ZINC AND ITS IMPORTANCE IN OUR DIET

3 min


Zinc is an essential nutrient for the human body to perform our day to day activities. Zinc is a prime nutrient to initiate and perform the function of almost 300 enzymes in the human body. It is a very essential nutrient to maintain the immune system and in the repair of body tissues.

One important thing about zinc is that it isn’t stored in a readymade form in the human body. It is important to provide zinc through outward sources like via food, energy supplements, pills etc. The daily requirement of zinc on an average varies between genders, age and other health conditions.

Gender Requirement of zinc (In mg), per day
MALE 11 mg
FEMALE 8 mg
CHILDREN (7-10 years)7-9 mg
CHILDREN (4-6 years)5 mg
CHILDREN (Birth – 3 years of age)2-4 mg
PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING 11 mg

Eventhough, zinc has to consumed on a daily basis, taking care and paying attention on eating a healthy food (balanced diet) with zinc content is more than essential.

WHY IS THIS MINERAL SO IMPORTANT?

  • Firstly, as we read, is an important component of building the immune system and the body’s metabolism.
  • Apart from its amazing ability in wound healing it is also important for the function of important sense organ and it’s pathways. For instance it’s important for a person’s ability to smell and taste.

DEFICIENCY OF ZINC:

Deficiency sets in when the level of zinc in the body drops down. But, this kind of deficiency is quite uncommon. But, chronic deficiency can cause, a surge in infections, a reduced production of hormones that’s essential to produce the growth and development of the sex organs (hypogonadism). Further, elevated ammonia levels in the blood, hair loss, dermatits, night blindness and poor appetite and the wound healing is affected too.

PREVENTION OF ZINC DEFICIENCY:

Once the deficiency sets in, it could be identified through various symptoms shown in the body and ultimately through checking the blood levels for zinc. Further, if a deficiency has been diagnosed, its important to compensate that deficiency through oral supplements, diet etc. It is important to check with your physician before starting oral supplements. Moreover, this is important for certain reasons like chronic intake of oral supplement can cause an increase in the level of copper deficiency that’s exhibited through neurological symptom.

Further, zinc has the tendency to react with antibiotics, thiazide diuretics and pencillamine group of drugs. It can interfere with these drugs. For instance, thiazides have a tendency to cause an increased excretion of zinc in the urine. This issue can be reduced by taking the supplement 2-4 hours before taking the other meds or 4-6 hours after the other drugs. This way, we can potentially reduce interaction.

Further, the dietry supplements include meat, legumes, seafood, dark chocolate, whole grains, eggs and dairy products are good sources.

To sum up, this is an essential component of the human body. A deficiency can lead to a lot of health problems in the long run. Further, its important to regularly get the various vitamin and nutrient levels in the blood.


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Dr Kavitha M

I am an undergraduate degree holder in dentistry. I have a great interest in music and reading. I am a linguaphile. My areas of interest lie in psychology, medical imaging, diagnostics, and oncology. I am a person who focuses more on the emerging areas of forensics.

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