Over the last few years, people have been loading up on zinc due to the pandemic. But excess zinc intake can lead to a copper deficiency which can potentially lead to neurological problems, including numbness and weakness in the arms and legs.
Zinc is a trace mineral that we only need in small amounts to support our health. It is found in cells throughout the body and supports the immune system to fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. The body also uses zinc to make proteins, DNA which helps wounds heal and is important for proper senses of taste and smell.
Our daily intake of zinc depends on our age and dietary intake. There are certain populations that may be at greater risk for zinc deficiency such as people who have had weight loss surgery, people who have digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, vegetarians, alcoholics, and those with sickle cell disease. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include hair loss, diarrhea, eye, and skin sores, and loss of appetite. But keep in mind that these symptoms can be signs of other problems as well, so it is important not to self-diagnose. Your doctor can determine this with a simple blood test.
But zinc and copper work hand and hand, too much of one depletes the other, so they both need to be taken together, or you will develop deficiencies in either mineral.
Copper deficiency symptoms?
Copper deficiency can be hard for doctors to diagnose because the symptoms mimic many other conditions. For example, the symptoms associated with copper deficiency are similar to those of vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Low copper levels can affect a person’s immune system and energy levels. Examples include:
- always feeling cold
- easy bone breakage
- easy bruising
- getting sick easily or frequently
- pale skin
- poor growth
- skin inflammation
- skin sores
- unexplained muscle soreness
These are the zinc and copper supplements I take Now Foods Zinc Gluconate, and Solgar Chelated Copper. Another way you can get copper is by filling a copper cup with water, leaving it over night and drinking it the following day. The copper ions from the copper are absorbed into the water.
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