Sufficient Dietary Zinc

Ideas about food and supplements and how these relate to hair
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mphatesmpb
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:36 pm

Sufficient Dietary Zinc

Post by mphatesmpb » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:43 pm

Hi Tom,

http://nutritiondata.self.com/ offers free access to an excellent database containing many different foods and the amounts of vitamins/minerals/nutrients they contain. I frequently use it to see if my diet provides a good nutritional profile. The "analyze" tool is particularly neat because it allows you to list the foods that you eat on a particular day, and it will compute the total intake of nutrients and analyze it in terms of RDA. You can then figure out if you're deficient in a particular nutrient or if you are getting too much of something.

In my experience, it seems to me like the nutrients that are hardest to get in sufficient amounts through diet are omega 3 EFAs, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. I think I've got the omega3s and selenium covered with fish (sardines and herring are excellent sources of both, and since they are relatively low on the food chain bioaccumulation of methylmercury is not of much concern) and brazilnuts (an excellent source of selenium). I get my magnesium through oatmeal and almonds in the morning. I think I'm deficient in zinc, though. I was wondering what foods you eat to get your zinc?

Also, are there any other nutrients that you think are difficult to acquire through diet?

-Mikhail

Tom Hagerty
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Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:21 am

Re: Sufficient Dietary Zinc

Post by Tom Hagerty » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:33 pm

I probably get enough zinc in my diet because I eat liver once or twice a month, brewer's yeast powder every day (10% daily value), wheat germ, and wheat bran. Of course the amount of zinc in a food is dependent on the zinc content in the soil. A high intake of calcium and phytic acid might slow down the absorption of zinc so if your intake of calcium is really high you might need more zinc.

I don't like to take supplements for vitamins and minerals if I can avoid them. This is especially true for zinc. Too much supplementary zinc can interfere with copper absorption. Copper is needed for the conversion of tyrosine into the dark pigment that gives color to the hair. I've heard that some men who take meagdoses of zinc eventually get white hair - the melanocytes no longer do their job. You are probably getting enough copper because you eat sardines and herring. Most seafood is rich in copper.

At one time I possibly was not getting enough iodine in my diet because I use coarse sea salt which I get at Whole Foods. It is not iodized. Now I take kelp tablets - a natural way to get iodine.

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