What a Zinc Deficiency Does to the Body
We stress the importance of taking your vitamins and supplements quite a bit, and that’s because they play a huge role in your body! Something often left out of those conversations though is how a lack of certain supplements can have drastic effects on your day-to-day health and living. Zinc is an example of a mineral that plays such a big part in your health, but do you know if you’re getting enough of it? Zinc is only needed in trace amounts — 11mg per day for adult men and 8mg per day for adult women — but a lack of these small quantities can have huge implications. Here’s what a zinc deficiency does to the body.
The Importance of Zinc in the Body
A zinc deficiency can be a huge problem simply due to the importance of zinc in the body. It’s necessary for cell production and division, which take place every day in order to replenish sick, weak, or dying cells among many other vital processes. Additionally, zinc is used for immune functions to fight off illnesses and infections. During certain parts of our lives, additional zinc may even be necessary due to its presence in growth, sexual development, and reproductive functions. The body does not have the ability to store zinc either, so getting enough zinc every single day is vital.
Symptoms of a Zinc Deficiency
Without enough zinc, your body is incapable of producing new, healthy cells. This can have a wide range of effects. Here are some of the most common.
One way a zinc deficiency can be seen is through unexplained weight loss. This weight loss is often due to a sudden loss of appetite and/or diarrhea, due to the way zinc interacts with digestive functions.
Poor Wound Healing
Another sign of a zinc deficiency is poor wound healing, such as having cuts, scrapes, and bruises that won’t heal or take a significantly larger amount of time to do so. Some zinc deficiencies can even leave sores on the skin. This is because zinc is needed for the body to produce new cells and heal wounds.
When you have a zinc deficiency, your brain feels the effects too, which is why many patients with zinc deficiencies will notice lethargy and a lack of alertness. This is because your brain works hard at night to replenish cells and energy for the day ahead. Without zinc, your brain isn’t capable of restoring vital functions like energy and memory, leaving you tired and foggy despite a full night’s rest.
A stranger side effect of a zinc deficiency is a decreased sense of smell and taste. These sensory cells are replenished often and very quickly, but without zinc, that’s not possible. You’ll find it harder to taste food, most especially. In a similar vein, zinc plays a role in eyesight as well. Long-term low zinc may also increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is a disease that causes permanent vision loss.
Risk Factors for Zinc Deficiency
Certain lifestyles require more zinc for optimum health. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need extra zinc in order for their babies to develop properly. Older adults are at risk for low zinc simply due to age and lack of absorption. People with alcoholism or who drink often should supplement with zinc, as alcohol can make it harder for your body to absorb it. Similarly, recent surgery patients who had operations on their gastrointestinal system or those with digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease will need more zinc due to poor absorption. Lastly, vegetarians and vegans may need extra zinc because meat is one of the most common high-zinc food groups. Also, beans and grains —staples in vegetarian and vegan diets — have compounds that keep zinc from being fully absorbed.
Choose MZM to Help Increase Your Zinc
Zinc deficiencies can be found by a simple blood test, and they’re simple enough to fix through supplementation! Low zinc levels may be a symptom of an underlying condition and therefore may require professional oversight. Long-term treatment of a zinc deficiency includes changing your diet to have more high-zinc foods, as well as supplementing your diet or lifestyle with zinc. While you could swallow a handful of pills, it’s way easier to apply MZM — which contains topical zinc! Shop our recovery lotion made with a cutting-edge formula of the ingredients zinc, magnesium, and MSM online today, and make sure you’re always giving your body everything it needs.