According to a clinical audit, in Scotland, doctors can make a mistake when they diagnose zinc deficiency. In those cases, they can cause a copper deficiency, because the treatment includes a lot of zinc. The information comes from an analysis of patients at Glasgow hospitals, between year 2000 and 2010. The analysis included 70 patients who were prescribed zinc supplements. 62% of them, had doses that can cause copper deficiency.
According to the authors of the study, these findings show that there is no enough attention on the zinc-induced copper deficiency. Zinc is very important for our health. Because of this, many doctors see it as a safe nutrient. But, it can also be a drug that may cause a potential risk. The study proves that copper deficiency can be caused by high doses of zinc.
The authors claim that the recommended dose of zinc, for an adult person is 10mg a day. However, many patients got prescriptions for 135 mg a day. Many of these patients get the prescription because of misinterpretation of a low plasma zinc concentration.
People who have high levels of zinc, in their body, can cause problems with uptake of copper. This can cause anemia and neurological problems. But, zinc is the essential trace element. Men need between 5.5 mg and 9.5 mg. Women require a bit less, between 4 and 7 mg. You can have zinc supplements in formulations of 45 mg and 50 mg. But, the recommended limit in the United States is 40 mg per day.
According to researchers, using zinc supplements for a short time isn’t dangerous, but long-term is.