The trace element zinc plays an important role in our body in various metabolic processes as a component of enzymes (regulatory substances). It is important, among other things, for the growth of the skin as well as for insulin storage. It is also involved in wound healing and immunological processes. If you take enough zinc, it strengthens your body's defenses.
Recommended daily dose
The recommended daily dose of zinc is seven milligrams (for women) to ten milligrams (for men), for pregnant and breastfeeding women it is a bit higher with ten to eleven milligrams.
Ten milligrams of zinc are included in:
- 13 grams of oysters
- 40 grams of rye germ
- 70 grams of wheat germ
- 100 grams of calf's liver
- 135 grams of corned beef
- 170 grams of nuts
- 170 grams of hard cheese
- 200 grams of oatmeal
- 235 grams of wheat
- 235 grams of meat
An overdose with zinc is hardly possible in everyday life, because zinc is practically non-toxic even at high doses.
However, prolonged zinc intake can have negative health consequences. Therefore, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) recommends to take a maximum of 6.5 milligrams of zinc a day through dietary supplements in case of insufficient dietary zinc intake.
Zinc deficiency can cause symptoms such as loss of appetite, increased susceptibility to infections, delayed wound healing, disorders of taste and smell, hair loss and characteristic skin changes. In childhood, growth disorders can also occur.
Those at particular risk of zinc deficiency are those with an increased need for zinc (for example, pregnant women) or an increased loss of zinc (for example, athletes). Likewise older people, who take in the diet often too little zinc, belong to the risk group. In addition, vegetarians and vegans also have an increased risk of zinc deficiency, as their body can use zinc poorly through the plant's diet.