Parla l'esperto: l'importanza dello zinco nella dieta Ecosalute

The expert speaks: the importance of zinc in the diet

Dr. Pastorino, nutritionist biologist, talks about the importance of zinc in nutrition and in which foods we can find it.

Because it's important?

Zinc is the second most abundant metal in the human body after iron:

  • it is an essential component of the structure and function of proteins
  • it is biologically essential for cellular processes , including growth and development , as well as DNA synthesis and RNA transcription
  • possesses antiviral properties against numerous species
  • it is also important for a good immune system .


An insufficient intake of this nutrient can lead to skin changes and hair loss, diarrhea , recurrent infections , psychological problems .

Although there are greater deficiencies of this metal in developing countries , even those who follow a strictly vegan diet can suffer from a zinc deficiency .

What foods is it found in?

To avoid this we need to have a correct, varied and balanced diet. If we go to see the individual foods, the best food sources to find the mineral are molluscs as can be seen from the infographic; As for plant sources , good amounts of zinc are found in oil seeds .

In cereals it is found above all in wholemeal ones, but it is found, however, linked to phytic acid (an anti-nutritional factor) and together they form complexes that make it more difficult to absorb . To free the zinc from phytic acid it is important to activate the enzymes that can divide this bond, through prolonged soaking , in order to induce fermentation or germination of the seeds; same thing to get zinc from legumes .

Also in the image there are the reference values ​​for men and women , respectively (12 and 9 mg)

If there are any deficiencies or if you want to increase the concentration, it can be integrated through the use of supplements, possibly in gluconate form, the most bioavailable and easily assimilated form.

Read, SA, Obeid, S., Ahlenstiel, C., & Ahlenstiel, G. (2019). The role of zinc in antiviral immunity. Advances in nutrition , 10 (4), 696-710.