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  • Nadia

    That’s really interesting to know. I was eating a vegan diet and suddenly got lots of white spots and my hair was falling out. On paper, my diet was nutrionally balacned as I was ensuing I got enough protein, omega 3s etc from plant sources. I exercise heavily, so no doubt I was low in zinc. Thanks, great article

  • student nutritionist

    My vegan partner has 3-4 signs of zinc deficiency. Informative and useful as ever – thank you.

  • Murray Boxall

    Great Article very informative….I have always wondered about this….thank you

  • Morris

    Was only told about this four weeks ago, good to get the information from you all the same.

  • Lesley Efremoff

    You have stated that vegans and vegetarians may be susceptible to zinc deficiency due to high wholegrain consumption. Then you say that whole grains are a good source of zinc. Please explain. Thankyou.

    • Toni

      Thanks for your inquiry Lesley. I’ve contacted Jane the Naturopath at Clinicians and she has provided the following answer to your comment: Grains contain phytic acid that stop the absorption of other nutrients including zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron . This includes the absorption of these nutrients in the grain itself. If you are eating large quantities of grains and other high phytate containing foods this can affect zinc status. Phytates can be reduced in these foods by soaking and cooking. This is why traditionally grains and pulses(legumes) were soaked up to 24 hours, and soy fermented. Soaking helps activate lactic acid which breaks phytates down, and fermenting does the same. The reason that it is more of a problem for vegans is that phytates anti-nutritive actions can also be mitigated by combining them with animal products.
      I hope this answers your question. Cheers, Toni

  • Donna

    Thanks for such a great informative article. My daughter is 13 and has white markings on most of her finger nails and she has also developed an excema type rash on her face. She also seemed to be sick most of winter. So from your article I have decided to treat her with zinc drops. I also wondered if her knee injury about 6 months ago had some effect on her zinc levels as it is still healing. Would love to hear from you regarding this.

    • Hi Donna. I passed this to our very knowledgeable customer service team and here is the reply from Priscilla:

      It is definitely a good idea to supplement with Zinc if the white spots are commonly seen on the daughter’s fingernails.
      Zinc and Vitamin C are the first things to consider supplementing if the immune system is not strong. Skin conditions such as eczema are often improved by taking Zinc, although probiotics and flaxseed oil are well worth considering as well.

      The Q-Silica one a day has high levels of Zinc and should improve both zinc levels and eczema.
      There is a fantastic case study on infant eczema on Waihi Bush’s website

      I would be a little surprised if a knee injury would contribute to low zinc levels, it is more likely the injury would arise from a mineral deficiency.

      Foods rich in Zinc are pumpkin seeds, seafood especially oysters, beef and lamb, wheat germ, spinach, cashew nuts,cocoa powder etc.

      We hope this advice helps for your daughter … we’d love to hear how you get on. Best wishes, Anya

    • Hi Donna. I also passed your query to our naturopath, Kristie. She only works part-time, so apologies for the delay in her reply …

      ‘Yes, it is likely that your daughter has depleted her zinc reserves if she has injured her knee and it is still healing after 6 months.’ Kristie, naturopath

      Best wishes, Anya

  • Masi

    Depending on the area I sometimes get those white spots on my fingers. I don’t get sick often, its been more than 7 years since I was sick. Can it be that I also have zinc deficiency?

    • Hi Masi, thanks for your comment. It’s very possible that this could be a zinc deficiency. To be sure, you could visit a health professional or get your doctor to do a blood test. They can discuss with you any other symptoms you might have too – like feeling tired or irritable, for example. Kind regards, Anya

  • Shari Hoffman

    I agree and disagree with this article. The white specks are a sign of deficiencies in general, not necessarily only zinc. I had them all while growing up because I had a deficiency of the digestive system that unfortunately I had to live with because no one knew any better. I also developed the specks again over the last couple of years while trying to get a terrible case of SIBO diagnosed. After I finally had a round of antibiotics the white specks (and splitting nails) cleared. I don’t think zinc drops alone are the answer, rather, you should have a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (or CDSA) to uncover what is actually happening in the body. From a patient’s perspective I’d say Genova Diagnostics is the best lab to use for this, they’re on the cutting edge of medicine!

    • Thanks for your response on the blog written by Clinicians for HealthPost. Zinc plays a large role in many aspects of digestion, including absorption of the nutrient itself. You’re absolutely correct that zinc is not the single answer to any chronic condition, but it certainly can play a helpful role in many health complaints. We’d recommend people see a health professional to find out if Stool Analysis is the correct test for their individual case. Kind regards, HealthPost

  • Shari Hoffman

    I’ll provide an example — if you have a digestive deficiency but take zinc, the zinc might not be absorbed until the deficiency is corrected.