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Roles of Zinc in the body

Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It is needed for the body’s defensive (immune) system to properly work. It plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

Zinc deficiency is characterized by growth retardation, loss of appetite, and impaired immune function. In more severe cases, zinc deficiency causes hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, impotence, hypogonadism in males, and eye and skin lesions.

Symptoms of Zinc Toxicity

Symptoms of zinc poisoning can be very serious and warrant immediate medical attention. These symptoms tend to be generalized (involving your entire body) and can make you feel very sick.

Common symptoms of zinc poisoning include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting or change in the level of consciousness
  • Fever and chills
  • Inability to urinate
  • Metallic taste
  • Seizures
  • Shock
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

Good Sources of Zinc

Nuts and seeds, shellfish, cereal products such as wheat germ. Though they contain zinc, dairy products are acid-forming so not a good source.

Dr. Stewart's Recommendation

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