Zinc Toxicity

Zinc Toxicity: Overview

Excess zinc is toxic.  Too much zinc will interfere with the metabolism of other minerals in the body, particularly iron and copper. Zinc toxicity, along with an induced copper deficiency, is becoming more of a problem as the routine and chronic use of large doses of zinc becomes more common.  Those on long-term supplementation should be monitored for zinc and copper status.

Causes and Development

Symptoms of zinc toxicity occur after ingestion of 2gm of zinc or more.

Zinc Toxicity

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Signs, symptoms & indicators of Zinc Toxicity:

Symptoms - Gas-Int - General

Frequent unexplained nausea may be a sign or symptom of Zinc ToxicityRegular/occasional/frequent unexplained nausea
Symptoms of zinc toxicity include nausea, vomiting and fever.

Symptoms - Metabolic

Conditions that suggest Zinc Toxicity:

Autoimmune

Autoimmune Tendency may suggest Zinc ToxicityAutoimmune Tendency
Prolonged large doses of zinc may, by lowering manganese levels, increase susceptibility to autoimmune reactions.

Nutrients

Manganese Requirement often suggests Zinc ToxicityManganese Requirement
An insidious effect of excess zinc over a period of years is the reduction of serum manganese, 90% of which is contained in the erythrocytes.

Risk factors for Zinc Toxicity:

Supplements and Medications

Much zinc supplementation increases risk of Zinc ToxicityMuch zinc supplementation
Long term administration of high doses of zinc require monitoring zinc status and should be consumed with small doses (2mg) of copper.
Counter-indicators:

Recommendations for Zinc Toxicity:

Lab Tests/Rule-Outs

Test for Manganese Levels is highly recommended for Zinc ToxicityTest for Manganese Levels
Zinc causes a decrease in serum manganese levels.

Mineral

Copper is highly recommended for Zinc ToxicityCopper
Low doses of copper will help restore the imbalance between zinc and copper caused by long term excessive zinc intake.
Not recommended:

KEY

Weak or unproven link: may be a sign or symptom of; may suggest
Weak or unproven link:
may be a sign or symptom of; may suggest
Strong or generally accepted link: often suggests; often increases risk of
Strong or generally accepted link:
often suggests; often increases risk of
Definite or direct link: increases risk of
Definite or direct link:
increases risk of
Strong counter-indication: often decreases risk of
Strong counter-indication:
often decreases risk of
Very useful: is highly recommended for
Very useful:
is highly recommended for
Should be avoided: is NOT recommended for
Should be avoided:
is NOT recommended for