Sportspersons, travellers, hikers, and adventure seekers, zinc sunscreen is not something new for them. What makes zinc special?
What is zinc?
Zinc is a mineral that the body uses to fight against infections. Zinc is also important for producing cells.
Zinc plays a major role in the healing of injuries. This is possible as it helps in creating DNA.
It is a mineral that is found throughout the body. Zinc helps with immune system building and metabolic function.
Through diet, the body gets adequate zinc.
What is the role of zinc in the body?
Zinc is responsible for various cells functioning in the body.
It is responsible for
- Boosting immune function
- Helping in cell division
- Maintain smell and taste
- Enhance wound healing
Zinc also plays a vital role in a person‘s growth. It is an important mineral for women who are pregnant and growing children.
Our body is not capable of producing or storing zinc. It can be obtained only through diet.
It is very important to prevent zinc deficiency.
How can we identify zinc deficiency?
Symptoms of zinc deficiency can be linked to the various roles that the mineral performs in the body.
Common symptoms of zinc deficiency include
- Loss of appetite
- Slow growth and
- Poor functioning of the immune system.
The symptoms are exhibited when the deficiency is minimal.
When the body is deprived of zinc for a long period, it can cause more complex symptoms like
- Hair loss
- Poor wound healing
- Rapid and unexplained weight loss
- Hair loss
- Difference in taste sensation
- Feeling restless or lethargic
- Eye and skin problems and
- Late sexual maturity.
Therefore, it is important to keep the zinc in the body at an optimal level.
What causes zinc deficiency in the body?
Deficiency may be caused due to various reasons.
The major reason for being zinc deficient is due to the inadequate intake of zinc through diet.
However, zinc deficiency may be caused due to the following reasons:
- Celiac disease
- Chronic diarrhea
- Alcohol addiction
- Long-term liver diseases
- Diabetes and
- Pancreatic illness
However, there are a few general reasons that may cause zinc deficiency.
Zinc levels in the body of vegetarians have been traditionally lower as the body tends to break down zinc found in meats efficiently.
Even though vegetarians consume a higher amount of legumes, beans, nuts, and whole grain products, they can hamper the body’s ability to absorb zinc due to the presence of phytates.
These substances bind with zinc and make it difficult for the body to absorb it.
Older people are zinc deficiency as they might not eat a variety of food. Also, some medications can reduce the body to absorb zinc.
Few health conditions or mental disorders can also affect how the body absorbs minerals.
Pregnant women can also be deficient in zinc.
People with long-term kidney diseases can also experience a deficiency in zinc.
To counter such deficiencies, it is better to consume an optimal amount of zinc.
What are the sources of zinc?
Treating zinc deficiency is greatly reliant on dietary changes.
Food rich in zinc are:
- Red meat
- Baked beans
- Whole grains
- Fortified breakfast cereal and
- Dairy products.
If a person is a vegetarian, getting enough zinc is difficult.
Consuming more baked beans, cashew nuts, peas, and almonds serves as an excellent source of zinc.
Supplements or also available at various pharmacies or health stores. These supplements would contain adequate zinc, and the dosage would differ based on the manufacturer.
However, it is important to consult a medical professional before taking supplements.
Zinc can be obtained through a variety of food. People are most likely to get enough zinc through their diet.
Benefits of consuming zinc
Zinc is a mineral that would help with
- Improving the immune system
- Enhances phone healing process
- Chronic diseases are prevented
- Preserves age-related muscular degeneration
- Fights common cold
- Improves neurological symptoms
- Beneficial for brain functions like learning and memory
Even though zinc deficiency is not an emergency health condition, it is extremely important to address it.
Zinc deficiency may be common, but the body can adapt to long-term changes with dietary changes or supplements.
By seeking out help and consuming adequate zinc through natural sources, people can reverse their deficiency.
If a person consumes supplements, it should be monitored by a doctor.
1. How can I increase my zinc levels?
When the body is deprived of zinc, a person can get adequate zinc through dietary sources.
Zinc can also be consumed as supplements with proper medical supervision.
2. What causes a zinc deficiency?
Zinc deficiency may be caused due to the following:
3. Celiac disease
4. chronic diarrhea
5. alcohol addiction
6. long-term liver diseases
7. diabetes and
8. pancreatic illness
3. What are the five signs of zinc deficiency?
Five signs of zinc deficiency are:
2. hair loss
3. Poor wound healing
4. rapid and unexplained weight loss
4. How is zinc deficiency treated?
Zinc deficiency can be reversed in the long term when a person consumes enough zinc to an optimal level.
Zinc may be obtained from natural dietary sources or supplements.
5. How long does it take to get over zinc deficiency?
Zinc deficiency is reversed as a gradual process. The body requires a few months to adapt to changes. It takes 4 to 6 months for the body to correct zinc deficiency.
6. How do you know if you’re deficient in zinc?
If the body is deficient in zinc, it exhibits the following symptoms:
1. Loss of appetite
2. slow growth and
3. Poor functioning of the immune system