VEGANS and vegetarians risk zinc deficiency by not eating meat, claim health experts.
They say plant eaters are more likely to have a weakened immune system and suffer from colds, poor wound healing, tiredness, and low sex drive.
Emma Derbyshire, a registered Public Health Nutritionist and an award-winning health writer says that vegans may be at higher risk of zinc deficiency due to having high levels of phytic acid in their diets.
Dr Derbyshire said: “As red meat is one of the richest sources of bioavailable zinc in our diets, vegetarians and vegans can be at high risk of deficiency as meat alternatives contain much less zinc.”
A recent study published in the journal Nutrients revealed that women who eat less than 40 grams of red meat daily are four times more likely to develop a zinc deficiency compared to those that consume around 70 grams of red meat a day.
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey has also shown that one in five British children and 5 percent of adults have intakes which fall below those needed for good health.