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The Risks And Symptoms Of Having A Zinc Deficiency

by Victoria Marian Belmis / Oct 26, 2022 12:36 PM EDT
Hair loss

Zinc is an essential nutrient that plays many vital roles in our well-being. It's partly responsible for gene expression, immune function, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, and wound healing.

It's classified as an essential nutrient because it cannot be produced by our body nor stored in enough amounts for maintaining good health.

As such, it's possible to experience a zinc deficiency. It's estimated that about about 2 billion people globally experience a deficit of zinc due to their dietary consumption. 

Degrees of Zinc-Deficiency 

Common cases of this mineral deficiency are mild and are usually detected in children in developing countries due to the impact of low-nutrient diets.

A shortage of zinc impairs the body and increases the chances of infection. Those who are at risk of developing zinc deficiency include pregnant and breastfeeding women, people who are malnourished (including those with anorexia or bulimia), people with sickle cell anemia, people with gastrointestinal diseases, and people with chronic kidney disease.

Usual symptoms that appear in individuals with mild zinc deficiency can be decreased immunity, thinning hair, diarrhea, dry skin, decreased appetite, fertility issues, impaired wound healing, and mood disturbances.

Having a severe zinc deficiency is rarer. Its symptoms commonly manifest as impaired growth and development, skin rashes, chronic diarrhea, impaired wound healing, delayed sexual maturity, and behavioral issues 

Sources of Zinc

Thankfully, zinc is naturally present in a wide range of animal and plant food. Red meat, poultry, shellfish such as oysters and crabs, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of the mineral. Some foods are fortified with synthetic forms of zinc such as certain breakfast cereals and snack bars.

Zinc supplements and multivitamin supplements that contain zinc are readily available in your local pharmacy or malls. KPTown's online store also offers Nutridom Zinc at 12% off with 60 vegetable capsules of the essential mineral. 

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