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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Diet and Fitness Zinc and you

Zinc and you

Zinc is a metallic element having biological importance. It is an essential micronutrient required for the various metabolic process to maintain the normal growth and function of the body



Zinc is a metallic element. It is required in small amounts for the growth and maintenance of normal physiological function of the body.

Zinc daily requirements

The recommended daily intake of zinc is

  • Men = 11 to 14 mg/ day
  • Women = 8 to 12 mg per day with additional increase of 2 to 3 mg per day during pregnancy and lactation
  • Infants =2 to 3 mg/day

  • Children = 5 to 8mg/day

Source of zinc

Rich source of zinc are meat, poultry, fish, milk, dairy products and whole cereals .The plant source of zinc is poor.

Biological function of zinc

  • Zinc is essential for cell division and growth and for maintenance of normal physiological function
  • Zinc is essential for various enzymatic activity of the body to maintain normal growth and function
  • Zinc is essential for skin and hair growth
  • Zinc is essential for sperm production and maturation
  • Zinc is required for the effective functioning of body defense mechanism- immune system
  • Zinc is required for the appreciation of smell,  taste and vision
  • Zinc plays a vital role in the brain activity especially in boosting memory and mood stabilization effects

  • Zinc promotes wound healing .

Zinc deficiency disorders

As zinc is essential in various activities of the body, deficiency of zinc affects multisystem

  • Delayed wound healing
  • Dry skin and hair fall
  • Defective sperm production and infertility
  • Birth defects and low birth weight
  • Seizures in the infant
  • Anorexia and loss of appetite
  • Depression and irritability
  • Diarrhea and weight loss
  • Reduced immunity leads to repeated infections
  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy
  • Cataract
  • Macular degeneration and retinal detachment
  • Impaired smell and taste perception

  • Fatigue

Effects of zinc overdose- zinc toxicity

  • Gastro intestinal – stomach pain , cramps, diarrhea and impaired vitamin A and B complex absorption
  • Loss of hair
  • Decreased libido and impotence
  • Renal damage – tubular necrosis and renal failure
  • Impaired cholesterol metabolism