Zinc Taste Testing is a quick and inexpensive way to determine your zinc status.
How to do the Zinc Taste Test
A small amount of zinc sulfate solution is taken and swirled around the mouth for ten seconds, then swallowed or spit out. Compare your results to the table below:
Optimal- An immediate, unpleasant, obviously adverse taste, at which the patient usually grimaces.
Adequate- A definite but not strongly unpleasant taste noted immediately and tends to intensify with time.
Quite Deficient- No taste noticed initially, but noticed in 10-15 seconds.
Very Deficient- Tasteless or “tastes like water”.
Dozens of zinc dependent enzymes participate in a myriad of crucial metabolic functions.
Zinc is necessary for healthy mental function and mood, protein synthesis, nucleic acid and DNA metabolism, hormone production, prostate function, energy, response to stress, and taste acuity.
Studies show even a mild deficiency affects clinical, biochemical and immunological functions.
Reports indicate that in the United States, marginal zinc deficiency is widespread.
A study of over 15,000 people revealed almost 70% were not consuming even RDA levels of zinc.
How do you know if you’re zinc-deficient?
The initial symptoms of marginal deficiency are dysfunctions of taste and smell. Studies found taste sensitivity to be a good indicator of zinc status, leading to the development of the Zinc Taste Test.
Mild to marginal deficiency includes: decreased muscle mass, neurosensory changes, inability to react, sluggishness, decreased immune system functions, decreased sperm count and decreased testosterone in males.
Moderate deficiency includes: growth retardation, delayed wound healing, neurosensory changes, immune dysfunction, rough skin, poor appetite, mental lethargy and sexual under-development in males. Severe deficiency: delayed healing of ulcers, neurosensory disorders, infections due to immune dysfunction, weight loss, skin inflammation, baldness, diarrhea, sexual under-development in males and emotional disorders.
What to consider if you’re zinc deficient:
Sufficient hydrochloric acid is necessary for absorption from diet. Taking acid blockers regularly can cause deficiencies in all your minerals as well as fat-soluble vitamins.
Chronic copper exposure from cookware, plumbing, supplements or certain medications can create a deficiency. For this reason, we don’t advise supplementing copper without first testing your copper status.
Estrogen dominance can lead to copper excess, which lowers zinc.
Food sources of zinc:
Want to know about your status of zinc, copper and other critical nutrients?
Consider MicroNutrient testing through SpectraCell Labs. This test utilizes white blood cells that live for approximately 6 months and determines intracellular nutrient status of Vit B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folate, choline, biotin, inositol, vitamin A, C, D, E, K, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, COQ10, Alpha lipoic acid, glutathione, cysteine, glutamine, carnitine, asparagine, serine, chromium, fructose sensitivity, insulin sensitivity, oxidative resistance and immune strength.
By Patty Shipley RN, Naturopath