Zinc - properties, occurrence, deficiency, excess

Zinc is an essential element for the health of the immune system, the skin and the wound healing process.

Ludwig Jelonek - AuthorAuthorLudwig Jelonek
Ludwig Jelonek - Author
AuthorLudwig Jelonek
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Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

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Alexandra Cudna-Bartnicka - Reviewed byReviewed byAlexandra Cudna-Bartnicka
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Alexandra Cudna-Bartnicka - Reviewed by
Reviewed byAlexandra Cudna-Bartnicka
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Clinical nutritionist whose main area of interest is nutrition in diseases and functional disorders of the digestive system.

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Michael Tomaszewski - Edited byEdited byMichael Tomaszewski
Michael Tomaszewski - Edited by
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Michael Tomaszewski
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Graduate of Journalism and Artes Liberales at the University of Warsaw. Since 2017, he has been working with the biggest portals in Poland and abroad as an editor. Previously worked for 3 years in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies - he knows the health and beauty industry inside out. In his free time, he most enjoys playing tennis or skiing.

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Zinc - properties, occurrence, deficiency, excess
29 April, 2024
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Zinc is a mineral essential for the health of our body. It influences DNA formation, cell growth and also supports the immune system. From this article you will learn more about the properties and occurrence of zinc, as well as the symptoms of zinc deficiency or excess.

Do you like oysters? They are the richest source of zinc in foods. In 100 grams of these shellfish you will find as much as 91 mg of zinc. But if you don't like them, don't worry. Together with clinical nutritionist Joanna Serwinska-Jania, we have prepared the perfect recipe to supply you with zinc. Interested? Interested? Just read on! 

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Description of contents:

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  1. What is zinc?
  2. .
  3. Properties of zinc?
  4. .
  5. Zinc requirements
  6. .
  7. In which products is zinc present?
  8. .
  9. Zinc deficiency
  10. .
  11. Zinc excess
  12. .
  13. Zinc supplementation
  14. .
  15. Zinc during pregnancy
  16. .
  17. Zinc and alcohol
  18. .
  19. Zinc interactions with medications
  20. .
  21. Summary
  22. .
Glow Stories - for healthy skin, hair and nails .

Glow Stories - for skin, hair and nail health

.

Product with high-quality folic acid Quatrefolic®, bamboo shoot extract and ingredients that have a positive effect on skin, hair and nails.

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See also:

What is zinc?

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Zinc  is an essential mineral found throughout the bodyand. It is responsible for the immune system, metabolism, as well as the sense of taste and smell. Zinc must be obtained through the diet - the body is incapable of producing and storing this element. 

Role in the body

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Zinc is a mineral necessary for the body to function properly. It is the second  most abundant  micronutrient in our bodyand. It is preceded only by iron, and zinc itself is present in every cell of the body. It is responsible for the function of over  300  enzymes that support digestion, metabolism, nerve function and other processesand.

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The elements in our body are divided into macronutrients and micronutrients. There are many more macronutrients than micronutrients. These include elements such as bone-building calcium. Zinc belongs to the micronutrients; its quantities in the body are much lower than, for example, the aforementioned calcium.
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Aleksandra Cudna.

Aleksandra CudnaDietitian

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Properties of zinc

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You already know what zinc is and its role in the body. However, it is its properties that are most important. What function does zinc have in our body?

Promotes the immune system

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Zinc is helpful in maintaining the health of the immune systemand. The results of seven studies suggest, that supplementation with 80-92 mg of zinc per day can reduce the duration of a cold by up to  33 per cent . It doesn't stop there, zinc supplements reduce the risk of infection and also strengthen the immune system in  older people. 

You may be interested in: Vitamin C - what it is, properties, effects, deficiency

Reduces inflammation

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The effects of chronic  inflammation  can be cardiovascular disease or cancerand. Zinc reduces oxidative stress and has an  anti-inflammatory effect .

Reduces the risk of disease

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Zinc may  prevent  the onset of some diseasesand, especially in older people. Studies suggest that supplementation with this element improves  mental performance , and also reduces  the risk of pneumonia . What's more, supplementation with 45 mg of zinc a day can reduce the risk of infection (among older people) by just under  66 per cent .

