Dr Zoe reveals which supplements to take
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The NHS says zinc helps with making new cells and enzymes, processing carbohydrate, fat and protein in food and wound healing. The health body says: “Taking high doses of zinc reduces the amount of copper the body can absorb. This can lead to anaemia and weakening of the bones.”
The Mayo Clinic says zinc is a nutrient found throughout your body, which helps your immune system and metabolism function.
Zinc is also important to wound healing and your sense of taste and smell.
The health body states: “With a varied diet, your body usually gets enough zinc. Food sources of zinc include chicken, red meat and fortified breakfast cereals.
“People use oral zinc to help treat colds, but it can decrease the effectiveness of certain drugs and cause side effects.”It continues: “When oral zinc is taken long term and in high doses it can cause copper deficiency.”
READ MORE: Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms – the three unusual signs you need more B12 in your diet
It adds: “People with low copper levels might experience neurological issues, such as numbness and weakness in the arms and legs.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) considers 40 mg of zinc a day to be the upper limit dose for adults and 4 mg of zinc a day for infants under age six months.
The NIH says: “Oral zinc supplements might benefit people with low levels of zinc. Taken soon after cold symptoms appear, zinc might also shorten the length of a cold.“However, don’t use intranasal zinc, which has been linked with the loss of the sense of smell.”
The recommended daily amount of zinc is 8 milligrams (mg) for women and 11 mg for adult men.
The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) says zinc deficiency is characterised by loss of appetite, and impaired immune function.
The ODS says: “In more severe cases, zinc deficiency causes hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, impotence, hypogonadism in males, and eye and skin lesions.
“Weight loss, delayed healing of wounds, taste abnormalities, and mental lethargy can also occur.”
It adds: “Many of these symptoms are non-specific and often associated with other health conditions; therefore, a medical examination is necessary to ascertain whether a zinc deficiency is present.”
The organisation says severe zinc deficiency depresses immune function.
The NHS says good sources of zinc include:
- Dairy foods
- Cereal products.
The Department of Health and Social Care says you should be able to get all the zinc you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
It says if you take zinc supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.
“Do not take more than 25mg of zinc supplements a day unless advised to by a doctor.”
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