Zinc is one of the most abundant trace minerals in the body. It is a critical structural component of many proteins, and a co-factor to enzymes that are directly involved with cellular function. Nicknamed the “intelligence mineral,” it is most widely known for its contributions to mental development, reproductive function, collagen formation and immune system support. Although severe zinc deficiency is believed to be rare, marginal deficiency, often called dietary zinc deficiency, is actually quite common and estimated to affect 2 billion people worldwide.1 In the United States, experts estimate that dietary zinc deficiency effects up to 30% of the population, depending on age group.2 Finding simple ways to identify and correct zinc deficiency has become increasingly important to medicine, as we continue to unravel just how important this mineral is for healing the human body and mind. Check out this Zinc Taste Test as a simple way to quickly assess your own mineral status and see if zinc deficiency is something you should be looking out for.
If you’ve clicked around the blog before, you may have noticed that I’ve already written a post all about the Zinc Taste Test (or ZTT for short). This simple test involves holding a teaspoon of liquid zinc supplement in your mouth for about 10 seconds and assessing your taste reaction to it. Why am I doing a follow-up you ask? Well: 1) I’ve received a few more questions about it and wanted to put together a nifty how-to video to show you just how easy it is to do and 2) because this information is just so cool that it deserves two posts anyway!
You can find my original post about the DIY Zinc Taste Test here. It is filled with more information on symptoms of zinc deficiency, food sources of zinc, test specifics and more.
To take a look at the zinc that is used for this taste test, you are welcome to visit the zinc product page here. It is a liquid zinc sulfate that is mixed with purified water.
A Note About Testing
It is well documented that zinc deficiency naturally causes hypogeusia, or diminished taste acuity. This basic finding serves as the foundation for the ZTT. The test is summarized in the table below:
I want to emphasize however, that while this test is convenient and a good start for figuring out your zinc levels, it is not diagnostic. I have worked with practitioners who use ZTT with great benefit for their patients, but the literature on the matter is limited and mixed. Without large pharmaceutical companies providing funding, I can only imagine that research on ZTT and zinc in general, will continue to be slow at best.
The DIY Zinc Taste Test is best used as part of a comprehensive zinc status panel. Because zinc is an intracellular mineral and can be very difficult to test by conventional methods, clinical assessment usually involves many steps. These can include a full symptom work-up, the taste test, a blood test and even possibly a hair analysis. Use this taste test as a jumping off point, and be sure to work with your health practitioner if you have any questions or concerns.
Now onto the video! It is quick (and a little bit goofy!), but I hope that you find it helpful nonetheless.