Could you be low in Zinc?

Zinc deficiency is considered to be one of the most widespread micronutrient deficiencies in the world, affecting an estimated 17% of the global population. After Iron, Zinc is the most abundantly distributed trace element in the body. And while a micronutrient, it is necessary for child development, wound healing, our immune systems and more.

It is important to note that symptoms of zinc deficiency can be difficult to identify, so many people may be unaware that they are deficient.

The signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency can vary depending on the severity of the deficiency, but some common signs include:

  1. Delayed growth and development in children
  2. Reduced immune function, leading to increased susceptibility to infections
  3. Poor wound healing
  4. Hair loss
  5. Loss of appetite and/or taste sensation
  6. Skin rash or lesions
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Impaired vision and night blindness
young woman worried about hair loss
Hair loss is just one of the signs of Zinc deficiency.

Some of these symptoms can be caused by other medical conditions as well, so it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. Individuals who suffer from malnutrition, alcoholism, inflammatory bowel disease, and malabsorption syndromes are at an increased risk of zinc deficiency.

Zinc is used in main body processes of protein and DNA synthesis and repair.

Protein synthesis: Zinc is necessary for the synthesis of proteins, including enzymes (almost 100!) and hormones.

DNA synthesis and repair: Zinc is involved in the replication and repair of DNA, the genetic material of the body.

An easy way to assess if you might be deficient in Zinc is the Zinc Tally test. 

The Zinc Tally Test is simple and quick. To perform the Zinc Tally Test:

  1. Purchase Zinc Tally Solution: You can purchase Zinc Tally Solution from a health food store or online. We use the Zinc Tally Solution by Metagenics. Patients of ours can order this on Fullscript.
  2. Perform the Test: Avoid eating or drinking anything for at least one hour before taking the test. Then, take a teaspoon of Zinc Tally Solution and hold it in your mouth for 10 seconds. 
  3. Interpret the results: If the Zinc Tally Solution has no taste or tastes like water, this indicates a possible zinc deficiency. If the solution tastes slightly sweet or has a metallic taste, your zinc levels are likely adequate.

It’s important to note that the Zinc Tally Test is not a definitive diagnostic tool and should be used as a preliminary indicator of zinc deficiency. If you suspect that you have a zinc deficiency, consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Your doctor can also run a blood test for RBC (red blood cell) zinc levels to assess for deficiency.

food sources of zinc
Some plant foods like legumes and whole grains are also good sources of zinc, but they also contain phytates that can bind to the mineral, lowering its absorption.

Good food sources of zinc are:

If a Zinc supplement is preferred, speak to your doctor about what dosage is recommended for you. Excess dosages can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients and can lead to nausea and vomiting.