Zinc deficiency leads to impaired growth, pregnancy complications and impaired immune system function

October 30, 2016

What does zinc do for me? Why do I need zinc?

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Today I’m talking about the nutritional benefits of zinc.

Zinc is important to ensure the regulation of metabolic functions. Zinc deficiency can lead to impaired growth and development in children, complications during pregnancy and immune system dysfunction leading to increased susceptibility to infections.

In fact, over the last several years, zinc has been shown to be effective in treating the common cold if taken in sufficient quantities for three days at the onset of cold symptoms.

The recommended dietary allowance of zinc for adults is 11 mg per day in men and 8 mg per day in women and because it cannot be stored in the human body, regular consumption is essential to avoid the effects of zinc deficiency.

Foods rich in zinc include beef, crab, turkey, cashews, almonds, peanuts and yogurt.

Zinc can also be taken as a dietary supplement and most multivitamin and mineral formulations contain sufficient quantities to ensure adequate daily intake.

Zinc taken as a supplement is generally safe if the tolerable upper intake is limited to no more than 40mg daily in adults. As noted above, the recommended nutritional intake is 11 mg in adult males and 8 mg in adult females daily.

So when it comes to zinc eat almonds and cashews, don’t forget the beef and crab and ensure adequate intake daily by consuming a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement – all of this for high-performance immunity, the regulation of metabolic functions and ensuring a healthy pregnancy.

One word of caution, nasal zinc or zinc sprayed into the nose has been shown to lower or even obliterate sense of smell and in many instances cannot be reversed on discontinuation. So when taking zinc for the common cold, let a zinc lozenge melt in your mouth every two hours for three days, which has been shown to be the most effective way to stop the nasty symptoms of common cold.

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! thanks for listening and stay tuned for our next segment when I’ll tell why you need selenium to power your path to happiness!

Reference: The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, 2015. Online [available at]: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic Accessed May 25, 2015.