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Getting enough but not too much of the trace mineral zinc is a bit of a high-wire act. e RDA for zinc is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. e Institute of Medicine lists the upper limit for zinc as 40 mg for women and men. Yet levels not much higher than 15 mg can trigger side e ects, such as a depressed immune system, poor healing, hair loss, and inter- ference with the ability to taste and smell. at’s why some experts suggest that it’s best to get zinc from food sources rather than supplements. At the very least, make sure that your multivitamin provides no more than 15 mg of zinc.
Your overall diet a ects how much zinc your body typically absorbs from food. Interestingly, you are likely to absorb less zinc if you choose a diet rich in healthy whole grains and with very little animal pro- tein. Most North Americans probably absorb about 38% of available dietary zinc.