Updated: Sep 27, 2019
Up to 83% of Australians may not receive the RDI for zinc despite meat, fish and poultry, cereals and dairy foods being the main sources of zinc.
Why is this nutrient so important?
Zinc is essential for the function of the immune system.
Zinc is present in all organs, tissues, fluids, and secretions in the body, but the majority of zinc (83%) is present in skeletal muscle and bone.
When zinc intake is insufficient, levels within skeletal muscle, skin, and heart are maintained, while zinc levels in bone, liver, testes, and plasma decline.
Zinc deficiency can lead to exaggeration of allergic conditions.
Diamine oxidase (DAO), the major enzyme involved in histamine metabolism, relies on zinc (and other nutrients.
Zinc and copper are involved in cell and tissue growth.
What contributes to a zinc deficiency?
Zinc deficiency has demonstrated an association with the risk of asthma. Research has found that zinc supplementation (in the form of zinc bis-glycinate @ 30 mg elemental zinc/day) as an adjuvant therapy to the standard treatment during asthma exacerbation results in rapid lessening of severity
If you get sick a lot, have high levels of inflammation and poor gut function, are on the Pill or have low intake, you COULD be deficient in zinc.
Oxidative stress is a metabolic dysfunction that favours the oxidation of biomolecules, contributing to the oxidative damage of cells and tissues. This consequently contributes to the development of several chronic diseases. In particular, zinc is one of the most relevant minerals to human health, because of its antioxidant properties.
The use of the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) has been shown to decrease the physiologic levels of six nutrients--riboflavin, pyridoxine, folacin, vitamin B12, ascorbic acid and zinc ; and to increase the levels of four others--vitamin C, iron, copper and vitamin A
How do you found out if you're getting enough zinc?
....and furthermore, if your diet is rich in zinc, are you absorbing it?
The best way to find out is to get a blood test - don't guess! You can also get a hair mineral analysis which provides a safe and non-invasive pathology test to measure the levels and comparative ratios of nutrient and toxic minerals found in hair.
Zinc and copper ratios should also be tested as these tend to have an inverse relationship with each other.
As always, consult your holistic health care practitioner.
This is for information purposes and it not intended to be used as medical advice.