What is it?
Zinc is an essential trace element which is required by our body for the proper growth and maintenance of our body. It is required for our normal immunity, thyroid function, wound healing,normal eye vision and blood clotting processes.
Zinc can be found in legumes, nuts, meat, whole grains, seafood and dairy products.
Zinc deficiency results in slowed growth, low insulin levels, loss of appetite, generalized hair loss, irritability, rough and dry skin, slow wound healing, diarrhea, nausea and reduced sense of taste and smell.
Moderate zinc deficiency results in more severe diseases like chronic kidney failure, malabsorption syndromes and chronic debilitating diseases.
There are ongoing research conducted to prove that it is effective for patient with vitamin c deficiency, aid absorption of iron, effective in tyrosinemia (genetic disorder in neonates), age related macular degeneration, reduce risk of atherosclerosis, reduce risk of cancers like mouth cancer, reduce skin redness post laser aesthetic procedure, improves hemolytic anemia, improves lead poisoning, improves physical performance, when taken with vitamin E prevents sunburn but no effect when taken alone and improves wrinkles.
More randomized controlled research studies need to be conducted to prove other proclaimed benefits.
Possible side effects
At normal dosing it is likely safe for most people when taken at doses of less than 40 mg daily.
Some possible side effects at high doses include fever, cough, fatigue, diarrhea, metallic taste, nausea and vomiting, possible stomach and kidney damage.
Taking more than 100 mg of zinc daily for more than 10 years doubles the risk of prostate cancer.
It is likely safe for pregnant & lactating women as well as children to take zinc so long a sit is within the daily recommended dosage.
Antibiotics (quinolones and tetracyclines) : Zinc will reduce the absorption fo these antibiotics and reduce their efficacy.
Penicillamine used to treat rheumatoid arthrtitis and wilson's disease is affected by zinc as zinc reduces its absorption and reduces its efficacy.
Chemotherapy drug cisplatin: Zince may increase the effects of cisplatin and increases teh latter's side effects.
According to scientific research on Vitamin C dosing :
The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are:
Infants up to 6 months old: 2 mg/day.
Infants and children 7 months to 3 years old: 3 mg/day
Children 4 to 8 years: 5 mg/day
Children 9 to 13 years: 8 mg/day
Girls 14 to 18 years: 9 mg/day
Boys and men age 14 and older: 11 mg/day
Women 19 and older: 8 mg/day
Pregnant women 14 to 18: 13 mg/day
Pregnant women 19 and older: 11 mg/day
Lactating women 14 to 18: 14 mg/day
Lactating women 19 and older: 12 mg/day.