Zinc is an important trace mineral which our body requires for its functions and mechanisms. This mineral helps us heal our wounds, physically. Let’s see what Zinc has to do with our body.

Why does our body need Zinc?

Zinc is required in minimal quantities, but it has diverse roles in our body. It is essential for a healthy immune system, to synthesize DNA, wound healing, breakdown of carbohydrates and stimulates the activity of hundreds of enzymes in our body. It also supports cell division and cell growth which in turn helps in the renewal of skin cells, and healthy growth and development during childhood, adolescence and pregnancy. During pregnancy, it is necessary for the rapid cell growth of the foetus. Zinc also avoids inborn abnormalities and pre-term delivery. Our body’s sensation for smell and taste also requires Zinc. It has a very important role in fertility, because it prevents the prostate glands from infection and enlargement. It also helps in maintaining the sperm count and its mobility.

What should be the daily intake of Zinc?

A daily intake of Zinc is necessary for people of all age groups, though in different amounts. Infants need a Zinc consumption of 2-3 milligrams per day while children should have a daily consumption of 3-8 milligrams. For adults, it depends on gender. Adult females should have an intake of 8-9 milligrams per day while the adult males need 11 milligrams per day.

What are the sources of Zinc?

Zinc is abundantly available, mostly in high-protein food such as beef, pork, lamb, poultry, seafood and fish. Other Zinc sources are whole grains, cereals, beans, nuts and dairy products; though it has lesser amount than those of meats.

Where do we find it in our body?

Our body has nearly 2-3 grams of Zinc out of which nearly 60% are in the muscle tissue of the skeleton that support it. 30% of the total Zinc is found in the bones and the rest are in the teeth, hair, nails, skin, liver, white blood cells, sperm and testes.

How does its deficiency affect our body?

The deficiency of Zinc in our body will lead to a number of disorders in our body, both physically and functionally. Some of the symptoms of Zinc deficiency are:

  • Growth retardation, especially in children
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of hair
  • Impotence and delayed sexual maturation
  • Loss of appetite
  • White spots on finger nails
  • Poor sense of taste and smell
  • Stretch marks and acne
  • Poor immunity, night vision and wound healing
  • Skin sores and frequent infections
What are the symptoms of excess Zinc in our body?

The consumption of Zinc in excess in our body is Zinc toxicity and it is caused when the Zinc intake is reached between 35 and 40 milligrams per day. The major symptom of Zinc toxicity is gastrointestinal problems which includes diarrhoea, vomiting etc. Other symptoms are nausea, and decreased urine output.

What are the major causes of Zinc deficiency?

One of the major causes of Zinc deficiency is due to the phytic acid in the wholegrain, rice, corn and legumes which reduces the absorption of Zinc. The absorption of Zinc is also harmed by other minerals such as iron, copper and calcium. Some of the body conditions that might lead to Zinc deficiency are high perspiration, diarrhoea, diabetes, liver or kidney disease and stress. Caffeine and high alcohol intake also lead to Zinc deficiency in our body.

How do you know you have enough Zinc in your body?

You know you have enough Zinc if you have a proper height as per your age and weight, no white spots on your finger nails, fewer infections, any wounds get healed properly and also a proper hair growth.

Add/View Comment
The most wonderful and precious element of universe is the human life which can only be guided by the right knowledge and right attitude. So, here is an ocean of knowledge, both in English and Hindi encompassing every detail and each facet of human life which ‘one must know’ in order to grow and attain the summits of success. A team of around 200 dedicated members is working ceaselessly to turn such a colossal dream into reality. We are confident that this portal will help bring change in people across the world.

Content creation, research, development and execution done in-house at Aatman Innovations.