Does your hair fall out and your nails are not as strong and thick as they used to be? You might have zinc deficiency. Zinc also known as the beauty vitamin is vital for keeping your skin healthy and young and your nails, hair and teeth strong and beautiful. More than this, zinc is an important nutrient for your immune system and it can also affect your libido. It is used by your body in more than 300 biochemical reactions that determine the hormone production, the protein synthesis and in general your overall wellbeing.
Unfortunately, despite its importance, most of us have zinc deficiency. Let’s see who are those people who suffer from it and what can be done to prevent or cure this condition.
Who’s at risk of deficiency?
Most people who follow a strict vegan or vegetarian diet suffer from zinc deficiency since this mineral is less available in plant-based foods than animal foods. More than this, they have high levels of phytic acid in their diet because they eat a lot of legumes, grains and whole wheat and this enzyme is known to reduce zinc absorption.
Heavy drinkers also have zinc deficiency and this can even cause a leaky gut, damaging in the same time the liver function and causing alcohol-related diseases.
Those who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or other deficiency that makes them shed their skin can also suffer from zinc deficiency.
And since red meat is considered to be the richest source of zinc available, those who avoid eating it can be at high risk of zinc deficiency as well.
Since zinc is a vital nutrient for our body, when its levels are depleted you can experience hair loss, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, abnormal taste, impotence, skin lesions, delayed wound healing, mental fatigue, delayed sexual maturation and many more diseases. Basically, your whole body is affected because it can’t produce new, healthy cells.
In short, this mineral is considered to be the genetic blueprint of your cells so if you’re having a zinc deficiency it can lead to a variety of physical ailments.
But let’s the signs of low zinc status that can ruin your looks
You’re losing your hair
Besides recurrent infections, hair loss is the main symptom of zinc deficiency. Your hair cells are the fastest growing cells in your body and they need a lot of energy and nutrients to maintain their activity. Zinc’s role in propelling your hair’s growth is multifaceted from the moment the DNA is creating, to the cells’ division and their protection against free radicals. So any interruption in this process can lead to hair loss or hair damage. More than this, zinc is responsible for your hair’s natural oils, keeping your scalp hydrated and warding off flakes or unwanted microbes. Essential in cellular replication as well, zinc can improve the protein absorption leading to healthier, thicker, glossier hair.
You have brittle nails with white spots on them
As you probably know, your nails can be a great indicator of your nutritional status so if you have cracking, brittle nails and damaged cuticles you probably lack some vital nutrients like biotin, vitamin B1 and zinc. Zinc deficiency also leads to those white spots on the nail or can slow down their growing process. We need a steady level of zinc in our organism for the growth of our nails’ cells and tissues so if you encounter some of these problems, start eating more zinc rich foods or take a zinc supplement.
- Your teeth aren’t exactly sparkling
Zinc can naturally be found in your saliva and it has the role of fighting against bacteria growth that can lead to gum tissues, decay teeth or gum disease. Essential for the health of your teeth, zinc can make them strong healthy and white. Zinc deficiency can also cause altered taste, odour sensitivity, mouth ulcers, inflamed gums and white tongue coating.
- You have mouth ulcers
Zinc deficiency can also cause oral ulceration so if you suffer from recurrent sores inside your mouth, on the inside of your lips or cheeks or even underneath your tongue, you should supplement your diet with zinc-rich foods. Studies have shown that zinc supplementation can decrease inflammation and maintain the integrity of your mucous membranes.
- You have spots or other skin issues
Because of its strong antioxidant and bacteria-fighting properties, zinc can work great for acne treatment, reducing their occurrence. Zinc reduces the inflammatory response when excess dead cells accumulate withing your skin glands and stops bacteria from invading those pores. According to Dermatology Research and Practice, this makes zinc a great solution for a wide range of skin conditions. Studies have suggested that most people who suffer from scabby skin, sores or marks that don’t heal fast enough suffer from zinc deficiency.
- Your bones are weak
Zinc together with calcium is an essential mineral that your bones need to grow and develop. This is the reason most people who follow a vegetarian diet can have reduced bone mineral density, slow bone healing and an increased risk for osteoporosis. Zinc is needed in bone metabolism to produce the collagen protein that is essential for bone growing and repair. This mineral is also very important for proper calcium absorption, providing a structural platform for bone formation.
Getting your daily zinc needs
Since our body can’t store zinc, it is very important to get this mineral from your diet. Red meat is the best source of easy absorbable zinc but if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you might need to take some supplements to make sure you maintain your healthy, glowing look. We recommend trying Youth Fountain, from ALLKME, a plant-based collagen enhancer that has amazing effects for your skin, hair and nails. This 100% natural formula can increase your skin’s elasticity and radiance, improve nail thickness and maintain the health of your hair follicles.