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Zinc for Appetite Control

You need zinc in your diet for forming DNA, healing wounds and forming proteins. Zinc may also have an effect on appetite, but it may be more likely to increase appetite than decrease it.

Zinc and Appetite Loss

One of the symptoms of a zinc deficiency is a loss of appetite. Not getting enough zinc can also interfere with your sense of smell and taste and lead to anorexia and weight loss. Getting more zinc through diet or supplements to bring zinc levels back up to normal can rectify this situation 1.

Zinc as an Appetite Stimulant

Acid Reflux & Zinc

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People with certain health conditions sometimes have low appetites, leading them to not eat enough. This may include up to 70 percent of people with kidney problems who are being treated with dialysis. A study published in "Dialysis & Transplantation" in December 2010 found that people on dialysis given zinc supplements each day for 60 days had improved appetites and less nausea, while those in the control group had increased symptoms 12.

Zinc and Weight Loss

Although zinc may increase your appetite, there is also some limited evidence that it may help with weight loss. A study published in "Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin" in 2013 found that obese people who were given a zinc supplement for 30 days experienced decreases in both body weight and body mass index. The study authors note that this reduction in weight could be due to zinc acting in similar ways to insulin and zinc's effects on the production of leptin, a hormone that plays a role in regulating hunger.

Getting the Right Amount

The Effects of Zinc Deficiency in Men

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Men and pregnant women need at least 11 milligrams of zinc per day, and women need at least 8 milligrams per day to avoid becoming deficient in zinc. Good food sources of zinc include:

  • oysters
  • beef
  • crab
  • fortified cereal
  • lobster
  • beans
  • nuts
  • dairy products
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