Zinc Deficiency: Zinc is an essential trace mineral that the human body uses for over 300 important functions such as making DNA. You may have heard of the zinc metal being used in batteries and electrical equipment.
Zinc is also part of an alloy used to make American Pennies. And it’s found In all kinds of plastics, inks, and even the body of your car.
Many people do not realize, however, that the human body needs trace amounts of zinc to stay strong and healthy because it’s an essential nutrient like Vitamin C or Calcium for example.
You need zinc to help build hormones and send signals through your nervous system.
You also need it to keep your immune system strong to protect your body from harmful viruses, bacteria, and pathogens in the outside world.
Unfortunately, it’s now estimated that over 2 billion people worldwide are deficient in zinc due to the consumption of refined foods which depletes it.
You may be wondering if you are one of these people. So in today’s article, we will take a look at the top 10 common signs that you may be deficient in zinc, and how to fix this naturally.
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This article is for educational purposes only, so do speak to your doctor if you have any medical concerns.
Top 10 Signs of A Zinc Deficiency
1. Loss Of Taste/Smell.
One of the most common signs that you do not have enough zinc is a loss of your sense of taste or smell.
Most commonly after you have been infected with a viral infection or a pathogen, the body uses up its zinc stores to help fight off the infection. By activating white blood cells.
Unfortunately, we also need zinc to activate enzymes that allow our brains to pick up different tastes and smells.
So without enough zinc, food starts tasting like cardboard and smells may lose their potency.
2. Hair Loss.
The second sign to look for is hair loss. Zinc is intimately involved with growing healthy, strong hair strands because how it helps
to build DNA, proteins, and hormones in the body.
If you don’t absorb enough zinc into your body, the hair usually starts to thin out over time.
Zinc also helps your scalp to make sebum, natural oil that moisturizes your scalp and prevents dandruff. Without zinc and sebum, your hair is left fragile and may break easily.
3. White Spots On Nails.
The third symptom is white spots on the nails. Take a look at your nails, if you notice that you have white spots then this is a positive indication that you have been deficient in zinc.
Eating refined carbohydrates and sugary foods depletes zinc from your body and blocks you from absorbing it properly.
As the nails take between 3-6 months to grow, you can usually identify when in your life you ate too many refined foods, which depleted your zinc And caused a weak spot on your nail that appears as a white spot, or sometimes white horizontal line.
4. Wounds That Won’t Heal.
The next sign of a zinc deficiency is wounds that won’t heal properly.
Because zinc is required to repair cell membranes and grow new healthy skin cells if you don’t have enough your body will struggle to heal cuts and wounds.
Cuts, wounds, burns, and scrapes may take longer to heal if you don’t increase your zinc intake. Later in the article, we’ll talk about how to replenish your zinc if you have any of these signs and symptoms.
5. Low Testosterone.
Next, we have low testosterone levels. If you are a man who suffers from low testosterone this may be due to a zinc deficiency.
As mentioned earlier, zinc is involved with building hormones and proteins in the body like testosterone.
So if you are lacking, you may suffer from low libido, muscle weakness, or shrinking gonads. In women, low testosterone is linked with low mood, weight gain, and irregular periods.
6. Regular Colds.
If you suffer from colds and infections on a regular basis this may be another sign of zinc deficiency.
Without enough zinc floating around your body, you are more likely to catch a cold or infection.
Zinc is needed to send certain signals to your immune system to tell the white blood cells to fight pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
It also triggers inflammation when needed to help prevent these illnesses from spreading through your body.
When you don’t have enough zinc in your body, things don’t feel quite right. Studies have linked zinc deficiency to depression, irritability, and emotional instability in adults.
Your brain needs lots of zinc to build dopamine and other hormones that make you feel good and help you focus and concentrate.
It’s also used by hundreds of different enzyme processes which help the synapses in your brain to communicate, So it makes sense, that if you’re low in zinc you will feel unbalanced emotionally and may have bouts of depression.
8. Vision Problems.
There is also a high concentration of zinc in the human eyes because it’s involved with the formation of visual pigments in your retina.
For this reason, if you are low in zinc you may struggle to see properly, especially at night time when there are low levels of light.
Zinc also helps to transport Vitamin A from the liver to the eyes which is essential to prevent cataracts, dry eyes, and macular degeneration.
So if you struggling with any of these visual problems, consider adding more zinc into your diet from healthy food sources like shellfish, red meat, sprouted legumes, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
If you frequently suffer from stomach ulcers or mouth ulcers then you may need more zinc in your diet.
Zinc is needed to repair the damaged tissue and the delicate skin that lives on the inside of your body such as the mouth and stomach.
Natural health doctors commonly prescribe remedies that contain bioavailable zinc to help heal these recurring sores.
10. Leaky Gut.
If you have any autoimmune disease or skin problems like eczema or psoriasis then you likely have a leaky gut.
These problems are triggered when your intestinal wall becomes damaged, and toxins leach into your blood.
This uses up your zinc stores because your body is trying to heal the damage in your gut.
Why Am I Deficient In Zinc?
So the question is, what causes a zinc deficiency in the first place?
The number 1 cause of zinc loss in the body is eating too many grains.
You may not realize it, but every time you eat a slice of bread, a bowl of cereal, or anything that contains flour you may be depleting your zinc stores.
Grains contain natural phytates that can block your body’s ability to absorb certain minerals like zinc.
Not only that, but gluten in these foods causes inflammation in your intestines which can also deplete zinc.
Another probable cause of zinc deficiency is simply not eating enough healthy foods that contain zinc in your diet.
How Do I Boost My Zinc Levels?
Now that I know all this, how can I raise my zinc levels, I hear you ask. Rather than looking into expensive supplements and products, start getting more zinc into your diet naturally by eating seafood.
Shellfish in particular like oysters, mussels, shrimp, and crab meat are nature’s best source of the type of zinc that your body absorbs easily.
Seaweed, sea kelp, and sea vegetables are likewise high in concentrated zinc. This is because they grow in a mineral-rich seabed and are able to extract the trace minerals from the soil into the plants, making them a fantastic bioavailable source of zinc.
You may not believe it, but red meat is also loaded with zinc. In fact, a 3.5-ounce serving of ground beef contains around 4.8mg of zinc, which is 44% of the recommended daily value.
You can also get it in high amounts from lamb, pork, and organ meats. Just make sure to choose pasture-raised, grass-fed, and grass-finished meats.
These are much higher quality and contain extra nutrients with no artificial growth hormones.
If you do decide to go with a supplement the most easily absorbable variety is called Zinc Biglycinate chelate.
Just make sure you don’t take any more than 50mg from a supplement as it can deplete your copper if you take too much.
Zinc deficiencies can be difficult to diagnose by your doctor. Because zinc is distributed throughout your entire body, a blood test may not always show if you are deficient in Zinc or not.
So stay vigilant of these signs and pay attention to your body. It always gives you signs and symptoms when something isn’t right.
Remember, the body doesn’t have a strong storage mechanism for zinc, which means that we have to keep replenishing it every day by eating healthy foods.
Try not to eat too many grains however unless they sprouted, because the phytates will also block your ability to absorb zinc.
Whenever there is illness or injury, your body will use more zinc to repair itself. So eating a healthy nutrient-rich diet is absolutely essential to restore your cells and maintain a healthy overall body.
Does your body give you any other signs and symptoms?
I wish you great health, wealth, and happiness.