Promotes wound healing

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Zinc  plays an important function in the synthesis of collagenand. This is why it is often used in hospitals to treat burns, ulcers or other skin injuries. Zinc deficiency can slow down wound healing, and supplementation with zinc speeds up recovery. This is confirmed by one study in which patients with ulcers were healed  much faster with the help of zincand

Vitamin E also promotes wound healing. Would you like to learn more about it? Take a look at my article: Vitamin E - properties, effects, occurrence, dosage

Helps treat acne 

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Acne is a skin condition that affects 9.4%and all people. It is led to by inflammation, hormonal changes, or sebaceous gland dysfunction. Research suggests, that supplementation with zinc may reduce inflammation  and therefore, treat acne .

You may be interested in: Facial collagen - ranking, effects, use [TOP 10]

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How else does zinc work?

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  • Helps treat diarrhoea in infantsand.

  • Prevents osteoporosis .

  • Improves men's sex lives .

  • Alleviates symptoms of ADHD .

  • Improves infant growth in the first months of life .

Zinc requirements

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Daily zinc requirements depend on your age. How much zinc do you need to provide for yourself and your children?

Children

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Age

Daily zinc requirements*and

0-6 months

2 mg

7-11 months

3 mg

1-3 years

3 mg

4-9 years

5 mg

10-12 years

8 mg

13-18 years old girls

9 mg

13-18 years old boys

11 mg

*nutrition standards for the Polish population

Adults

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For adult men  the  zinc requirement is 11 mg, when women only need 8 mgand. The requirement increases during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Expectant women should take 12 or 11 mg of zinc, consecutively until and after the age of 19. Conversely, during breastfeeding, the requirement increases to 13 and 12 mg respectively.

Maximum dose

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Everyone should adhere to the recommended daily dose of zinc. Nevertheless, it is also worth mentioning the upper limit. What are the healthy limits of zinc supplementation?"

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Age

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Maximum daily intake of zinc*and

0-12 months

No data available

1-3 years

7 mg

4-6 years

10 mg

7-10 years

13 mg

11-14 years

18 mg

15-17 years

22 mg

>17 years

25 mg

*nutrition standards for the Polish population

Glow Stories - for healthy skin, hair and nails .

Glow Stories - for skin, hair and nail health

.

Product with high-quality folic acid Quatrefolic®, bamboo shoot extract and ingredients that have a positive effect on skin, hair and nails.

See more

In which products is zinc found?

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Not keen on the aforementioned oysters? Not lost! Here are 10 products where you'll find the most zinc. 

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Product

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Zinc content per 100 grams

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Ostrygiand

91 mg

Pumpkin seeds and

7.81 mg

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Craband

7.62 mg

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Homarand

7.27 mg

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Cashew nutsand

5.78 mg

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Beefand

4.58 mg

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Chickpeasand

2.72 mg

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Chicken legand

2.43 mg

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Porkand

2.09 mg

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Tofuand

1.57 mg

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The main sources of zinc in the diet of Poles are cereal products (30-40%) and meat, processed meats and fish (28-34%). Large amounts of zinc are also found in nuts, seeds, baker's yeast, rennet cheeses and pulses. Zinc is absorbed from the diet in 20-40%, but this value increases in case of deficiency.
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Aleksandra Cudna.

Aleksandra CudnaDietitian

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Tasty salad, or a solid dose of zinc from a nutritionist!

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With clinical nutritionist Joanna Serwinska-Jania we have a tasty and healthy suggestion for you. Salmon, egg and pumpkin seed salad will provide you with plenty of zinc. The preparation time for this dish is just 15 minutes. 

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What ingredients will you need to stock up on?

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  • Spinach: 50 g (two handfuls)

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  • Egg: 50 g (one piece)

  • Smoked salmon: 50 g

  • Fresh cucumber: 45 g

  • Red peppers: 57.5 g

  • Olives: 45 g (one handful)

  • Pumpkin seeds: 20 g (two tablespoons)

  • Sunflower seeds: 10 g (one tbsp)

  • Black pepper: 0.3 g (one pinch)

  • Salt: 0.3 g (one pinch)

  • Olive oil: 10 g (one tablespoon)

  • Honey: 4 g (half a teaspoon)

After shopping, it will be time for preparation. Not a master in the kitchen? Don't worry, your salad will be ready in seven easy steps!

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  1. Rinse and chop the spinach.

  2. .
  3. Hard-boil the egg (about 8-10 minutes).

