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Zinc is an essential mineral that our bodies need to function properly. It plays a key role in many bodily processes like immune function, metabolism, wound healing, and cell growth. Specifically, zinc can help boost your immune system and metabolism. However, taking too much of it can be harmful and potentially cause side effects, including digestive issues, copper deficiency and flu-like symptoms.

Health benefits of Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays many important roles in human health. It supports immune function, cell growth, and the metabolism. Here are some of the key benefits of zinc:

  • Supports immunity
  • Accelerates wound healing
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Helps treat acne
  • May improve heart health
  • Slows macular degeneration

Foods that are high in Zinc

The mineral must be consumed through the diet or supplements as the body does not naturally produce it on its own. Dietary sources include:

  • Red meat
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Legumes e.g. chickpeas, lentils, and beans
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Whole grains

While getting enough the essential mineral from a healthy diet is ideal, supplementation may provide additional support in some cases. Supplementing may also be beneficial for those below the recommended daily amount such as vegetarians/vegans or people with absorption issues.

Potential side effects of overdosage

While zinc is generally well-tolerated, consuming excess amounts above the upper limit intake can potentially cause side effects in some individuals. The recommended daily amount is 15-30mg of adults. To reduce your risk of side effects, stick to the recommended dosage and avoid exceeding the tolerable upper limit of 40 mg per day.


Taking more than this on a regular basis risks negative side effects like:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Reduced copper levels
  • Stomach pain & diarrhea
  • Flu-like symptoms e.g. headache, fatigue
  • Reduced good cholesterol

Getting enough zinc from diet and targeted supplemental intake helps support body health. However, high amounts beyond daily requirements could potentially interfere with other micronutrient use and overall well-being. Monitoring intake and consuming a balanced diet limits risks of overdoing zinc amounts. 


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