Are You Low In Zinc?
Better Nutrition|February 2019

You might not think about zinc, but this mineral is vital to your health—and the symptoms of depletion are easy to overlook

Vera Tweed

Zinc lozenges are a popular cold remedy, but this unheralded mineral can do so much more. Zinc is required for more than a thousand different chemical reactions in the human body, which gives it a wide range of health benefits:

Zinc is essential for a healthy immune system, which helps ward off colds and other illnesses. Zinc plays a key role in healthy cell division, which helps protect against cancer.

In combination with other antioxidants, zinc protects the eyes against blindness from age-related macular degeneration.

Zinc is used to treat diarrhea in children and to treat Wilson’s disease, a genetic disorder that leads to very high, life-threatening levels of copper.

Zinc is an antioxidant that reduces chronic inflammation and may protect against atherosclerosis.

Signs You Need More Zinc

Older people and anyone whose digestion is sub-optimal may not absorb adequate zinc. In addition, a shortfall is more likely among people who don’t eat animal foods. Signs of zinc deficiency (and/or conditions related to low zinc) include:

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