Signs you might be zinc deficient

December 24, 2015 0 Comments

Signs you might be zinc deficient

I get these little spots on my fingernails from time to time. Usually around the same time, I get bumps on the back of my arms too. It's taken me about 20 years to finally pull my finger out and do some research about why I'm getting these and I'm sure I'm not the only one so here's what I found.

It turns out that these are a classic sign of zinc deficiency. Other signs you may be deficient include:

  • Bad skin including acne, breakouts, dandruff, dermatitis and bumps on arms
  • Alopecia
  • Poor immune function - you're getting sick all the time
  • Diarrhoea
  • You're moody
  • Poor wound healing
  • Impotence and low sperm count
  • Increased risk of abortions
  • Loss of apetite
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Sleep problems
  • White spots on finger nails

Zinc is kind of a big deal in your body. It is an "essential" trace element meaning you need it to survive because it's needed for every cell, organ, bone and tissue in our body. Zinc is especially important for men as it is crucial for healthy sperm production and and prostate health. Unfortunately zinc is not stored in the body, so a regular dietary supply is necessary.

Zinc deficiency is actually quite a significant problem world wide with World Health Organization (WHO) ranking it as the 5th leading risk factor in causing disease worldwide.

If you are deficient the best way to know is to get a blood test with your health practitioner. If you are low you will most likely be advised to take a supplement to get those levels back up to good working order.

To boost your zinc levels naturally you may like to include more of these foods in your diet.

  • beef
  • bilberry
  • brewers yeast
  • capsicum
  • egg yolks
  • ginger
  • herring
  • liver
  • milk
  • lamb
  • oysters
  • sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • sea food
  • whole grains

(Source: The Nutrient Bible by Henry Osiecki)

So what causes Zinc deficiency?

The most obvious one is inadequate intake of zinc from your diet however there are many factors that will increase you body's demand of zinc these include:

  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Consumption of alcohol and alcoholism
  • Diabetes
  • Exercise
  • Hypertension
  • Increased thyroid activity
  • Viral infections
  • Vegan and vegetarian diets
  • sickle cell anemia
  • trauma
  • plus many others

There are certain lifestyle factors that may inhibit the absorption of zinc including iron supplementation, alcohol, certain drugs and coffee. A diet high in grain products may also affect how well you absorb zinc from foods because grains contain phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of zinc.

Remember I am not a doctor or a qualified nutritionist so any advice offered here is based on research and personal experience. If you feel like you may be zinc deficient please contact a health professional to ensure you get correct dosage and the right advise for you. 

 Image found via Pinterest on


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