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5 min

Zinc deficiency: symptoms, causes and solutions

All year long we hear about the lack of vitamin D, vitamin C or magnesium... And zinc in all that?

Just as essential to the body, zinc is too often forgotten. It is nevertheless one of the first reflexes to have as soon as a cold snap is felt or a nutritional deficit is suspected.

But then who is affected by this deficit? How to recognize the symptoms? And what are the reflexes to have to avoid a zinc deficiency?

Don't worry, we'll explain everything to you here!

zinc deficiency

What is zinc?

Zinc is a trace element, or mineral salt, important for the body . Like all trace elements (iron, magnesium, etc.) it is present in very small quantities in our body and cannot be produced naturally by our body. It will therefore be necessary to rely on diet to provide it daily and avoid zinc deficiencies .

It contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system , plays a protective role against cellular aging but also affects the condition of the skin, nails and hair. In addition, zinc has a healing action, because of its effect on cell division, it is for these reasons that it is often cited to help reduce acne.

The importance of zinc for our body

Its most important role is played in our immune system.

Researchers from INSERM, CNRS and the Pasteur Institute have highlighted the role of zinc in the elimination of bacteria: it is used by immune cells (macrophages) to neutralize a pathogenic element and help in its elimination. .

It is therefore taken as a cure, but can also help preventively to support immunity and thus avoid winter illnesses or reduce their symptoms.

The importance of zinc in a few points:

  • Antioxidant;
  • Stimulates the immune system;
  • Participates in the elimination of microbes;
  • Anti-inflammatory: particularly useful in cases of skin problems;
  • Maintaining nails and hair in shape;
  • Participates in protein synthesis;
  • Maintenance of normal vision;
  • Role in cell division;
  • Action on the nervous system;

We recommend you

zinc deficiency

Zinc Bisglycinate

Synergistic formula based on Zinc Bisglycinate and vitamin B6.

  • ✅ High absorption zinc
  • ✅ 15 mg of Zinc per capsule
  • ✅ Made in France
  • ✅ 4 months of treatment
See the product

Zinc deficiency

A zinc deficiency can be common and often suspected after an illness, for example. It is not easy to detect, so it is important to learn to recognize the symptoms in order to meet the needs of our body and not hesitate to take treatments if necessary.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency

Several symptoms can alert you to a possible zinc deficiency:

  • Tiredness ;
  • Skin problems;
  • Striated and brittle nails;
  • Hair loss ;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Multiple infections;
  • Irritability.

Certain senses may also be altered: so be vigilant about the perception of vision, smell or taste.

Causes of zinc deficiency

The causes of a zinc deficiency are multiple. They can be caused by a mineral imbalance caused by digestive disorders or a fever leading to heavy sweating, for example.

We can also point the finger at tobacco and alcohol consumption as responsible for a lack of zinc.

Finally, an unbalanced diet will have a direct harmful consequence on our zinc levels. We will therefore take care to maintain a balanced diet in order to cover the body's needs and avoid a zinc deficiency.

zinc deficiency

People most prone to zinc deficiency

Zinc needs are not the same depending on lifestyle habits and age.

Indeed, after the age of 60, it is not uncommon to suffer from a zinc deficiency.

This can be explained by taking certain medications causing interactions with the absorption of trace elements, but also by a weaker immune system leading to repeated infections.

Also, people suffering from digestive disorders or liver-related problems often suffer from a lack of zinc.

We can also cite vegans as people at greater risk of zinc deficiency , this is because their food choice excludes excellent sources of zinc such as meat and seafood.

Finally, pregnant or breastfeeding women are frequently the target of a zinc deficiency.

Additional information for our athletes: Be vigilant since excessive sweating can cause our body to lose precious trace elements, including zinc.

What solutions can be found for zinc deficiency? How to prevent it and how to cure it?

Fortunately, a zinc deficiency is not inevitable. It can be quickly corrected by dietary rebalancing or zinc supplementation.

A richer and more varied diet

We know that today's diet does not always meet all physiological needs : non-living or ultra-processed food, the lack of zinc is first corrected on the plate. The best way to avoid a nutritional zinc deficiency is to have a varied and nutritious diet in order to have a sufficient intake of trace elements, vitamins, amino acids or fatty acids for example.

Regarding zinc, it is found in whole grains, oilseeds (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, etc.), cocoa, nettle, legumes, eggs (the yolk) and especially in animal proteins and seafood such as oysters and lobster for example.

In the event of a proven and repetitive deficiency, taking food supplements is often a good alternative to fill these deficiencies quickly and in the long term.

We recommend you

zinc deficiency

Zinc Bisglycinate

Synergistic formula based on Zinc Bisglycinate and vitamin B6.

  • ✅ High absorption zinc
  • ✅ 15 mg of Zinc per capsule
  • ✅ Made in France
  • ✅ 4 months of treatment
See the product

Supplementing with zinc

No need to wait until you suffer from a zinc deficiency to start a cure! Daily zinc requirements vary depending on age, sex and weight and are generally between 8 and 15 mg. This dosage can be achieved by taking a zinc-based food supplement.

Here we give you some advice for a successful treatment:

  • Choose a quality, easily assimilated zinc: zinc bisglycinate is the most stable and bioavailable form for the body.
  • The Zinc + Vitamin B6 couple: Vitamin B6 allows better assimilation of zinc.
  • Do a 2-month treatment, renewable if necessary, respecting a 2-week break between treatments.
  • Pay attention to the amount of zinc consumed. Indeed, when consumed in excess, zinc can cause undesirable effects such as stomach upset.

Now that zinc no longer holds any secrets for you, and if this article spoke to you, don't wait until you suffer from a deficiency to start your zinc treatment, get started!

Eloise Dubois-Gaché - Naturopath

Naturopath and FENA certified

Thanks to her solid experience in different herbalists, Eloïse includes, if necessary, complete and precise advice in phytotherapy, aromatherapy, gemmotherapy and micro-nutrition when setting up a personalized and adapted lifestyle program to everyone.

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