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The Effects of Too Much Zinc

author image Lillian Downey
The Effects of Too Much Zinc
The Effects of Too Much Zinc

Zinc is important for good health. It helps maintain immune function, helps cells divide and repair and helps metabolize carbohydrates for your body to use for energy. You also need zinc for your sense of taste and smell. If you get too much zinc, it could result in a condition called zinc toxicity. The recommended daily zinc intake for adults is between 9 and 11 mg. According to the National Institutes of Health, zinc toxicity starts at between 35 and 40 mg daily.

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Gastrointenstinal and Urinany Complications

The National Institutes of Health cites that gastrointestinal complaints are usually the most common side effects of zinc toxicity. Upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea are most common. These effects, especially nausea and vomiting, can start as soon as a half hour after ingesting large quantities of zinc. High doses of zinc have also been associated with decreased urine output, which is the number one reason for hospitalization associated with zinc toxicity.

Heavy Metal Poisioning

Excess amounts of zinc lead can lead to heavy metal poisoning. Aside from vomiting and nausea, this can lead to doziness, a metallic taste in the mouth, low blood pressure, convulsions, shortness of breath and even shock. Emergency treatment for heavy metal zinc poisoning involves fluids like water or milk to flush out the body, medications that counteract the effects of zinc and sometimes removal of the stomach contents.

Low Copper

According to the National Institutes of Health, if you consume 150 to 450 mg a day, you run the risk of blocking your body's ability to absorb copper and alter the production of essential copper-related enzymes. Copper helps your body grow, develop bone and nerve cells and use sugars. Copper also helps your body use iron; therefore, too much copper can lead to anemia as well.

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