Source ? Zinc can be found in crustaceans, molluscs, shellfish (oysters), meat (essentially red meat but also in poultry), eggs, dairy products, vegetables (green beans, cress, soya, mushrooms, potatoes), whole cereals (oats, rye, millet, brown rice and wholemeal bread), leguminous vegetables (lentils, beans, grain beans, split peas), dry fruit (nuts and hazelnuts), wheatgerm, quinoa grains, yeast and citrus fruit.
What does it do ? Zinc is best known for its action on the skin, nails and hair, and for its antioxidant properties which help protect cells against cellular ageing. However, zinc also contributes to proper immune system function (which protects the body against hostile outside influences), assists with cognitive function, plays a role in synthesis of proteins, and helps maintain normal vision.
For whom ? There can be a need to take zinc supplements in certain situations, for example when pregnant or breast-feeding, on a vegetarian diet or in a sporting regime (especially when muscle building, because of the role played by zinc in protein metabolism).
The recommended daily intake for zinc is 15 mg for an adult. The reference intake is set at 10 mg daily.