Zinc Intake

Patient

Q: I purchased zinc supplements for health purposes. They were 50mg size. Is 50mg of zinc per day too much? I am nineteen and male.

Doctor

A:   Zinc is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism. It is required for the catalytic activity of approximately 100 enzymes and it plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence and is required for proper sense of taste and smell A daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state because the body has no specialized zinc storage system. Adequate and recommended intake: 8mg to 11 mg per day. Zinc toxicity can occur in both acute and chronic forms. Acute adverse effects of high zinc intake include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches

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