Zinc is a metallic chemical element that is also called as spelter, referring to zinc alloys.
In some aspects, zinc is chemically similar to magnesium as both of them have ions that have similar size and common oxidation state of positive two.
It is the 24th most abundant element found in the crust of the Earth and has five stable isotopes.
The role that Zinc plays on the body
As an essential trace element for all living organisms, zinc is involved in several aspects of cellular metabolism. It is needed in different catalytic activity of about 100 enzymes and also aids in keeping healthy immune system, wound healthy, cell division, protein synthesis, and DNA synthesis. Zinc plays a role in the growth and development during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy; and is needed for having proper sense of smell and taste. Since the body has no specialized storage system for this mineral a daily zinc dosage or consumption of this mineral is required.
The importance of zinc in public health and human nutrition was recognized relatively recently. In humans, deficiency of this mineral was first described in 1961, when having a consumption of low availability of zinc because of high phytic acid content was linked with adolescent nutritional dwarfism” in the Middle East. Zinc deficiency was recognized as an important public health issue, particularly in developing countries, as stated by numerous experts.
The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) which was developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the formerly known National Academy of Sciences, now referred as the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, provided the daily recommendations for the consumption of zinc and other nutrients. DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used for the assessment and planning of nutrient intake of healthy individuals. Such values vary depending on the age, gender and condition of the person.
Recommended Dietary Allowance Zinc Dosage
Individuals who are at risk of zinc deficiency include infants, children, and pregnant and lactating women. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for zinc dosage is based on numerous indicators of zinc nutritional status since a sensitive indicator of zinc nutritional status is not readily available. It represents that the daily consumption are more likely to prevent deficiency in nearly all individuals in a specific age and gender group.
|0 to 6 months||2 (AI)||2 (AI)|
|7to 12 months||3||3|
|1 to 3 years||3||3|
|4 to 7 years||5||5|
|9 to 13 years||8||8|
|14 to 18 years||9||11|
|19 years and older||8||11|
|Pregnant 18 years and younger||12||–|
|Pregnant 19 years and older||11||–|
|Lactating 18 years and younger||13||–|
|Lactating 19 years and older||12||–|
Insufficient intake can lead to severe zinc deficiency. Much of what is known about this condition was derived from the study of patients born with a genetic disorder resulting from the impaired uptake and transport of zinc, known as acrodermatitis enteropathica. The symptoms of this condition include delayed sexual maturation, chronic and severe diarrhea, wing or cessation of growth and development, characteristic skin rashes, diminished appetite, behavioral disturbances, impaired wound healing, immune system deficiencies, swelling and clouding of the corneas, night blindness, and impaired taste sensation. Milder deficit of zinc have symptoms that are related to numerous health problems, particularly common among infants and children who live in developing countries.
In order to prevent zinc deficiency, it is best to have a regular intake of foods that are good sources of this mineral. Such foods that include a good zinc dosage include oysters, beef, yogurt, beans, almonds, cashews, pork, chicken, and turkey.