Optimal Zinc Levels May Change Your Life

Written by Changing Habits

July 18, 2017

I wish I discovered my zinc deficiency earlier, as it made that much of a difference to my life. After a lot of healing many years ago, my health improved, however after I discovered zinc, everything got a whole lot better. My concentration increased, I became even calmer, had more stamina, my occasional pimples on my back disappeared, my immune system became stronger, my libido increased and much more.

Epidemiological data suggests that one in five people have a zinc deficiency. Zinc has many health benefits:

  • required for over 300 enzyme reactions and over 1000 transcription factors
  • powerful nutrient
  • essential for growth and immune function
  • helps rebuild your gastrointestinal lining, heals leaky gut
  • balances hormones
  • increases stomach acidity to aid food digestion
  • fights infections.

There is a very simple method to discover if you’re zinc deficient, and this is through a zinc taste test. You can purchase this at some health food stores, have it tested during a health consultation or you can get your serum zinc levels tested with your doctor.

If the taste test tastes horrendous, then you have sufficient levels of zinc. If the taste is somewhat delayed, then you have mild zinc deficiency. If there is very little to no taste, along with a chalky texture in your mouth, then you are very deficient in zinc. Since discovering my zinc deficiency via a taste test, I have also discovered that genetically I require much more than the average person which is why I have liquid zinc daily.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency:

  • Low stomach acid (think heart burn, frequent burping, indigestion etc)
  • Low libido
  • Low immune system
  • Diarrhea
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Leaky gut, as it has been shown to increase the tight junctions in the intestinal tract of those with Crohn’s disease
  • Thinning hair
  • Skin issues such as acne or rashes
  • Frequent thrush
  • Reoccurring candida albicans overgrowth.

Those at risk of a zinc deficiency:

  • High grain consumption due to the phytate content as this blocks zinc absorption
  • Vegans
  • Vegetarians
  • Gut dysbiosis (overgrowth and/or undergrowth of microbes in the gut)
  • Infections, as the body requires more zinc to fight it off
  • Don’t eat enough zinc rich foods, even if you’re a meat eater.

Correcting your zinc deficiency does not need to be difficult, as you can eat food sources that are rich in zinc, in addition to taking a supplement.

Food sources rich in zinc that you should regularly add to your diet:

  • Pumpkin seeds, activated to ensure optimal digestion and absorption of the nutrients
  • Animal proteins, particularly beef, lamb, chicken and oysters
  • Liver is one of the most potent sources of zinc, so try making your own organic liver pate! Serve it with seed crackers or vegetable sticks.
  • Chickpeas and cashews are reasonably high in zinc. To make them more nutrient dense and easier to digest, I strongly urge clients to ferment the chickpeas and cashews in a potent coconut water kefir
  • Homemade kefir and yogurt.

For a high quality zinc supplement. I prefer and recommend a liquid zinc, such as zinc gluconate, because if you consume too much, you will excrete it in your urine. There are also other supplement forms such as zinc sulfate. When your zinc levels are sufficient and you take a ‘zinc taste test’ it will taste different.

If liquid zinc is not available, zinc picolinate is usually found in tablet form and is one of the most absorbed forms of zinc after liquid zinc. Once again, to ensure you require zinc, it is highly recommended to get a blood test of your serum zinc levels as well.

I strongly suggest investigating whether you have a zinc deficiency, particularly if anything above resonates with you. See a holistic practitioner that can arrange a zinc taste test for you, as this is the easiest way to determine if you need to start focusing on zinc rich foods or a high quality supplement.

Have you had any experiences like this? Do you think you could be zinc deficient? What happened when you rectified your deficiency?

Happy changing habits.

Sheridan Williamson
Changing Habits Nutritionist 

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  1. Claire

    Why is it that you can’t taste the zinc solution if your levels are low?

    • Jordan Pie

      Hi Claire, if you can’t taste the liquid zinc, it usually means you’re deficient in zinc. If your zinc levels are fine then you will most definitely taste the liquid zinc, trust me it’s gross.

  2. Jodie

    Says email not valid and wiped my whole comment which was quite long .

    • Jordan Pie

      Hi Jodie, if you’re having issues with posting your comment, feel free to email enquiries@changinghabits.com.au for further assistance and support 🙂

  3. Tiffanee

    WOW!! Thank you so much for this. The timing could not be better. After having (a much regretted) bariatric vertical sleeve gastrectomy a few years back, I have suffered an intermittent case of Angular Cheilitis (cracked corners of the mouth). it is very painful and at times even effects how I speak, drink and eat. Like many other bariatric patients I have also had issues with my hair thinning and falling out. I have just started a Zinc supplement after doing my own research and hope I’ll have good results.

  4. Lauren

    Are there any zinc taste tests in particular (brands) that you would recommend or are they all very similar?

  5. Helen Kilmartin

    I haven’t been using pumpkin seeds for quite awhile now as I can only find pumkin seeds from China including organic ones and as I would prefer not to buy food products from China, do you know of any other source?

    • Jordan Pie

      Hi Helen, I would recommend you call a few health food stores in your local area and ask around to see if the pumpkin seeds they have are not from China 🙂 That way you can find a source you’re happy with.

  6. Shaina

    What is the best brand for liquid gluconate zinc and where should I buy it from?

    Thanks, Shaina

  7. Jodie

    Get info! Thanks Cyndi! A couple of months ago, through a blood test, I discovered I was very low in zinc and had sky high levels of cooper. My doctor got me straight onto a zinc supplement and explained that you need a ratio of 1:8 zinc to cooper. If you don’t have enough zinc then the cooper continues to rise which in turn creates a nice environment for cancer. It makes the world of difference when you have a good holistic doctor.

    • Jordan Pie

      Yes it certainly does help to have a wonderful and understanding Dr. on hand 🙂

  8. Simone

    What about if your blood tests show very high levels of zinc?

    • Jordan Pie

      Hi Simone, We recommend you talk with your chosen healthcare practitioner to help answer questions concerning possible zinc toxicity, or where you may have been exposed to zinc causing high levels in yours system.

  9. Mel

    Hi Jordan, Is there a particular brand of liquid zinc that you would suggest?

    • Jordan Pie

      Hi Mel, we use Fulhealth in our clinic. But any good quality one will be great 🙂

    • Karen

      Maybe it would be good to emphasize in this blog that this test isn’t foolproof because there are so many variables when it comes to ones individual’s sense of taste. The test doesn’t work for me but zinc supplementation as recommended by my functional medicine doc has literally changed my life.

  10. Jenni

    Do you have some instructions on how to ferment the chickpeas and cashews in coconut water kefir, please? Sounds interesting :). Thanks

    • Kayla-Changing Habits

      Hi Jenni,

      Add the cashews to a clean glass jar and cover them with the kefir. Close the lid and place the jar on a shelf in your pantry. Allow this to ferment for 12-24 hours. Note: If you don’t have the Kultured Wellness Cultures, soak the cashews in warm water with 1-2 tsp of Changing Habits Probiotics for 24 hours to allow it to ferment.


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