Zinc: what is the microelement responsible for in the body, what threatens its shortage and overdose

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Signs of zinc deficiency in the body

Zinc is a trace mineral that performs several important functions in the body. It is necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system, is involved in metabolism, and is important for wound healing. Participates in hundreds of biochemical reactions occurring in cells. And despite the fact that the body needs rather small doses of this trace element, its lack affects health and well-being.

It is problematic to name the signs of zinc deficiency in the body – people complain of fatigue, fatigue, deterioration of hair and nails, poor wound healing. These problems may be symptoms of other processes in the body, but may also be related to a zinc deficiency.

“Daily intake of zinc depends on age and sex: men need about 15 mg of zinc per day, and women 12 mg. The older a person becomes, the worse zinc is absorbed and the more micronutrient is needed. Higher dosages may also be required if a person is exposed to stress or increased stress – for example, during pregnancy, ”Olga Malinovskaya, head of the medical department of the federal network of medical laboratories KDL, told Passion.

The easiest way to consume zinc is to change your diet in favor of foods that contain this trace element in large quantities. Among them, the record holders for the content of zinc are liver and red meat, in 100 g of which there is a daily dose of this microelement. However, zinc is also found in plant foods, such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Who is at risk

Despite the apparent simplicity of obtaining the right amount of zinc, cases of deficiency of this trace element are quite real. According to WHO experts, at least 2 billion people in the world are zinc deficient.

At risk are pregnant and lactating women; people who have undergone surgery on the digestive organs; those who abuse alcohol; Vegetarians who get zinc from plant sources, which is less well absorbed than zinc from animal foods. Zinc deficiency can also occur in infants older than six months who are breastfed. This happens if the nursing mother consumes little zinc, and the baby himself does not yet receive enough complementary foods rich in zinc (for example, mashed meats).

Does zinc affect the course of coronavirus

Deficiency of this trace element can occur both due to insufficient intake of zinc, and due to the fact that it is poorly absorbed. In this case, it is advisable to consider the additional intake of zinc supplements.

Against the backdrop of the spread of coronavirus in the world, the use of zinc has become popular to alleviate the course of the disease and speed up recovery. However, the results of studies involving patients with coronavirus do not confirm that this microelement helps to recover faster, and therefore the uncontrolled intake of large doses of zinc is considered inappropriate.

Before you start taking zinc, it is better to consult a doctor and, after passing the tests, determine whether supplements with this microelement are really necessary. For example, the analysis “Zinc in the blood, spectrometry.” Special preparation is not needed – take it on an empty stomach or three hours after the last meal, it is better to cancel vitamin complexes or supplements that contain zinc in advance.

The course of taking trace elements should not exceed 3 months. This is due to the fact that long-term intake of zinc provokes copper leaching from the body, can also cause a drop in immunity (rather than strengthening it) and a decrease in the dose of “good” cholesterol, which is important for heart health.

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