Zinc is an essential trace element and helps with making new cells and enzymes, and processing carbohydrate, fat and protein in food, with highest concentrations found in muscles and bones. It is also found in hair, eyes, nails, skin, liver, prostate and testes.
Zinc can be found in high levels in the brain and particularly associated with the hippocampus area; the area that is linked to learning and memory.
How Much Zinc Do I need?
It is important to not take more than 25mg of zinc per day unless advised by a medical professional. The NHS recommended daily allowance for healthy adults is 10mg a day for men and women. Having high doses of zinc levels in your body can reduce the amount of copper your body can absorb, which may lead to anaemia and weakening of the bones.
Good sources of zinc include red meat, shellfish such as oysters, dairy products such as cheese, bread and fortified cereal products.
Interactions with Zinc
There are a few commonly taken medications that can interfere with the effects of certain medications when taken with zinc. For example zinc may reduce the absorption of certain types of antibiotics. Zinc can also affect the absorption of some minerals such as calcium, copper and magnesium.