Zinc is considered an essential trace mineral. It is found in every part of our body. Our cells, bones and organs all need zinc to work properly. Zinc deficiency is common around the world. It is especially prevalent in developing countries. However, zinc deficiency can also impact those in the U.S. and other industrialized countries. Common risk factors for zinc deficiency include pregnancy, alcoholism, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Read on to learn about the five most common signs of zinc deficiency.
Weak neurological function. Zinc is essential for a number of processes within the body. Zinc plays an important role in growth and development. It also helps to support a healthy brain and proper neurological functioning. Zinc deficiencies can be especially hard on children. Infants with low levels of zinc have been found to have decreased attention and motor skills. Zinc deficiency in adults may lead to a decreased sense of taste and smell along with decreased levels of alertness. Older adults should also make sure they are getting enough zinc. Due to diet and other factors, the elderly can be at a greater risk for zinc deficiency. It is recommended that people work with their physician or natural health care specialist when looking at increasing zinc in their diet or through supplementation.