Frequent colds, hair loss, brittle fingernails – these symptoms can indicate a zinc deficiency. But before you reach for food supplements, you should check your zinc levels. This is because the rather generic symptoms of a zinc deficiency can also be triggered by other health issues, and too much zinc can lead to zinc poisoning.
Do you want to take your health into your own hands and check your zinc levels? This self-test is the cerascreen® Mineral Deficiency Test. An advantage for you is that the analysis of the minerals magnesium, selenium and zinc in your capillary blood is included in the price. This allows you to find out if you are deficient in the most important minerals and correct this potential deficiency in a targeted manner.
- Collect your sample conveniently and easily at home
- Receive a laboratory analysis after a few days
- Save time: no visits to the doctor, no waiting time
- Get recommendations that are easy to follow
- Receive results within 2 to 3 days after the sample’s arrival in the laboratory
Why test your zinc levels?
A balanced diet provides you with minerals such as zinc – but there are many reasons why your zinc levels could be disrupted. If this disruption causes a zinc deficiency, it can lead to unpleasant symptoms and limit your everyday performance.
Preventive zinc deficiency tests, such as the cerascreen® Mineral Deficiency Test, can be carried out conveniently at home with the test kit and illustrated instructions.
Benefit from our expertise: cerascreen® is the market leader for medical sampling and submission kits in Europe, with eight years of experience in the development and analysis of tests. We have developed more than 50 approved send-in test kits (medical devices), evaluate around 150,000 samples annually and supply 19 countries.
Information about the Mineral Deficiency Test
Collect a blood sample
Using the lancet included in the test kit, draw a few drops of blood and collect them on a dry blood card.
Activate your test
Enter the test ID listed on the test ID card in your secure My cerascreen ® user account on our website or on our app. You will then need to answer a short survey so that we can give you personalised recommendations.
Send the blood sample
Send the dried blood card with the blood sample back to us by post free of charge using the return envelope. It will then be analysed in a specialised medical laboratory.
In the specialist laboratory, your sample is analysed for the concentration of zinc in your capillary blood. In addition, the minerals magnesium and selenium are tested.
You will receive a personal result report showing your zinc levels, as well as your selenium and magnesium levels.
High quality standards
All samples taken with the cerascreen® test kits are analysed in a medical laboratory. All of our lab partners meet our high quality and safety standards.
Your test results
As soon as your sample has been analysed, you will receive your result report via the my cerascreen® app or your user account on our website. You can easily view the report on your smartphone, tablet or computer and print it out, if required.
Find out your blood levels of zinc as well as magnesium and selenium in the laboratory analysis. With our comprehensive health information, you can learn more about the important role of zinc in your body and how you can counteract mineral deficiencies with your diet and the right food supplements.
FAQs about zinc deficiency
Why should I test my zinc levels?
Maintaining adequate zinc levels is good for your health and well-being on many levels. Zinc is important for muscle development, wound healing, skin and hair and much more. The immune system also needs zinc, which is why the mineral is considered great for fighting colds.
However, taking high doses of zinc supplements without confirming a deficiency is not a good idea. Too much of the mineral can lead to zinc poisoning and can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.
It is better to check your levels with a test. A blood test like the cerascreen Mineral Deficiency Test can tell you more about how full your zinc reserves are. With the test result, you can then target a change in diet or supplementation.
The test also determines the concentration of the minerals magnesium and selenium.
Who should take the test?
Checking a possible deficiency is worthwhile for many people, as it is hard to consume enough zinc in our diets.
A zinc deficiency test is particularly useful if you belong to one of the following risk groups for a deficiency:
People who do intensive sports, as they lose a lot of zinc through sweat.
Vegetarians and vegans.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, as they also have to supply the foetus or the infant with minerals.
People with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases.
How does the test work?
For the Mineral Deficiency Test, take a small blood sample from your fingertip using a lancet. The sample is sent in a tube via a return envelope to a specialist diagnostics laboratory.
