The best method of accurately determining zinc status is through measuring white blood cell levels. Since this test is not readily available and may be more expensive, serum zinc is routinely used as a screening tool. Hair levels may show deficiencies or excesses but are generally not considered as reliable as other tests of zinc status. While low hair zinc is likely to be indicative of poor zinc status, elevated hair zinc may be indicative of low zinc in the cells or contamination from the use of zinc-containing shampoos. The zinc taste test appears to be of some value in determining general zinc status.
Test Zinc Levels can help with the following
It is clear that brain zinc content changes during disease states and that brain zinc deficiency is possibly dynamically related to alcoholism. McLardy (1973) observed a 30% deficit in brain zinc levels amongst chronic alcoholics.
Normal zinc levels are required for a strong immune system.
Dosages of zinc in the 100-300mg per day range have caused copper deficiency, iron nonresponsive anemia, neutropenia,
impaired immune function and lowering of HDL cholesterol. Zinc supplementation near the 15mg per day RDA has interfered with copper and iron metabolism as well as decreased HDL concentrations. A main concern is that in the absence of overt toxicity symptoms the public will consume large amounts of zinc that may affect the utilization of nutrients such as copper, which in turn can have a negative impact on serum lipids and immune function. [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1990;51: pp.225-227]
Hyperactive children may be deficient in zinc, manganese and vitamin B6 and have an excess of lead and copper.
Zinc has been shown to counteract some of the adverse effects of stress.
Zinc levels amongst patients with rheumatoid arthritis are usually reduced. Results from zinc supplementation trials amongst rheumatoid arthritis patients have been mixed, though most find some improvement.
Zinc is concentrated in ejaculate, and important for prostate health. Zinc stores can be reduced by frequent ejaculation. Marginal zinc status is associated with poor sperm count and motility (especially if testosterone levels are low).
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
An essential trace mineral. The functions of zinc are enzymatic. There are over 70 metalloenzymes known to require zinc for their functions. The main biochemicals in which zinc has been found to be necessary include: enzymes and enzymatic function, protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and male reproductive fluid. Zinc is necessary for the proper metabolism of alcohol, to get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in working muscles and to transfer it to the lungs. Zinc is involved in the health of the immune system, assists vitamin A utilization and is involved in the formation of bone and teeth.
White Blood Cell
(WBC): A blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin: a blood corpuscle responsible for maintaining the body's immune surveillance system against invasion by foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria. White cells become specifically programmed against foreign invaders and work to inactivate and rid the body of a foreign substance. Also known as a leukocyte.
The cell-free fluid of the bloodstream. It appears in a test tube after the blood clots and is often used in expressions relating to the levels of certain compounds in the blood stream.