamin A. Due to the absorption of vitamins such as A, zinc can further develop to stimulate certain enzymes that treat poor night vision. Therefore zinc benefits and zinc supplement are a necessary element to reduce night blindness.

zinc benefits

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Zinc Side Effects

Generally not too many people complain about zinc side effects but they do happen, so safety in correct supplementation is important. Some side effects of zinc can range from swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or throat. These can be symptoms of an allergic reaction. If breathing becomes a problem make sure to get emergency medical help.

Other zinc side effects can cause problems such as increased urination, stomach bleeding, muscle and limb weakness.

When taking minerals and vitamins common side effects can include upset stomach, vomiting, or a headache.

Key Takeaways 

Zinc supplement, as well as zinc benefits, come in a wide variety and approaches. Regardless of the different forms of zinc what is important is to understand the importance of proper zinc supplementation.

It’s vitally important as we age that we keep track of our different levels of health for overall well being. Zinc plays an important role in the fact that it plays into the health and development of many aspects of our bodies.

Not only does zinc deficiency impact our overall health, it can lead to many different problems and complications.

The easiest way to supplement with zinc is to either use zinc supplement or use the zinc rich foods that we have provided throughout this article.

Not only can you supplement through natural foods you can also add different forms of zinc supplementation to further assist the absorption of vital zinc and mineral nutrients into the body.

From sexual reproductive function to night blindness, zinc is an essential ingredient in our lives. For overall health and well-being, look into your own and loved one’s zinc levels. For further questions, tips, or concerns, please leave a comment on this article.

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