Zinc deficiency: symptoms, causes, nutrition

The zinc deficiency it can be due to poor mineral absorption or even alcoholism, and can lead to weakening of bones, hair, skin and nails. Let's find out better how to cure it.

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Alopecia among the consequences of a zinc deficiency


Symptoms of zinc deficiency

The recommended daily zinc intake for adults is around 12,5 milligrams. Once it enters the body, zinc becomes part of the bones, teeth, nails; it is also found in the skin, liver, muscles and hair.

Zinc is also deposited in parts of the eyes, in the prostate and in sperm and white blood cells. This microelement is essential for correct body growth and to ensure a normal immune response. I symptoms related to zinc deficiency they can be: skin changes, such as stretch marks, and nail changes (white spots), capillary fragility and alopecia; fatigue, loss of appetite, slow wound healing, decreased immune response, predisposition to infections, decreased taste sensitivity and night blindness.

Severe zinc deficiency can cause hypogonadism, which is inadequate functioning of the ovaries and testes, and, if it occurs during the fetal or growth period, it can result in dwarfism, slowed development or delayed sexual maturity. Even small zinc deficiencies result in decreased sexual interest, lower sperm concentration and impotence. 


The causes of zinc deficiency

The causes of zinc deficiency can be different. First of all they can depend on insufficient or bad absorption, which often happens in cases of chronic alcoholism, as thealcohol it pushes out the zinc deposited in the liver and eliminates it in the urine, or during old age.

The most common cause of zinc deficiency is to be sought however feeding: iron, copper, calcium and raw cereals can reduce the amount of zinc, as well as casein, the milk protein.

The absorption of zinc by the intestine can also be hindered by phytates and fibers contained in cereals and by high calcium intakes. Nor are i to be underestimated drugs: therefore pay attention to antidepressants, diuretics and corticosteroids that lower their level. Even the smoke cigarette is the enemy of zinc: it produces a substance called cadmium, a toxic mineral, which interferes with the body's ability to use zinc. 


Zinc deficiency can also lead to an accumulation of cadmium: find out more


Zinc deficiency and nutrition

The impoverishment of the land and the processing of food are causes that contribute to depleting food of zinc. In cases of zinc deficiency it is therefore advisable to opt for natural and organic foods as much as possible.

Among the foods richest in zinc we find: cwhole grain herbs, brewer's yeast, bran, wheat germ and pumpkin seeds. Zinc is also contained in large quantities in oysters, in beef, sheep and pork, and in cheese. Other zinc-rich foods are i mushrooms, cocoa, walnuts and egg yolk.


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