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Zinc Deficiency?

As mentioned in a previous post on supporting your immune system, zinc is one of the key nutrients for overall health and wellbeing.  As a foundational supplement, you should be consuming 25-50mg of zinc each day.

How Do You Know If You Have A Zinc Deficiency?

One very simple at-home test you can do for yourself is the zinc taste test. (1,2)
1. Purchase a bottle of Aqueous Zinc (zinc sulfate).
2. Put one teaspoon in your mouth and hold/swish for 10 seconds. Swallow.
3. Pay attention to the taste or flavor you pick up over the next 10 to 20 seconds.

Pick one of the 4 following outcomes that best matches your experience. (1,3)

A.  An immediate, very strong, metallic taste means your zinc level are probably fine, and you can stick with 25-50mg of zinc per day.  You have optimal zinc health.
B.  A slight metallic taste prior to swallowing means your levels could use a boost, but aren’t drastically low, indicating adequate zinc level.
C.  A metallic taste that takes nearly the full 20 seconds to come on indicates a slight zinc deficiency.
D.  Absence of metallic taste or no taste, much like water, is a solid indicator of zinc deficiency.

Signs of Zinc Deficiency Include, But Are Not Limited To:

  • Frequent colds and flus
  • Hair loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Brain fog or slow thinking
  • Slow wound healing
  • Brittle nails or spots on nails
  • Low libido
  • Skin conditions
  • Poor sleep (5)

How To Address A Possible Zinc Deficiency

If you experienced B, C, or D, then you need to increase your intake of zinc to ensure you are adequately and optimally supporting your health and immune system.  Because zinc is an essential nutrient—not produced in the body–it needs to be consumed through food or supplements.  It is especially improtant to increase your zinc if you have any of the signs of zinc deficiency noted above.

The most common food sources of zinc include seafood, certain meats, and nuts.  Eggs are also a good source (2 large eggs ~1.3mg of zinc.) (4)

Otherwise, zinc can be taken in supplement form.  Here is my recommended source of Zinc, which can be purchased from many holistic healthcare providers (chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopathic physicians).  If you are part of Dr. Kalaba’s practice, this can be ordered for you and picked up at the office.


Dr. Kalaba is a chiropractor in Tucson, AZ, practicing gentle chiropractic care and providing health tips to help you live the best rest of your life.

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