Low Zinc Levels Causes, Symptoms, Effects: Foods For Zinc Deficiency

Zinc is an essential trace element used by biological organisms, including humans, for their metabolic needs. Still, there are times when the zinc content becomes low as it is depleted by the body without being replenished.

The normal levels of zinc in the body are from 2 to 4 grams at any given time. If the zinc levels drop to lower than 2 grams, then the patient could suffer from zinc deficiency. For the patient to maintain the normal levels of zinc, the recommended daily allowance is 15 mg.

Symptoms And Effects Of Zinc Deficiency

When the levels of zinc in the body are down, the patient will experience various problems.

Low zinc levels symptoms include:

  • Impotence in men
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stunted growth
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Lesions around the eye and skin
  • Problems with immunity

Effects of Low Zinc Levels

  • The actual effects of having a deficiency in zinc will depend on a number of factors, including how much zinc is necessary.
  • Still, it could cause discomfort and physical problems such as diarrhea and lesions.
  • Because zinc is important in metabolic processes, a body with low levels of zinc may experience problems in metabolism and other body processes. Thus, this could lead to stunted growth, hair loss, impotence, and compromised immune system.

Causes Of Low Zinc Levels

The main cause why zinc deficiency occurs is the lack of intake or supplementation of this vital trace element.

This occurs when the patient does not eat enough food rich in zinc. The body soon depletes its sources of zinc.

The deficiency can also be caused by certain ailments such as

  • Malabsorption syndrome
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Uterine dystocia
  • Acrodermatitis acropathica
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Chronic renal disease

Foods For Zinc Deficiency

Certain food items can be eaten to increase the levels of zinc in the body. Still, some of those food items are not eaten by vegetarian people and those who are dieting. Thus, if they want to stay healthy, zinc supplements may be necessary.

Here are some of the food items that are rich in zinc:

  • Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
  • Oysters
  • Wheat germ, especially toasted wheat germ
  • Sesame seeds and tahini (sesame butter)
  • Dried watermelon seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Veal liver
  • Roasted pumpkin and squash seeds
  • Lamb