It is estimated that 90% of the population is zinc deficient and zinc deficiencies are more common with men. You may want to test your zinc if; you have imbalanced hormones, maldigestion, prostate problems, low adrenal function, infertility problems, weak hair, skin or nails, white spots on the nails, very dry skin, low appetite, are interested in zinc as an antioxidant, are supplementing with zinc and want to make sure that you are on the appropriate dosage.
How the test is done
This taste test uses 10ml of liquid containing 10mg of zinc sulphate heptahydrate. This solution is held and swished around in the mouth for 10 seconds. The taste experienced by the person doing the test is based on the level of zinc in their taste buds. The taste will range from no taste (like water) to a strong bitter taste. If there is no taste swallow the liquid, as it is a good source of zinc. If the taste is unpleasant, spit it out as if swallowed the bitter taste will worsen.
- Zinc deficiency – no taste at all
- Inadequate zinc levels – no immediate taste but after a few seconds mouth may feel dry, furry or metallic
- Moderate zinc levels – a definite strong unpleasant taste is noted almost immediately
- Optimal zinc levels – a strong, unpleasant taste is noted immediately
A score of 1 or 2 requires zinc supplementation. It is not recommended to use more than 50mg of zinc daily, if unsupervised by a nutritionally based health care provider or if you are not also supplementing with other minerals to keep balance in the body. If you change or begin a supplementation regime due to the results from this test, it is advised to retest 4 weeks later to check results.