Zinc in nutrition

Zinc is an essential micronutrient that humans need to stay healthy. This element ranks second after iron in terms of concentration in the body.  

Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It is necessary for the protection of the body, for the optimal functioning of the immune system. Zinc plays an important role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, as well as carbohydrate digestion.  

Zinc is also essential for the senses of smell and taste. During fetal development, infancy and childhood, the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly.

Taking zinc supplements makes sense for the following reasons. Taking zinc supplements for at least 5 months may reduce the risk of getting a cold.

Starting zinc supplements within 24 hours of the onset of a cold can help alleviate symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness.

Protein-rich foods are also high in zinc. Good sources of zinc are nuts, whole grains, legumes, and yeast.

Zinc is found in most multivitamin and mineral supplements. These supplements contain zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, or zinc acetate. It is not yet clear which form is better absorbed.

Zinc is also found in some medications, such as nasal sprays and gels.

Zinc deficiency symptoms:

Frequent infections Hypogonadism in men Hair loss Poor appetite Problems with taste Sense of smell Problems with smell Skin ulcers Slow growth Poor night vision Wounds that do not heal well

Zinc supplements in large amounts cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting, usually within 3 to 10 hours of an overdose. Symptoms disappear within a short period after stopping the supplement.

People using nasal sprays and gels that contain zinc may experience side effects such as loss of smell.  

Zinc Consumption Norms


0 – 6 months – 2 mg / day 7 – 12 months – 3 mg / day


1 – 3 years – 3 mg / day 4 – 8 years – 5 mg / day 9 – 13 years – 8 mg / day  

Teenagers and adults

Men aged 14 and over 11 mg/day Women aged 14 to 18 years 9 mg/day Women 19 years and over 8 mg/day Women 19 years and over 8 mg/day

The best way to get your daily requirement of essential vitamins and minerals is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods.  


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