Advertisement

Could I be deficient in zinc?

Most nutritional sources say you’re probably getting enough zinc to keep your skin glowing. And that may be true unless you are:
  • vegetarian
  • breastfeeding
  • cutting back on cholesterol
  • eating a lot of processed foods
  • taking calcium supplements
  • suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • trying to lose weight
  • taking iron supplements
A lot of things can either drain the body’s supplies (breastfeeding) or interfere with zinc’s absorption (almost everything else; calcium supplements alone can cut it in half).

That adds up to a lot of itchy, flaky skin complaints that could be linked to a lack of zinc. Zinc is one of those workhorse nutrients that’s involved in almost every biochemical reaction in your body, but it’s especially important for skin cell renewal. Zinc isn’t hard to find -- shellfish, lean ham, beef, and lamb are full of it (which is why vegetarians need to work a bit harder to get enough). As the preceding list shows, it’s easy to throw off zinc levels. A lot of things can either drain the body’s supplies (breastfeeding) or interfere with zinc’s absorption (almost everything else; calcium supplements alone can cut it in half). How much zinc do you need, and how can you get enough to keep your skin young? The recommended daily value is 15 mg, the amount in most multivitamins. Aim to get a little more, especially if you’re dealing with anything on the list.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

Continue Learning about Minerals

Calcium Where You Least Expect It
Calcium Where You Least Expect It
If you don't do dairy -- or dairy doesn't agree with you -- it's easy to get your calcium in pills. But you miss the extras that you get by eating foo...
Read More
What can cause high selenium levels?
Dariush Mozaffarian, MDDariush Mozaffarian, MD
The amount of selenium in foods varies widely, as it depends on the selenium content of the soil whe...
More Answers
What does cobalt do?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Working with vitamin B12, cobalt helps regulate and stimulate the body to produce certain enzyme...
More Answers
Selenium Keeps You Young
Selenium Keeps You Young

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.