Zinc Deficiency

Zinc: Is an essential
trace element present in the bones, teeth, hair, skin, testes, liver, and
muscles. It also forms a vital component of many enzymes.
It promotes synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid ( DNA ), ribonucleic acid (RNA ), protein and maintains normal blood
concentrations of vitamin A by mobilizing it from the liver. This disorder
is most common in the underdeveloped countries, especially in the Middle
East.  Children are most susceptible to this deficiency during periods
of rapid growth, but with proper treatment, patients has a good outcome.

Zinc deficiency usually results from inadequate intake of foods high
in zinc, such as seafood, oatmeal, bran, meat, eggs, and nuts, or from
impaired absorption caused by short bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, or
pancreatic insufficiency.  It may also be due to excessive intake
of foods containing iron, calcium, vitamin D, and the fiber and phytates
in cereals, that bind zinc to form insoluble chelates that prevent its
absorption.  It occasionally can results from blood loss caused by
parasitism.  Alcohol, cirrhosis, dialysis, burns, draining wounds,
and corticosteroids increase renal excretion of zinc.


Enlargement of the liver and spleen (hepatosplenomegaly)

Sparse hair growth

Soft and misshapen nails


Hyposmia (decreased odor acuity)

Dysosmia (unpleasant odor in nasopharynx)

Severe iron deficiency anemia

Bone deformities

Chronic form:  hypogonadism (decrease functional activity of
the gonads, with retardation of growth and sexual development)

dwarfism and hyper pigmentation.

Protein malnutrition and poor wound healing may occur


Correcting the underlying cause of the deficiency
Zinc supplements
A balanced diet
Correct use of calcium and iron supplements.

Diet consists of seafood, oatmeal, bran, meat, eggs, nuts and dry yeast.

When taking zinc supplements, take with meals to prevent gastric distress and vomiting.

Dairy products may hinder zinc absorption

Avoid excess intake of zinc, which can cause GI discomfort.

* With any and all medications, use as prescribed by your doctor.