The diagnostic laboratory then analyses the concentration of the minerals magnesium, selenium and zinc in your blood.
What does the results report tell me?
The detailed results report reveals the measured values of minerals in your blood retrieved from the laboratory analysis.
You will learn how high the concentration of the mineral zinc is in your blood. The value is measured in millimoles per litre (mmol/l).
You will also find out how much magnesium in milligrams per litre (mg/l) and selenium in micrograms per litre (μg/l) were detected in your blood.
You will receive the reference values – that is, the ranges of values within which your mineral concentrations should ideally be.
The report provides you with valuable information about zinc, zinc deficiency and the other minerals. You will learn how to optimise your diet and supplement intake to improve your zinc levels through clear recommendations.
What is zinc?
Zinc is an essential mineral that you need to get from food. Your body stores about two to three grams of zinc, most of it in the muscles.
We humans need the zinc for many important processes in the body, including:
Regulation of blood sugar
Growth of skin and hair
What causes a zinc deficiency?
Theoretically, a zinc deficiency can result from malnutrition, but this is rare in central Europe. People who are deficient in zinc often need to increase their zinc intake because their body absorbs too little zinc, they consume a lot of it or they have a special diet.
A zinc deficiency can be caused, among other things, by very intensive sports, as you thereby release more zinc through sweating.
A vegan or vegetarian diet increases the risk of deficiency because we absorb zinc from plant-based foods less efficiently than from animal products.
In addition, people with inflammatory bowel diseases have an increased risk of zinc deficiency. For them, zinc absorption in the intestine may be impaired.
What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?
Zinc deficiency can lead to the following symptoms, among others:
Hair loss and brittle nails
Weakened sense of smell
Muscle cramps and feelings of weakness
Delayed wound healing and skin problems
tiredness, lack of concentration and depressive moods.
In addition, a zinc deficiency can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to infections. This means that you tend to suffer more frequently from colds, but also from infectious diseases such as cystitis, gastrointestinal infections and inflammation of the mouth and tongue.
Which foods contain zinc?
Zinc is found in a wide variety of foods – in large quantities, for example, in oysters, cheese (e.g. Emmental), chicken eggs, beef, offal and sunflower seeds, and to a lesser extent in cereals, nuts and legumes.
Your body can absorb zinc from animal products much better than from plant foods.
If you have been diagnosed with a zinc deficiency, you can also take zinc supplements. Good supplements contain zinc compounds that your body can absorb well – for example, zinc histidine.
What happens if your zinc levels are too high?
If you consume too much zinc, it can even lead to zinc poisoning. However, this is usually not possible through the normal diet.
There is a risk of poisoning, for example, if you take high-dose food supplements although you already have enough zinc in your body. You should generally only take zinc supplements for a longer period of time if a test has shown that you have a deficiency.
Possible consequences of an excess of zinc are gastrointestinal problems, hair loss, kidney dysfunction and worsened cholesterol levels. In addition, too much zinc can interfere with the absorption of other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, copper and iron. If this results in an iron deficiency, it can lead to anaemia, for example.
For whom is the test not suitable?
The Mineral Deficiency Test is not suitable for or is only suitable to a limited extent for certain groups of people:
- People with infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, are not allowed to take the Mineral Deficiency Test.
- People with haemophilia should not take the blood test.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should only take the Mineral Deficiency Test under medical supervision. The reference values and recommendations do not apply to them, so they should seek recommendations on the test result from their doctor.
- The Mineral Deficiency Test is not suitable for children under 18 years of age.
The test is not intended for diagnosing illness. For example, if you suffer from severe depression or extreme pain, consult a doctor.
‘We (Alexandra and Lars) have been dealing extensively with health and the optimisation of quality of life through nutrition since 2005. Only through regular monitoring can we stay on the home stretch to growing old healthily and happily.’
‘Training and competitions constantly demand my top performance. Through healthy nutrition and necessary recuperation after exerting myself, I try to support my body when it comes to these demands. The test helps me check myself regularly without taking up my time or my doctor’s time.’