  4. Cook the spinach.
  5. Tear the salmon into smaller pieces.

  6. Tear the salmon into smaller pieces.
  7. Dice the cucumber and peppers.

  8. Dice the salmon.
  9. Fine-mix all the ingredients together.

  10. There is no need to use any of the ingredients.
  11. Prepare the sauce: mix the olive oil with the honey, salt and pepper.

  12. Prepare the sauce: mix the olive oil with the honey, salt and pepper.

  13. Prepare the sauce.
  14. Pour the dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the chopped nuts. 

  15. Pour the dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.

Are you curious about what a salad by nutritionist Joanna Serwinska-Jani will provide you with? Here is a table where you can find the most important information: 

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Kcal

510.49

Protein

27.84 g

Fat

39.17 g

Carbohydrates

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17.06 g

Zinc

3.52 mg

Niacin

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6.33 mg

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Zinc deficiency

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You are not following a balanced diet?  Zinc deficiency  occurs worldwide, and it is inadequate diet that is the main reasonand. Despite the fact that a lack of this element is the most common complaint of people in developing countries, it is worth knowing the symptoms of zinc deficiency in the body. What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?

Symptoms

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Zinc is a valuable trace element without which our body is unable to function. That is why its deficiency will quickly translate into the following symptoms.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency in the body:

  • weakening of the immune systemand,

  • unintended weight loss ,

  • unintentional vision ,

  • slower wound healing ,

  • skin lesions ,

  • smell and taste abnormalities ,

  • loss of appetite .

Have you noticed these symptoms in yourself? If so, see your doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise you will put yourself at risk of serious consequences of zinc deficiency. 

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Restricted zinc absorption is affected by the presence of phytates, fibre, oxalates and certain minerals (e.g. copper, calcium) in the body. This process can also be impaired by excessive alcohol consumption.
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Agata GrzelaczykDietitian

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How to tell if you have a zinc deficiency? You can check the concentration of zinc in your body by doing blood tests. 

Effects

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In the long term, untreated zinc deficiency is very dangerous. What does it lead to?

Effects of zinc deficiency in the body:

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  • Stunting of growthand,

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  • recurring infections ,

  • .
  • hypogonadism (defect of the reproductive system) ,

  • skin disorders such as cheilitis ,

  • .
  • low bone density ,

  • .
  • increased risk of diabetes and obesity .

Zinc excess: symptoms

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The upper level of daily zinc intake is  40 mg   for an adult. In most people, this dose will not cause side effects. Despite the fact that oysters contain significantly more zinc, there have been no reported cases of zinc poisoning from food sources to date. Zinc overdose can, however, occur when we use unreasonable supplementation. 

Symptoms of excess zinc in the body:

  • nausea and vomitingand,

    .
  • flu-like symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) ,

  • low levels of good cholesterol (HDL) ,

  • stomach problems (abdominal pain, diarrhea) ,

  • frequent infections ,

  • .
  • headaches ,

  • loss of appetite ,

  • nausea ,

  • copper deficiency .

Note!

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Any person who experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above should see a doctor. Do not treat yourself on your own. Don't wait until "tomorrow". Don't listen to people who tell you that "it will go away soon". It's your health - take care of it.

Cync - supplementation

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A balanced diet is the key to health. However, sometimes it is necessary to support oneself with supplements. Zinc comes in the form of capsules, tablets or liquids. The form of administration depends on one's preference.

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Who should take it?

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Zinc supplementation is only recommended for people who are at risk of zinc deficiency. This most commonly includes the elderly, vegetarians, and pregnant and breastfeeding women. Taking zinc can also be beneficial for people who have problems with their immune system.

.

Please note!

Healthy and safe supplementation should only be recommended by a specialist.

Glow Stories - for healthy skin, hair and nails .

Glow Stories - for skin, hair and nail health

.

Product with high-quality folic acid Quatrefolic®, bamboo shoot extract and ingredients that have a positive effect on skin, hair and nails.

See more

Side effects

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Supplements  containing zinc are most often well toleratedand. Nevertheless, side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea or vomiting may occur in some cases. In most cases, these are the result of exceeding the safe dose of zinc. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations and supplementation will bring the expected results.

