An important trace element for the human body is zinc, which is involved in the processes of life at any age. It enters the body with food. Its deficiency, as well as the excess of the normal level, cause severe health consequences.
Zinc and its compounds are used in many industries where it is possible for workers in production to come into contact with these substances. Under certain conditions, perhaps even poisoning.
We will find out below the daily need for zinc, products rich in them, the causes of poisoning and its manifestations, treatment.
The role of zinc for the body
The human body contains 1.5-2 g of zinc. It mainly accumulates in the muscles, liver, skin, prostate gland. The daily need is, depending on gender and age, from 8 to 15 mg, the maximum allowable intake is 25 mg. The need for microelement is higher in athletes during pregnancy.
The value of zinc for the body is invaluable:
- it regulates the functions of the nervous system (improves memory and attention);
- enters into the composition of more than 200 enzymes and participates in the metabolism, normalizes digestion;
- a positive effect on the immune system;
regulates the hormones of women during pregnancy, reducing the risk of miscarriage;
- promotes the production of sex hormones and sperm activity;
- part of the pancreatic hormone insulin, which controls glucose levels;
- necessary for the development and growth of the body, puberty;
- important for the formation of the skeleton, the growth of nails and hair;
- has an antitoxic effect;
- participates in blood formation;
- accelerates wound healing;
- provides a sense of taste, smell, visual acuity.
What causes zinc deficiency
The reason for the deficiency can be the use of drugs (calcium and folic acid, diuretics, anabolic, immunosuppressive drugs), the use of oral contraceptives and alcohol abuse.
The signs of a trace element deficiency are:
- decreased appetite;
- disorders of taste and smell;
- reduced vision in the dark;
- poor wound healing;
- frequent infectious diseases;
- white spots on nails;
- skin diseases;
- underdevelopment of the genital organs in men (hypogonadism).
Zinc rich foods
Zinc is found in animal and plant products. But from vegetable products, it is poorly absorbed. The greatest amount of trace element - in seafood. For example, 1 oyster provides 70% of the daily intake for an adult.
Rich in zinc:
- sea kale;
- poultry and beef;
Zinc is found in vegetables:
- pumpkin seeds.
Zinc-containing fruits and berries are:
A small amount of trace element found in cereals:
- in wheat germ;
- pumpkin and sunflower seeds;
- for galvanizing dishes;
- processing of iron products (anti-corrosion protection);
- production of alloys with other metals;
- production of zinc and printing inks;
- textile industry - artificial fiber production, dyeing fabrics;
- match production;
- glass and ceramics production;
- pulp and paper industry;
- when tinning and soldering.
dryness and taste of metal in the mouth;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
- abdominal pain;
- general weakness, drowsiness;
- muscle pain;
- chest pain, cough, shortness of breath;
- fever (up to 39–40 ° C) with chills and heavy sweating (after 4–5 hours);
signs of burns of the oral mucosa and other parts of the digestive tract;
- repeated vomiting of blood;
- repetitive cramps in the calf muscles;
- in case of severe poisoning, acute cardiovascular insufficiency can occur with a drop in blood pressure (like a collapse).
- atrophy of the mucous membrane of the airways;
- digestive disorders;
- lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels;
- the patient is worried about fatigue, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbance, irritability, and a tendency to diseases of the digestive and respiratory organs;
- gradually develops damage to the liver and kidneys.
Zinc and its compounds are used in such industries:
Causes of zinc poisoning
An excess of zinc can be created in the body when it is in excess through respiration (under production conditions) or through the digestive organs. This substance is excreted with feces and urine.
In the process of production activity, zinc vapor poisoning can occur due to violation of safety regulations by the casters, during the extraction and processing of zinc ore.
Zinc poisoning when welding galvanized pipes occurs quite often. In the solid state, this metal is not dangerous.
Cooking or storing food in galvanized dishes can also lead to poisoning. Especially dangerous is the storage and manufacture of acidic products - vegetable and fruit juices, sauerkraut, jelly and compotes. This is due to the fact that zinc dissolves in an acidic environment.
An overdose of zinc can occur when a patient eats medicines and nutritional supplements containing more than 150 mg of this trace element per day. Packaging and containers for beverages and products that contribute to the formation of toxic zinc compounds are also dangerous.
Symptoms of poisoning
Poisoning due to an excess of zinc in the body is acute and chronic. Acute poisoning usually develops by inhalation of vapors (after 12 hours), that is, an excess of zinc is created when it enters through the respiratory system.
Acute zinc poisoning manifests symptoms:
With severe poisoning, pneumonia, coma and even death can develop.
When injected through the mouth, a surplus of zinc in the body has symptoms:
In chronic poisoning develop:
Treatment for poisoning with zinc fumes includes the following procedures.
- Alkaline inhalation.
- The introduction of 20 ml of 40% glucose solution and 5 ml of 5% ascorbic acid solution intravenously.
- Giving oxygen.
- As an antidote, intramuscular administration of “Unithiol”, 5–10 ml of 5% solution up to 4 times a day.
- Plentiful hot drink.
- If necessary, heart drugs, Eufillin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and others.
- In severe cases, connect artificial respiration.
In case of food poisoning with zinc, the stomach and intestines are washed with a 3% solution of baking soda and saline laxative is used. Give mucous broths and milk to drink. If pain is pronounced, painkillers are prescribed and symptomatic treatment is performed.
Accelerated removal of zinc from the body is facilitated not only by the introduction of "Unithiol" at the rate of 3 mg / kg, but also by the use of calcium disodium EDTA (sometimes combined with Dimercaprol).
Let's sum up. Zinc is indispensable for the body - it is no coincidence that it is called the trace element of youth. Lovers of dairy and vegetarian diets should be aware of the consequences of a deficiency of this wonderful trace element.
In order to avoid poisoning, it is necessary to comply with safety at work, do not use galvanized dishes, be careful about the use of dietary supplements.