• Skin – skin oil gland function
  • Critical for healthy male sex hormone and prostate function
  • Critical for immune system function
  • Enables protein synthesis and cell growth leading to wound healing
  • Hormone synthesis (adrenal hormones) and hormone activity and receptor site function (adrenal, growth hormone, thymic hormones, insulin)
  • Heart and cardiovascular support – protects against damage to blood vessel walls
  • Maintenance of vision, taste and smell
Source and function notes
  • Zinc is high in whole grains, legumes and nuts: soak and sprout legumes and nuts and make Zinc more bio-available – so see my posts soak your nuts! and bean cooking and sprouting!
  • Safety band – as Zinc and Copper compete for absorption
  • Depleted in refined products
  • Levels in body depleted by lack of exercise
  • The best supplement = zinc picolinate
Vegetable sources green peas; parsley; potatoes; garlic; cauliflower; spinach; cabbage; lettuce; cucumber
Fruit sources Grape juice
Nut and seed sources Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, hazelnuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Olive oil

Coconut milkCocoa

Amaranth SeedsChia SeedsHemp SeedsQuinoa Seed, Pumpkin and squash seeds, Sesame seedsSunflower seeds

Spice and herb sources Ginger root; black pepper, mustard, paprika, chilli powder, thyme, Cinnamon
Absorption and factors leading to deficiency
  • Absorption inhibited by
    • excess copper in the diet
    • non-organic iron in food
    • calcium in dietary supplements
    • alcohol
    • infection and surgery
  • Smokers are often Zinc deficient
  • Stress enhances excretion
Deficiency factors
  • Skin changes and disorders; hair loss; diarrhea
  • Recurrent infections and slow wound healing
  • Reduced appetite and loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Night blindness
Toxicity and dangers Excess depresses immune system and causes dizziness, vomiting, lethargy, and anaemia (due to excess zinc causing copper deficiency)

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

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