08 July, 2011
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Zinc and potassium are both minerals that contribute to healthy body functions, including the functions of the immune, circulatory, muscular and digestive systems. The use of zinc supplements can lead to decreased levels of magnesium, which also lowers the levels of potassium in the body. This negative effect can be avoided by supplementing the diet with magnesium supplements, thereby increasing the levels of potassium in the body.
Zinc is a trace mineral obtained through food sources and supplements. Zinc is important in supporting the immune system, healing wounds, preventing diarrhea, treating the common cold, and promoting normal growth and development in pregnancy and childhood. Deficiencies in zinc can lead to a number of health problems, including failure to grow at a normal rate, a lowered immune system, weight loss and decreased appetite, eye and skin problems, diarrhea and hair loss. Individuals who are at risk for zinc deficiencies include vegetarians, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, infants who are breastfed and people with sickle-cell disease. The recommended daily amounts of zinc are 11mg for adult males, 8mg for adult females, 11mg for pregnant women and 12mg for breastfeeding women. Sources of zinc include shellfish, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, dairy products and whole grains.
Potassium is an essential mineral that is found in certain types of foods. Potassium, along with sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium, is an electrolyte that contributes to normal body function. Potassium aids in heart, muscle and digestive functions, and can prevent stroke, osteoporosis and kidney stones. Potassium deficiency, known as hypokalemia, contributes to fatigue, weakness, constipation, high blood pressure, and stomach and heart problems. People who are at risk for hypokalemia include those with anorexia nervosa or bulimia, people who have suffered from excessive vomiting or diarrhea, and people who use diuretics and laxatives. The recommended daily amounts of potassium are 4,700mg for adult males and females, including pregnant women, and 5,100mg for breastfeeding women. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of potassium. Other sources of potassium include seafood, poultry and meat.
If you're taking zinc supplements, it is important to add magnesium to the diet. The recommended daily amounts of magnesium are 400mg for adult males, 310mg for adult females, 350mg for pregnant women and 310mg for breastfeeding women. Magnesium can be found in food sources such as green vegetables, beans and nuts, and whole grains.
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