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Zinc

Zinc

Zinc is a trace element found widely in foods such as meat, shellfish, milk, dairy foods such as cheese, and cereal products such as bread and wheatgerm.

You should be able to get all the zinc you need from your daily diet. This is approximately:

5.5 to 9.5 mg a day for men
4 to 7 mg a day for women

Zinc has a number of important functions. For example it:

* helps make new cells and enzymes
* helps process carbohydrate, fat and protein
* helps with the healing of wounds

Taking high doses of zinc reduces the amount of copper the body can absorb. This can lead to anaemia and to weakening of the bones.

You should be able to get all the zinc you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you decide to take zinc supplements it is important not to take too much because this could be harmful.

The Food Standards Agency advises against taking more than 25 mg of zinc supplements a day. A higher dose should only be taken if this is done under medical advice.

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