Zinc is considered an essential nutrient, meaning that your body can’t produce or store it. For this reason, you must get a constant supply through your diet.

Zinc is required for numerous processes in your body, including (1Trusted Source):

  • Gene expression
  • Enzymatic reactions
  • Immune function
  • Protein synthesis
  • DNA synthesis
  • Wound healing
  • Growth and development

Zinc is naturally found in a wide variety of both plant and animal foods.

Foods that don’t naturally contain this mineral, such as breakfast cereals, snack bars and baking flour, are often fortified with synthetic forms of zinc.

You can also take zinc supplements or multi-nutrient supplements that provide zinc.

Because of its role in immune function, zinc is likewise added to some nasal sprays, lozenges and other natural cold treatments.


What causes low zinc?

poor diet can cause zinc deficiency. So it is more common in malnourished children and adults and in people who are unable to eat a normal diet due to circumstances or illness. Lots of zinc intake is from meat and seafood, so vegetarians may be more prone to deficiency.

What happens if your zinc is low?

Zinc deficiency also causes hair loss, diarrhea, eye and skin sores and loss of appetite. Weight loss, problems with wound healing, decreased ability to taste food, and lower alertness levels can also occur. Many of these symptoms can be signs of problems other than zinc deficiency.

What are the signs of zinc deficiency ?

People with zinc deficiency can experience vision and hearing loss, susceptibility to infections, delayed sexual maturation (in men), stunted growth, hair loss, appetite and weight loss, dry skin, and anemia. Proper zinc intake is especially important to the development of growing children.

What are Zinc rich foods?

Includes a variety of protein foods such as lean meats; poultry; eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; nuts and seeds; and soy products. Oysters, red meat, and poultry are excellent sources of zinc. Baked beans, chickpeas, and nuts (such as cashews and almonds) also contain zinc.

What does zinc do for you sexually?

Zinc helps produce key sex hormones, such as testosterone and prolactin. Zinc also enables the creation of the main component of prostatic fluid. There is evidence that dietary zinc may impact male sexual competency.

To lead a healthier life, one needs to maintain a balanced diet with the right proportions of both vitamins and minerals. Sad enough, our body does not produce all of these essential nutrients by itself. For this reason, they have to be outsourced from various foods or supplements.

One of the minerals showcasing a similar fate is zinc. Your body utilizes zinc for battling off infections and creating new cells. Zinc is a vital nutrient responsible for growth. Its deficiency can lead to problems like- unascertained lose in weight, hair loss, decrease in appetite, a decrease in alertness and other senses. In a previous post, we listed the best zinc-rich foods in India. In this post, we’ll provide you with a list of 3 best zinc supplements in India which you can alternatively use along with the food.

What happens if your zinc is low? (Zinc Deficiency)

In our fight for better health and greater fitness, Zinc is a weapon of choice. It benefits the human body in innumerable ways and helps promote positive wellbeing. This brings us to an even greater question. What would happen if the body doesn’t get its correct dosage of Zinc?

It would lead to a phenomenon called Zinc Deficiency. Zinc Deficiency is defined as an insufficient level of Zinc present in the body or as a serum Zinc levels are below the prescribed range and needs to be supplemented. A severe deficiency of Zinc has long terms effects. It affects the skin and the gastrointestinal tract, the brain and the central nervous system, effective immunity of the body diminishes while the skeletal and the reproductive systems get depleted. There are many reasons why Zinc deficiency takes place. The most common one being-

  • Inadequate absorption by the body.
  • Increased loss of Zinc.
  • Increased utilisation by the body.
  • Reduced dietary intake

Of all these, the primary cause is found to be Reduced Dietary Intake. The ideal prescribed allowance is 8mg/day for women and 11mg/day for men.

Signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency

  • The sudden manifestation of acne, eczema, xerosis, alopecia is a clear indication of Zinc Deficiency.
  • Slowed delayed response of the body towards a wound is a symptom of Zinc deficiency.
  • Oral ulcerations and stomatitis are symptoms from the mouth region.
  • Severe Zinc deficiency can affect the ability to smell and taste properly.
  • Night blindness is one of the features though it has come under some debate lately.
  • Zinc Deficiency also increase the severity of incidences of diarrhoea.
  • One of the direct fallouts of Zinc deficiency is the loss of appetite. Treatment of anorexia through regulated Zinc intake has been advocated since the 1970s. In fact, clinical trials have shown a marked improvement in the bodyweight after Zinc supplements have been administered.
  • Behavioural abnormalities such as irritability and lethargy become more pronounced. An increased dosage of Zinc shows rapid improvement in the Hedonic tone of the individual. Zinc also works as an effective antidepressant. Some medical practitioners also do prescribe Zinc supplements to treat cases of ADHD.

The immune system is one of the worst affected in the case of Zinc deficiency. The development of respiratory, gastrointestinal and other infections is a result of this phenomenon. An impaired immune system goes a long way in affecting the well-being of the body and dose-specific zinc intake would then have to be administered to correct such an anomaly.

Psychological disorders and stunted growth in children has been attributed to Zinc deficiency. Pregnant women are more susceptible to the deficiency of Zinc since it affects childbirth. Studies have revealed that zinc deficiency in a mother affects the sequencing and efficiency of the childbirth process. Zinc deficiencies have also seen to affect the reproductive system. That is because Zinc is required to produce testosterone. Irregular production of testosterone will lead to sexual immaturity.

Ideal Dosage

To overcome Zinc deficiency oral replacement is often prescribed. 2 to 3mg/kg is what is administered to overcome the shortfall. This dosage is enough to cure most manifestations in a couple of weeks. For patients suffering from acute malabsorption, a dosage of 1 to 2mg/kg is administered. However, this has to be given for the rest of life.