Do you have ridges on your nails?
You may be deficient in ZINC
What is Zinc?
The signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency include anorexia, growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, hypogonadism and hypospermia, alopecia, immune disorders, dermatitis, night blindness, impaired taste (hypogeusia), and impaired wound healing. The first signs of zinc deficiency in marginally nourished children are suboptimal growth, anorexia, and impaired taste. The most serious manifestations of zinc deficiency were reported in Iranian dwarfs. These adolescent boys, who consumed large amounts of clay, were retarded in growth and sexual development and had anemia, hypogonadism, hepatosplenomegaly, rough skin, and mental lethargy. After treatment with a well-balanced diet containing adequate amounts of zinc for 1 yr, pubic hair appeared, sexual organs increased in size, linear growth was resumed, and the skin became normal. The anemia responded to iron supplements. Zinc deficiency develops in some patients with cirrhosis because the ability to retain zinc is lost.
Biochemical signs associated with zinc deficiency include decreased levels of plasma zinc (< 70 µg/dL [< 10.7 µmol/L]), alkaline phosphatase, alcohol dehydrogenase in the retina (which accounts for night blindness), and plasma testosterone as well as impaired T-lymphocyte function, decreased collagen synthesis (resulting in poor wound healing), and decreased RNA polymerase activity in several tissues.
Clinical assessment of mild zinc deficiency is difficult because many of the signs and symptoms are nonspecific. Nonetheless, if a malnourished person has a borderline-low plasma zinc level, is subsisting on a high fiber and phytate diet containing whole-grain bread (which reduces zinc absorption), and has reduced taste sensitivity, an impaired lymphocyte response to mitogens, and reduced gonadal hormone function, then zinc deficiency should be suspected, and treatment with zinc supplements (15 to 25 mg/day) should be tried.
Maternal zinc deficiency may cause anencephaly in the fetus. Secondary deficiency occurs in liver disease, in malabsorption states, and during prolonged parenteral nutrition. Night blindness and mental lethargy may be features.
Find out more about Zinc
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