Signs of a Zinc Deficiency

Signs of a Zinc Deficiency

Bev Dunne

Zinc is an essential mineral when it comes to our health and Zinc deficiency can contribute to many health problems - hair loss, dermatitis, dry rough skin, poor wound healing, poor ulcer healing, poor appetite, weight loss, recurrent infections, low sperm count, delayed onset of puberty, growth retardation, impaired sense of taste and smell, poor concentration and memory, low insulin levels, stretch marks and even white spots on the fingernail.

When we think of supplements which may be helpful for our immune system, Zinc may not always be at the top of the list.  However, Zinc plays an integral role in maintaining a healthy immune system, particularly when it comes to prevention and treatment of the common cold. There are ongoing studies relating to the benefits of Zinc for our immune system.  Some studies have shown supplementing with Zinc, especially if we are Zinc deficient, may reduce the period of a cold by up to 50%.(1) Good to know at this time of the year!!  Our white blood cells are vital for the healing process as well as helping our body defend against infections and Zinc helps to fight infection by assisting the production of white blood cells. 

Low levels of Zinc can also be associated with poor would healing.  Zinc is believed to help with cell division, supporting renewal of skin after injuries or abrasions as well as fighting off any infection. It has therefore been found to be particularly helpful for healing of wounds as well as ulcers.

It’s also believed Zinc supports healthy skin, particularly when it comes to acne. It may moderate inflammation and control the activity of oil glands in the skin as well as promote healing of acne lesions plus avoid further outbreaks.  By assisting the body to process the fatty acids required for the healing process of the skin, it may also decrease scarring.

Our olfactory cells and taste buds also rely on zinc.  As we age sometime our sense of taste and smell lessens.  If we are low in zinc this may also contribute to this problem.

Low male fertility has also been linked to low zinc levels because of low sperm count, seminal volume, poor sperm mobility and reduced testosterone concentrations.  

One of the highest concentrations of zinc in the body can be found in the prostate gland.  Zinc levels decrease in the prostate tissue and prostatic fluid in men with prostate cancer.

Because Zinc is mainly absorbed through the small intestine, and as a result those suffering from malabsorption disorders are more likely to need extra zinc. I often write about leaky Gut Syndrome which can cause many health problems such as skin disorders, malabsorption, allergies and auto immune disorders.  Zinc supplementation may assist in tightening up and healing the gut wall and in turn helping to treat those health problems caused by Leaky Gut.

Dietary sources of zinc include meat, egg yolks, dairy products, pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, oysters and sunflower kernels. If you are low in zinc it is also important to take a zinc supplement.

If you believe your body may be low in zinc, call into our store where we can easily test for low zinc levels.  This is a simple procedure – a taste test in fact – nothing invasive.

For more information on any health issue call in to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop at 5 North St in Batemans Bay or phone on 0244729737.