Zinc plays an important role in a wide spectrum of health aspects such as: metabolism on the cellular level, the immune system, wound and/or burn healing, and DNA and protein synthesis. This mineral is also believed to exhibit antioxidant properties protecting against aging. Severe zinc deficiency is a leading cause of death in underdeveloped countries, but even marginally low zinc levels can have a wide array of impacts on your health.

The zinc blood test is used to monitor exposure to zinc, evaluate suspected nutritional inadequacy, cases of diabetes or delayed wound healing; growth retardation; or to follow therapies like oral zinc therapy used in Wilson’s disease.

Common items that may cause zinc toxicity include:

  • Cleaner and solvents
  • Rust removing agents
  • Paints and varnishes

High zinc levels can result in symptoms like:

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and severe abdominal pain
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing and respiratory tract irritation
  • Fatigue/Lethargy
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Headache

Deficient zinc levels can lead to:

  • Delay in growth
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Skin lesions/Dry, scaling skin
  • Altered senses of sight, smell and taste
  • Impaired immune system
  • Hair loss/Alopecia
  • Diarrhea
  • Impaired testosterone production
  • Seizures
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Diarrhea

Major dietary zinc sources include:

  • Shellfish, especially oysters
  • Beef and pork
  • Poultry
  • Legumes
  • Dairy products
  • Almonds and cashews