Zinc: an ally in everyday life

Zinc is a trace element, a class of nutrients, pure mineral elements necessary for our body, but in very small quantities.

A deficiency not without risk

Recent data show that there may also be deficiencies in the populations of rich countries linked to poorly balanced diets in children and the elderly1. Also, there is a clear lack of zinc in nearly one third of the world’s population, mainly due to undernutrition2.

A deficit, even a slight one, has an impact on certain immune functions, which are responsible for defending against certain infections. It can induce increased sensitivity to certain bacterial infections (pneumonia) or viral infections (diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections). Zinc is important for reproductive health (spermatogenesis) and can be an effective treatment in some forms of acne3. It has also been shown that zinc deficiency can disturb the senses such as smell or taste and exacerbate irritability, which can also lead to depression4.

Vegetarians, be careful!

Zinc is mainly found in protein-rich elements such as red meat and seafood (the oyster is the known food richest in zinc). Zinc cannot be stored by the body, hence the need for some people, such as those on a diet without animal products, to take elemental supplements rich in zinc.

Recommendation

Since zinc is not synthesized by the body, it must be provided in sufficient quantities by our diet, however certain diets or lifestyles prevent a complete intake of zinc. For this reason, it is advisable to take a food supplement such as Chlorella +. Approximately 12mg/day of zinc for men and 10mg/day of zinc for women are recommended (see table)5.

Chlorella + is the only one with a natural 320mg/100g Zinc content. Taking four tablets per day will cover 90 to 95% of the recommended daily intake of zinc.

Dietary reference values for zinc

AgeSexZn mg
0-6 monthsM/W2
7-12 monthsM/W3
1-3 yearsM/W4
4-8 yearsM/W6
9-13 yearsM
W
9
9
14-18 yearsM
W
11
9
Adults (19-70 years)M
W
11
8
PregnancyW11 to 12
BreastfeedingW14
More than 70 yearsM
W
11
8

 


  1. Sandstead HH et al. Zinc deficiency in Mexican American children: influence of zinc and other micronutrients on T cells, cytokines, and antiinflammatory plasma proteins Am J Clin Nutr 2008;88:1067–73
  1. Lazzerini M, Effect of zinc supplementation on child mortality , Lancet, 2007; 370:1194-1195
  2. Orris L, Shalita AR, et al. Oral zinc therapy of acne. Absorption and clinical effect. Arch Dermatol1978;114:1018-20.
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796297/
  4. http://health.belgium.be/internet2Prd/groups/public/@public/@shc/documents/ie2divers/12352470_fr.pdf