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Most likely you have heard of how zinc lozenges can help with a sore throat or how zinc supplementation can reduce the duration of a cold.
But how do you know if you are deficient in zinc?
Once when I was not recovering well from a cold, I started looking for my options and discovered the many benefits of zinc and how zinc supplementation can speed up recovery from cold and many other conditions. Best of all you can test your zinc level at home with a simple taste test.
First let me mention that zinc is needed for the proper growth and maintenance of the human body. It is found in several systems and biological reactions, and it is needed for
The immune function
digestion and much more.
Meats, seafood, dairy products, nuts, legumes, and whole grains offer relatively high levels of zinc.
Yet, you might need to supplement when ill, under stress, or not getting enough in your diet.
How to test for zinc?
Simply put a teaspoon of zinc sulfate on your tongue to taste for about ten seconds.
For the zinc taste test, the defined standards are:
1. Very deficient: no specific taste sensation: tastes like plain water. This indicates a major deficiency of zinc.
2. Quite deficient: no immediate taste is noticed but, within the ten seconds of the test, a ‘dry’ or ‘metallic’ taste is experienced. This indicates a moderate deficiency
3. Slightly deficient: an immediate slight taste is noted, which increases with time over the ten second period. This indicates a deficiency of minor degree.
4. Adequate: an immediate, strong and unpleasant taste is experienced. This indicates that no zinc deficiency exists. If this is the response to the first test done then obviously the diet already contains sufficient zinc and no supplement need be taken.
If more zinc than is needed is present, a distinctive small intestinal discomfort confirms excess zinc. As a water-soluble element, reducing zinc intake brings people back to homeostatic zinc balance.
Most experts recommend a maximum of 40 mg of zinc per day since more than that can block the absorption of copper. I started taking zinc picolinate and I recovered from my cold quickly and once a week I test my zinc level and take zinc if necessary.