Zinc – Daily Requirements

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Zinc Requirements

So, how much zinc do you need? According to US guidelines it’s 15mg each day. According to UK guidelines, the RDA of zinc is a measly 7mg per day. Now, the conspiracy theorists amongst you might enjoy the information that the UK guidelines changed a couple of years ago after a report on average nutrient intakes was published showing that most people ingested around… erm, 7mg/day of zinc. Trying to make average diets look better perchance? UPDATE! The US guidelines have also been revised down to just 8mg/day… not sure what their evidence base was that led to this figure though.

The problem with these guidelines is that they are only really indicators of mineral intake to prevent serious deficiency conditions and don’t necessarily mean that you’ll be in optimum health, just that you won’t die of serious metabolic problems or fail to develop properly as a child.

There are, however, problems with high levels of zinc as magnesium balance can be negatively affected if you take in loads of zinc. Usually this will be through taking a really high supplemental dose as a large number of plant foods high in zinc are also pretty decent for magnesium levels too. Isn’t nature wonderful, balancing all these minerals into tiny tasty vegan parcels for us.

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