Zinc is an important nutrient. It is a component of many proteins and is needed for many processes in the body such as skin repair and immune function. While symptoms of zinc deficiency can be vague and associated with other health conditions, some common signs include poor wound healing, hair loss, lower immunity, loss of appetite and weight loss, taste disturbances and mental tiredness.
Zinc is found naturally in food sources such as red meat and chicken, some seafood (oysters, crabs and lobsters), nuts and wholegrains. Some people may be more at risk of being low in zinc - older people (lower dietary intake), pregnant and breastfeeding ladies (due to increased requirements) , people with certain medical conditions (digestive issues) and vegetarians (fibre-rich food reduces zinc absorption). Mild deficiency may be addressed by improving the diet but more severe forms may require supplementation.
Testing for zinc in a laboratory setting is challenging as it is part of so many things in our body and sometimes, one could actually be low in zinc despite normal lab results! A simple test in the community setting is the Zinc Taste Test which makes use of the hypothesis that zinc deficiency may reduce one’s ability to taste accurately. Analysis of various studies has not been entirely conclusive about this link. However, the taste test may be useful for assessing zinc status when lifestyle and dietary factors, symptoms and relevant medical history are taken into consideration. So, if you are constantly falling sick, feeling tired, lacking appetite or just not able to taste food properly, you may be missing some amazing zinc!
Another amazing thing about Zinc !
A 2014 video published with a study in the journal Nature Chemistry shows an egg releasing “fireworks” of zinc after merging with a sperm. Researchers are still exploring this phenomenon but they have certainly noted that without the zinc eruptions, the fertilized egg cannot become a baby!
It’s an amaZINC thing!
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