Recommendations for zinc, as well as other nutrients, are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine. DRI is a term for a set of reference intakes that are used to plan and assess the nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and gender, include:
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) — The average daily level of intake that is enough to meet the nutrient needs of nearly all (97% to 98%) healthy people. An RDA is an intake level based on scientific research evidence. Adequate Intake (AI) — This level is established when there is not enough scientific research evidence to develop an RDA. It is set at a level that is thought to ensure enough nutrition. 7 to 12 months: 3. 0 mg/day Males, age 14 and over: 11 mg/day Females, age 14 to 18: 9 mg/day Females, age 19 and over: 8 mg/day Pregnant females, age 19 and over: 11 mg/day Lactating females, age 19 and over: 12 mg/day The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins and minerals is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods.
Why do we need zinc? Zinc is distributed throughout the brain, kidneys, muscles and eyes, and in men,. It is directly involved in cell division, helping to make new cells, and keep enzymes working at their optimum. It is thought to play a role in brain function, helping to keep the brain alert and responsive to learning. It is thought to prevent heavy metals from accumulating in the brain, helping to prevent degeneration of cells, and reducing risk of conditions such as Alzheimers. Zinc plays an important role in. This is because the prostate cells require zinc to work at their optimum, needing approximately ten times more zinc than other cells in the body.
A large quantity of zinc is stored in the eyes. It works together with to ensure the health of the retina, helping the eyes to sense light, and reducing risk of certain age-related eye conditions, such as macular degeneration. A healthy balanced diet should provide you with all the zinc you require. The average adult man requires 5. 5-9. 5mg daily, while adult women need 4-7mg each day, though it is thought that up to 25mg can be taken without side-effects. Foods high in zinc include dairy foods, meat and shellfish. The majority of zinc is stored inside cells, which means that blood tests to measure levels of zinc are notoriously inaccurate. Initially zinc deficiency presents few symptoms, though it can result in reduced growth, skin and eye lesions and reduced immune function.
Though mild zinc deficiency is a widespread occurrence, severe deficiency is rare and generally only occurs in those who have a genetic condition which prevents zinc from being effectively absorbed. Deficiency is treated through increasing the intake of zinc in the diet, or through supplementation under supervision of a medical professional. Consuming too much zinc is more likely to occur by taking high doses of zinc supplements than it is through diet. Initially, too much zinc may cause stomach pain, nausea and loss of appetite. However, taking excessive amounts of zinc supplements over a longer period of time can result in dizziness, shortness of breath and chest pain. As high doses of zinc reduce the bodys ability to absorb copper, taking too much zinc can lead to copper deficiency and weakening of the bones.