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Prolonged supplementation with zinc in large quantities leads to a weakened immune system, reduced blood levels of HDL cholesterol, and impaired absorption and metabolism of copper and iron.
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Agata GrzelaczykDietitian

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Zinc in pregnancy

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Zinc  is important for the health of pregnancyand. Its  adequate  levels reduce premature birthsand. The baby needs zinc for cell growth, DNA production and brain development. Pregnant women have a higher daily requirement of zinc - 12 mg until the age of 19 and 11 mg after the age of 19.

Zinc and breastfeeding

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Zinc  is one of the components of human milkand. It is with the milk that infants receive this valuable element for the first months of life. Mothers who are breastfeeding should ensure that their bodies have an adequate concentration of zinc. The requirement during this period is 13 mg for women up to 19 years of age and 12 mg for women who are 19 years of age or older. 

Zinc and alcohol

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People who abuse  alcohol  may suffer from zinc deficiencyand. Research suggests that consumption of alcoholic beverages leads to reduced zinc levels in the gut, lungs, liver and brain. Long-term zinc deficiency in these organs can lead to dangerous inflammation, which is the cause of numerous diseases.

Interactions of zinc with drugs

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Zinc can react with certain medications. Certain groups of people should be particularly vigilant. 

Zinc interacts with:

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    .
  • quinolone and tetracycline antibioticsand,

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  • penicillamine ,

  • .
  • diuretics .

Are you taking these or other medications? Do not, under any circumstances, start zinc supplementation on your own!

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See also:

Summary

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Remember:

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  • Zinc is the second most abundant micronutrient in our body.
  • It is the most abundant micronutrient in our body.
  • Promoting the immune system, healing wounds faster and supporting the treatment of acne are some of the properties of zinc.
  • The following are some of the properties of zinc.
  • Most zinc can be found in oysters, pumpkin seeds or crab meat.
  • .
  • Women's requirement for zinc is 8 mg per day and men's is 11 mg.
  • .
  • Taking more than 25 mg of zinc on a single day can cause side effects.
  • It is important to be aware of the effects of zinc deficiency.
  • Zinc deficiency manifests itself as weight loss, blurred vision or disturbances in smell and taste.
  • Excess zinc causes stomach problems, headaches and lowers immunity.
  • .
  • Zinc supplementation should be recommended by a specialist.
  • .
  • The requirement for zinc increases during pregnancy and lactation.
  • The need for zinc increases during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Zinc may interact with some medications.
  • .

FAQ

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. When to take zinc - morning or evening?.

Supplements (e.g. zinc tablets) are most effective when taken one hour before or two hours after a meal. However, if you have stomach problems and zinc supplementation causes stomach upset - take the tablets with a meal.

. What flushes zinc out of the body?.

The most common cause of zinc deficiency in the body is a poor diet. Other aspects that can negatively affect the concentration of this mineral are excessive consumption of alcohol or fibre. Genetic predisposition, diseases of the digestive tract or the use of certain drugs (e.g. anti-epileptic drugs) also lead to zinc deficiency.

. How much zinc to take per day?.

Daily zinc requirements change with age. Adult women should take 8 mg of zinc and men 11 mg. Note, these values include both zinc taken with diet and supplements.

. What products contain zinc?.

Everyone should take zinc with their diet. The richest foods in this mineral are:

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  • ostridges,
  • .
  • pumpkin seeds,
  • .
  • homar,
  • .
  • crab,
  • .
  • cashew nuts,
  • .
  • beef,
  • .
  • pork,
  • .
. Which fruits are high in zinc?.

Most fruits are not the best sources of zinc. However, some of them can provide the body with this mineral. The best fruit sources of zinc:

  • avocados,
  • .
  • blueberries,
  • .
  • granate,
  • .
  • raspberries,
  • .
  • cantaloupe,
  • .
  • peach,
  • .
  • kiwi,
  • .
  • blueberries,
  • .
. What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency in the body?

When something goes wrong in the body, it usually sends us specific signals. It is no different with zinc deficiency. The most common symptoms of zinc deficiency in the body are:

  • weakening of the immune system,
  • .
  • loss of weight,
  • .
  • skin changes,
  • .
  • problems with vision,
  • loss of appetite,
  • lack of appetite.
  • loss of appetite,
  • .
. Do you get fat after zinc?.

There is no direct link between zinc intake and weight gain. Nevertheless, some dietary supplements containing zinc may also have other ingredients in their composition, such as carbohydrates, fats and sugars. In excess, these can lead to weight gain.

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Sources

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. See all.

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