Importance & Recommended Amounts
Food is a vital element for human endurance. Safeguarding good health requires a balanced diet that comprises ample macro and micro-nutrients. The major micronutrients that have come into attention in recent times are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin-B complexes, and Zinc. The basic reason is that each of these nutrients has a crucial role in the proper functioning of our body’s immune system.
Zinc is a nutrient that plays many elemental roles in our body. It has a vital role in supporting a healthy immune system. A zinc-deficient person is more susceptible to a variety of pathogens. As our body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, it must be obtained through food or supplements. Therefore it is considered an essential nutrient. The recommended daily amount is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for adult men.
Foods Sources of Zinc
With a varied diet, our body usually gets enough zinc.
- Oysters are the best source
- Red meat, poultry, seafood are also good sources.
- Legumes are a Vegetarian-Friendly supply of zinc
- Nuts and Seeds are also good sources of this elemental micronutrient.
- Whole Grains –oats, whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice provide zinc besides other minerals
- Fortified Breakfast cereals
- Milk and Dairy products
- Dark Chocolate
Signs of Zinc deficiency
In individuals suffering with marginal deficiency, clinical signs are :
- depressed immunity,
- impaired taste and smell,
- commencement of night blindness,
- impairment of memory, and
- decreased spermatogenesis in males
Severe deficiency is characterised by :
- severely depressed immune function,
- frequent infections,
- bullous pustular dermatitis,
- alopecia, and
- mental disturbances
Zinc interacts with medications or other dietary supplements
It is reported that zinc dietary supplements can interact or interfere with medicines taken. In some instances, medicines might lower zinc levels in the body.
- Taking a zinc dietary supplement along with quinolone or tetracycline antibiotics reduces the amount of both zinc and the antibiotic that the body absorbs. They can reduce the efficacy of penicillamine (a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis) or thiazide diurectics that the body absorbs.
- Taking the medicines at least 2 hours before or 4–6 hours after taking a zinc dietary supplement helps lessen this effect.
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