The Multi-talented Zinc

The Multi-talented Zinc

When God was gifting virtues to all the nutrients, zinc must have been first in the line. Let me tell you why. 

This protean nutrient excels in all types of function. Be it brain health or immune health it has got you all covered. 

Immune boosting 

In recent years we have seen a spike in immune-boosting foods. When the world was probably focusing on vitamin C, what we missed was this trace element named Zinc. Yes, zinc helps in the production of immune system cells thereby playing a role in building one's immunity. [1]


Various studies have concluded that zinc supplements have helped achieve proper height and weight in infants and children. Zinc deficiency in the growing years often leads to growth retardation. [2] 

Ensures taste and smell

Imagine all the flavorful dishes spread across your table and you can taste none. How miserable life would be? Thanks to zinc that activates the area of the brain which processes your taste and smell sensors. [3] 

Skincare and healing of wounds

Zinc and its various forms are being used to treat acne, diaper rashes, chapped lips and skin. It also helps in the transportation of Vitamin A, thereby assisting with the protection and repair of body tissue.[4]

Brain health

Zinc plays a very important role in the development and functioning of the brain. On receiving a zinc deficit diet, USDA scientists observed that the subjects developed lower cognition. Studies have concluded that zinc is associated with memory and thinking skills.

Zinc sulfates supplements are used to reduce mood swings and reduce stress. It has also been observed that zinc abnormalities exist in people with mood disorders. [5]

Reproductive health

Zinc also helps in maintaining the lining of reproductive organs. Infertility in men is often associated with zinc deficiency. This can be explained by the fact that zinc plays an important role in maintaining the quality of sperm and also helps in fertilisation. Nowadays many women complain of PCOS and post-menopausal symptoms. Studies have shown that zinc helps reduce these symptoms. [6]

Improves appetite

Do you lose appetite easily or are you anorexic? Zinc can help you relieve your worries. Low levels of zinc influence your appetite and taste preferences. Various studies have concluded that zinc deficiency is linked to the incidence of Bulimia and Anorexia. [7]

Recommended Dietary Allowances

Having heard about its versatility, now the question arises as to how much we must consume. 

Adult Men- 12 mg/d

Adult Women- 10mg/d

Pregnant and Lactating Women -12mg/d


When does the need increase?

If you fall under the category below then you may be at risk of suffering from Zinc deficiency:

  • Infants and children
  • Pregnant and Lactating women
  • Patients receiving total parenteral nutrition.
  • Older adults 
  • Individuals with alcoholic liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Individuals with severe or persistent diarrhea

How to get Zinc into your diet?

Zinc can be found in a variety of foods. Vegetarian sources of zinc include legumes ( chickpea, lentils and beans), nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, peanuts, cashews) and wholegrains.

Supplements in the form of  zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, and zinc acetate is also available.

Signs that you are low in zinc

Check for these sign to know if you are low in zinc :

  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Delayed sexual maturation
  • Hypogonadism in males
  • Eye and skin lesions
  • Weight loss
  • Delayed healing of wounds
  • Taste abnormalities 
  • Mental lethargy

Take away lesson

  • Though zinc is a trace element it performs various functions. From the brain to the skin, it is an essential micronutrient.
  • To take advantage of its versatility, one must consume a diet adequate in zinc.


A life coach after reading this post will surely quote Matt Bevin's words "While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary".