Adequate zinc levels are essential for the healthy functioning of every cell in our bodies. The beneficial effects of zinc are extensive due to its involvement in so many biochemical reactions. Zinc is essential for growth and physical development, in CNS function, and for the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The highest concentrations of zinc are in the ear and eye. While some individuals are poor absorbers of this mineral, most cases of zinc deficiency are due to poor diet, chronic stress,
vegetarianism, or excessive alcohol intake. Some deficiencies result from exposure to toxic metals such as cadmium from cigarettes or excess copper from copper-lined tap water pipes. Severe deficiency is associated with skin changes, diarrhea, hair loss, mental disturbances, and recurrent infections. Marginal zinc deficiency may be manifested in poor wound healing, diabetes, prostate
enlargement, cataracts, ulcers, food allergies, toxic metal accumulation, osteoporosis, decreased sense of taste or smell, skin disorders including acne, eczema, and psoriasis, hearing impairments, and blood sugar imbalances
Stress lowers zinc body stores and leaves one vulnerable to immune weakness, fertility problems, acne, depression and other symptoms of elevated copper, potential prostate problems and Alzheimer’s disease. The Canadian Mental Health Association reports rising levels of stress – even as much as a 30% increase in stress perceived among Canadians from 2008-2009. A Zinc Tally Test is a simple way to estimate zinc status —see your health care provider to perform this test.
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