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Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that serves many functions in the body and is essential for growth.  The benefits and functions of zinc include:

  1. Helps the body use carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  2. Improve the healing time of wounds.
  3. Help reduce the length and severity of colds.
  4. Help decrease cholesterol deposits.
  5. Help avoid prostate problems.
  6. Promote growth and mental alertness.

Sources: Meat, eggs, seafood (especially oysters), wheat germ, black-eyed peas, ground mustard.

Intake: The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for zinc can range anywhere from 9 mg/day to 15 mg/day depending on the person.

For males 14 and older, the RDA is 11 mg/day.

For females between 14-18 years old, the RDA is 9 mg/day and 8 mg/day for adult females.

For pregnant teens, the RDA increases to 13 mg/day and 11 mg/day for pregnant adults.  For those who are breast-feeding, it can be as high as 14 mg/day for teens and 12 mg/day for adults.

Side Effects – For those with a deficiency in zinc, symptoms may include impaired growth, birth defects, appetite loss, skin changes, and lower resistance for infections.

For those who take in too much zinc, the most profound side effect is impaired copper absorption.  Too much zinc can also lead to stomach issues as well as an impaired immune function.