Why is zinc good for you

More zinc for colds?


What should I look out for when using zinc?

So far there is no reliable evidence that zinc prevents colds. However, excessive zinc intake can have negative consequences. For example, it has been found that a zinc intake of 150-300 mg per day changes the white and red blood cells. The copper balance in the body can also be influenced in the short term.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has a for the use of zinc in food supplements Maximum amount of 6.5 mg per day recommended. This value already takes into account the intake from conventional foods. The BfR also recommends using food supplements more than 3.5 mg / day one Note on the packagingthat the consumption of other zinc-containing food supplements should be avoided.

Animal foods are good sources of zinc such as beef, poultry and pork, fish, cheese and eggs. However, due to their high fat and cholesterol content, they should only be consumed in moderation.

What does the body need zinc for?

Zinc is a so-called "trace element" which is necessary for humans. About 2 g are stored in the organism, most of it (approx. 70%) in bones, hair and skin. Zinc is also found in the eyes, liver and male reproductive organs. In contrast to other minerals, the body's zinc storage is quite small. That is why permanent intake through food is important.

The Reference values for the amount of zinc intake - i.e. what should be ingested with food per day depending on age and gender. Since 2019, however, the composition of the food has also been taken into account. That is the essential factor Phytate in food as it inhibits zinc absorption. Phytate is mainly found in legumes and whole grains. You can reduce the phytin levels by acidifying, soaking, and sprouting these foods.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a wholesome diet according to the 10 rules of the DGE (= medium phytate intake)

  • Women 8 mg of zinc per day and Men 14 mg zinc per day for an adequate supply.
  • Pregnant women in the first trimester you need 9 mg of zinc per day, from the fourth month on 11 mg per day.
  • Breastfeeding 13 mg per day. This higher requirement can also be met with normal food without any problems.

Zinc is part of more than 300 enzymes. It therefore also plays a role in almost all life processes: For example, in the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide, in the antioxidant defense or in the formation of red blood pigment. Zinc is even involved in the breakdown of alcohol. It is very important for the function of various hormones and for insulin storage and wound healing.

Because zinc is involved in so many processes, it has an impact defect in many different areas. In the case of a congenital zinc absorption disorder, what is known as "acrodermatitis enteropathica" occurs. This manifests itself in skin and mucous membrane injuries, diarrhea, increased susceptibility to infections, growth retardation and disorders in the nervous system. A mild zinc deficiency that has been acquired can lead to hair loss, decreased taste sensation, and loss of appetite.

A zinc deficiency is often caused by chronic diseases in the digestive tract. They lead to insufficient nutrients being absorbed. Deficiency symptoms can also occur with severe burns or in stressful situations.

However, zinc deficiency rarely occurs in Germany. Rather, the National Consumption Study II in 2008 showed that all age groups not only reached the value recommended by the DGE, but in some cases even exceeded it by a considerable amount.