Symptoms, conditions and causes

What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?

Zinc is one of the most important trace minerals (minerals needed in small amounts) for healthy body functions. Zinc is especially important for the immune system, as it helps to fight viruses and overcome sickness. You can be zinc-deficient, not only due to not eating a certain amount of food, but also due to eating the wrong foods.

Zinc deficiency symptoms

  • Low thyroid

  • Diarrhea (losing electrolytes)

  • Cognitive defects

  • Weak immune system

  • Skin problems

  • Ulcers / mouth ulcers

  • Low testosterone

  • Loss of hair

  • Liver problems

  • Loss of appetite

  • Decrease of taste and smell

  • White spots on nails

  • Inability to detoxify body

  • Cold extremities

  • High blood pressure

  • Stunted growth

  • Slow wound healing

  • Fatigue

  • Lethargy

  • Stretch marks

  • Hearing loss

  • Inflammatory conditions

  • Dwarfism

  • Ascites

Cause #1: Not consuming enough zinc

If you have a zinc deficiency, it could be because you are not consuming enough zinc in your diet. About 2 billion people in the world have a zinc deficiency. Below are some foods that are rich in zinc.


Consume zinc-rich foods:

  • Seafood (especially oysters)

  • Seaweed

  • Fish

  • Meats

  • Liver

  • Seeds

  • Veggies (uncooked)

  • Dairy products

  • Eggs

  • Cheese

  • Trace mineral complex

Cause #2: Products that deplete or block zinc

Some of the nutrients in food can decrease your ability to absorb zinc. Not only will some of them decrease the absorption, but also some foods will actually deplete your body of zinc. In this section we will go over what foods and other factors to avoid or reduce a zinc deficiency.


  • Avoid all grains and sugar

  • Avoid stress

  • Avoid too much calcium

  • Avoid too much iron

  • Avoid too much copper

  • Avoid consuming tannins (in tea)

  • Avoid drinking alcohol

  • Avoid phytates (brown rice, white rice, corn, raw nuts)

  • Avoid white flour products

  • Avoid cadmium (toxic chemical)

  • Avoid casein (milk protein)

Other causes

  • Low stomach acidity

  • Colon / gut damage

  • Stress

  • Living in Pakistan / India (not enough microelements in the soil)

  • Liver inflammation / cirrhosis

  • Lack of certain vitamins that can imitate zinc deficiency

    • vitamin A

    • vitamin B2

    • vitamin B6

    • biotin

Last updated: Nov 18, 2023 14:07 PM