Zinc is an essential mineral that is necessary for many bodily functions. Unfortunately, zinc deficiency can occur in people who have difficulty absorbing nutrients, such as older individuals and those with certain intestinal diseases. Additionally, certain medications can increase the amount of zinc lost through urine, leading to a variety of health issues, including decreased immune function, diarrhea, and more. Intestinal problems can cause difficulty absorbing zinc. This includes conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and persistent diarrhea.
A rare hereditary condition called acrodermatitis enteropathica is another potential cause of zinc deficiency. This occurs when there is a lack of a transport protein that normally allows zinc to be absorbed, resulting in severe deficiency. Symptoms usually start soon after the baby stops drinking breast milk and a typical rash is often the first symptom. If a baby has developed zinc deficiency early in life or if there is a family history, genetic testing may be necessary to detect acrodermatitis enteropathica.
Effect of Zincum Gluconicum Nasal Gel on the Duration and Severity of Common Cold Symptoms in Otherwise Healthy AdultsCase-control studies have shown that people with Alzheimer's disease have higher serum copper concentrations and lower serum zinc concentrations than cognitively healthy controls (158-160).
Fortunately, most foods contain much less zinc than oysters, but a healthy diet can still provide you with the recommended intake of this essential mineral. It is now known that even mild zinc deficiency can contribute to a number of health problems, particularly in children living in low-resource countries. To avoid zinc deficiency, it is important to eat a balanced diet that includes foods rich in zinc such as oysters, beef, pork, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Additionally, taking a multivitamin or supplement containing zinc may be beneficial for those at risk of deficiency. If you are concerned about your zinc levels or are experiencing any symptoms associated with deficiency, it is important to speak with your doctor for further evaluation.