Can you get enough zinc from food?

Most people will get enough zinc if they eat a healthy, balanced diet. However, people who take some medications, the elderly, people with certain intestinal conditions, and pregnant and breastfeeding women may need more. Most men need 14 milligrams (mg) of zinc per day, and most women need 8 mg. In addition to being rich sources of calcium, milk and yogurt are delicious and nutritious sources of zinc.

According to the USDA, 1 cup of skim milk or low-fat milk contains 1.1 mg and 1.05 mg, respectively, providing part of the mineral. Meanwhile, 1 cup of low-fat yogurt or plain, low-fat yogurt is an excellent source with 2.38 mg and 2.2 mg, respectively. Zinc is an essential trace element and micronutrient for humans. Essential micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that the body needs in small amounts for optimal health.

Since the body cannot synthesize these micronutrients, a food source is necessary. Zinc is present in all organs, tissues, fluids and secretions in the body, but most zinc (83%) is present in skeletal muscle and bones.4 When zinc intake is insufficient, levels are maintained in skeletal muscle, skin and heart, while levels of zinc in bones, liver, testicles and plasma decrease. More than 100 specific enzymes require zinc for their catalytic function, 2 The body is unable to store excess zinc, so continuous dietary intake is required.

Elijah Rinner
Elijah Rinner

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