Zinc is a mineral that helps with the making of new cells, enzymes, the processing of carbohydrate, fat and protein in food. Zinc also helps the healing of wounds.


Which foods is zinc found in?

Zinc can be found in meat, shellfish and dairy foods such as cheese. It can also be found in bread and cereal products like wheat germ. For vegans, zinc can be found in whole grains, tofu, tempeh, legumes, nuts and seeds. Zinc supplements can also be found.

What are the symptoms and potential life threatening conditions if someone has a zinc deficiency?

If someone has a zinc deficiency, then symptoms can include imbalanced growth and development, skin rashes, chronic diarrhoea, improper wound healing, and issues with behaviour. However, deficiencies of zinc are often very rare and so symptoms are uncommon.


What are the health implications and symptoms of overdosing on zinc?

If someone takes too much zinc, then the amount of copper the body can absorb is reduced. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, reduced appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and headaches.


What are the side effects of zinc?

The side effects of zinc are uncommon. However, if possible, the side effects can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, having a metallic taste in the mouth, kidney and stomach damage.


What is the optimal dosage of the mineral for children and adults?

For newborns up to six months of age, the optimal dosage of zinc would be two milligrams of zinc every day. For infants who are seven months to a year old, three milligrams of zinc every day is the recommended amount. Children who are between the ages of one and three are recommended the same amount of zinc as a seven month old to a year old. Children who are between the ages of four and eight are recommended to have five milligrams of zinc a day. For children who are between nine and thirteen, the optimal dosage of zinc would be eight milligrams a day. For teenage boys, the optimal dosage would be eleven milligrams of zinc a day. However, for teenage girls, the recommended dosage of zinc would be nine milligrams every day. The recommended amount of zinc for men would be the same amount that is recommended for teenage boys daily. On the other hand, the optimal amount of zinc needed for women is the same amount needed for children who are between the ages of nine and thirteen. The optimal dosage of zinc for pregnant teens would be twelve milligrams every day. For pregnant women however, the recommended amount of zinc is the same as the recommended dose for teenage boys. For teens who are breastfeeding, the recommended amount of zinc would be thirteen milligrams every day. Finally, the optimal dose of zinc for women who are breastfeeding is the same as the recommended amount of zinc for pregnant teens.