Zinc – Benefits, Toxicity and, More 

Which food are high in zinc? Cashews are a good example. Food that zinc is present in, also include almonds.

Introduction to Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that is vital for the health and functioning of the human body. It plays a critical role in numerous physiological processes, including immune function, reproduction, wound healing, and DNA synthesis.

It is also necessary for the development and growth of the human body, throughout the ages.

Which food are high in zinc?

Here are some categories of food that zinc is found in;

  • Red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb
  • Poultry such as Chicken and turkey
  • Seafood including Oysters, crab, lobster, and shrimp
  • Beans and legumes including chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, and black beans
  • Nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and cashews
What’s zinc good for?
  • May improve brain function: Zinc is involved in the regulation of neurotransmitters, which are essential for proper brain function.
  • Supports healthy vision: It is important for the proper functioning of the retina and may help to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
  • May reduce inflammation: It has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce inflammation in the body.
  • May improve fertility: Zinc is important for the production of testosterone and may improve sperm quality and fertility in men.
  • Supports healthy skin and hair: It is involved in the production of collagen and keratin, which are important for healthy skin and hair.
  • Increase in muscle mass: While zinc is essential for many bodily processes, including protein synthesis, there is no evidence to suggest that it directly increases muscle mass on its own. However, a deficiency can lead to muscle wasting and impaired muscle function. Adequate zinc intake may be important for maintaining muscle mass and function, especially in older adults who are at risk of sarcopenia (age-related loss of muscle mass and strength).
Benefit of Zinc Supplement and Queries

Supplementing with it can be an efficient way to overcome any previously diagnosed deficiency that may be a cause of certain conditions. Let’s answer some common queries;

  • Is 50mg zinc too much? If you plan to take it daily, zinc dose must be adjusted as per your condition. For example, 50mg is too much for a relatively healthy individual, whereas, it is beneficial if there is a severe deficiency.
  • Side effects from zinc tablets? Due to consumer miscalculations, sensitivities, or intolerance, zinc may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches.
  • Dose for zinc supplement? Zinc supplements are available in a variety of standard dosages, such as 15mg, 20mg (most common), or higher such as 50mg.
  • Forms of zinc? As supplements, most commonly they come in the following forms;
    • Zinc Sulphate
    • Zinc Picolinate
    • Zinc Citrate
    • Zinc Acetate
Recommended Dietary Intake
                         Age/GenderDaily intake
Infants 0-6 months 2 mg/day
Infants 7-12 months 3 mg/day
Children 1-3 years: 3 mg/day
Children 4-8 years:5 mg/day
Children 9-13 years:8 mg/day
Adolescents 14-18 years (Boys)11 mg/day
Adolescents 14-18 years (Girls)9 mg/day
Adults 19 years and older (Men)11 mg/day
Adults 19 years and older (Women)8 mg/day

*These values are a reference point for healthy individuals, consult a healthcare professional before any supplementation*

 Deficiency Symptoms

The following symptoms may develop in people who are deficient in zinc;

  • Growth retardation
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Skin rashes
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Eye and vision problems
  • Impaired cognitive function


It is to be noted that zinc deficiencies are more common than you think. WHO estimated that nearly 31% world’s population is deficient, varying across different regions.


What zinc does if it is consumed in excess? It can lead to a variety of adverse effects, including:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Headache
  4. Anemia
  5. Abdominal pain
  6. Copper deficiency
  7. Reduced immune function


It’s important to note that excessive intake of zinc is more likely to occur from high-dose supplements or when large amounts of it are consumed over a long period of time which may also disrupt copper absorption. In case of deficiency or people who experience side effects with zinc, must consult their healthcare specialist.


About the Author

Moaz Farhan

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D) and Content Author at KeepUpFitness.

Leave a Reply