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.

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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.

Conditions that suggest Zinc Toxicity:

Autoimmune

Autoimmune Tendency

Prolonged large doses of zinc may, by lowering manganese levels, increase susceptibility to autoimmune reactions.

Nutrients

Manganese 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

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

Zinc causes a decrease in serum manganese levels.

Mineral

Copper

Low doses of copper will help restore the imbalance between zinc and copper caused by long term excessive zinc intake.

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