More often than not, the word ‘malnourished’ evokes images of someone who is pale, underweight and super unwell. But when it comes to zinc deficiency, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, most people with low levels, wouldn’t even know it.
With that in mind, here are five unexpected signs yours aren’t up to scratch:
1. Your skin has never been worse
FACT: 6 per cent of the zinc in our body is located in our skin. And considering the mineral helps to reduce inflammation, kill bacteria and increase absorption of vitamin A and E, it’s no wonder low levels have been found to increase the risk of acne.
2. Cold and flus are the norm
Without adequate zinc levels, our immune system can’t function properly. The result? A weakened immune system and way longer healing time.
3. Shuteye is elusive
You’ve probs heard of melatonin (aka, a hormone that helps you fall asleep). But what you might not know is that zinc plays a huge role in its production and regulation. One study found that a zinc supplement (which also contained melatonin and magnesium) improves symptoms in people suffering from insomnia.
4. You’re shedding hair like no tomorrow
Zinc is essential when it comes to hair health as it’s responsible for keeping the protein structure of our follicles strong. In fact, a sluggish thyroid (which is a condition that has been linked to hair loss) is an indicator that your body isn’t absorbing zinc properly.
5. You’re sneezing and wheezing on the reg
Zinc plays a super important role in blocking the release of histamines in the blood – an excess can lead to increased sensitivity to allergens (pollen, dust, etc) and an increase in symptoms like a runny nose, swelling and rashes.