Zinc is a mineral that plays a role in maintaining many systems of the body. The body utilises zinc to:

  • reduce duration of the common cold
  • support a healthy immune system
  • assist in the management of mild acne
  • play an important role in both female & male reproductive health, supporting ovulation, fertilisation, pregnancy, healthy sperm, testes & prostate gland
  • aid minor wound healing

Foods that are derived from animals are generally a good source of zinc, including seafood, red meat & dairy.Other forms of zinc can be found in leafy green vegetables, cereals, garlic, ginger, legumes & nuts.


Incidence of inadequate zinc intake occur in more than a third of males, which is much higher than theirfemale counterparts of just one in ten1. The daily Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for zinc varies greatly by ageand gender, per the below table2.

0-6mths 2 mg
7-12mths 3 mg
1-3 yr 3 mg
4-8 yr 4 mg
9-13 yr 6 mg 6 mg
14-18 yr 13 mg 7 mg
19+ yrs 14 mg 8 mg

Signs and symptoms of mild zinc deficiency includes impaired growth, suboptimal pregnancy outcomes and impaired immune responses. Severe deficiency can result not only in growth impairment but also alopecia (hair loss), diarrhoea, delayed sexual development, eye and skin lesions and impaired appetite.

1 4364.0.55.008 - Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12

2 https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/zinc