Article Series

  1. Daily Zinc Requirement
  2. Zinc Deficiency - Symptoms, Causes, Therapy

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Daily Zinc Requirement

Daily Zinc Requirement

The zinc requirement depends on age and gender. Approximately 50% of the zinc content in the body is lost through the digestive tract. In addition, the body loses zinc through urine, as well as through shed skin particles, hair, and sweat 1. Zinc produced by the body can be absorbed in the intestine and thus reused, contributing to the maintenance of zinc levels to a small extent.

Vegans have a lower zinc status due to plant components that inhibit absorption (phytic acid) 2 3. Therefore, according to studies, it is also advisable to ensure sufficient zinc supply 4.

Some scientists believe that the need for vegans could be up to 50% higher compared to omnivores 5. However, study results have shown that the body adapts to a phytate-rich diet over a longer period of time, improving zinc absorption from food and reducing zinc loss 6.

Daily Zinc Requirements - United States

For the United States, the following daily intake amounts are recommended by the NIH 7.

Gender and Age GroupAmount in mg
≥ 19 years 11
≥ 19 years 8
Pregnant ≥ 19 years 11
Breastfeeding ≥ 19 years 12
Children / Adolescents
0 to 6 months 2
7 to 12 months 3
1 to 3 years 3
4 to 8 years 5
9 to 13 years 8
Boys 14 to 18 years 11
Girls 14 to 18 years 9
Pregnant 14 to 18 years 12
Breastfeeding 14 to 18 years 13

Athletes Require More Zinc

Athletes have a slightly higher zinc requirement because the trace element is lost through sweat 8 9.

Especially endurance athletes should ensure an adequate intake of zinc through zinc-rich foods to avoid zinc deficiency symptoms.