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The Zinc Taste Test - from Standard Process

from Standard Process:

The Zinc Taste Test

Zinc is an essential trace element. It is one of the most important trace elements needed by the body. Of the many hundreds of protein enzymes present in the body which allow its chemistry to work, zinc is required by over two hundred of them. Thus, it can easily be seen how a deficiency of zinc can affect so many different functions.

Zinc is also important in the production of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins (PGs). PGs are vital to numerous body functions including:

  • the function of the immune system
  • the expression and control of inflammation
  • skin and wound healing
  • functions of the heart and cardiovascular system
  • absorption of various minerals
  • body temperature control
  • the important functions of fertility, conception, and delivery of the infant.


The way in which zinc influences PG production is by supporting the function of the enzymes which permit the conversion of the polyunsaturated fatty acids into PGs. The action of Zinc is very direct in stimulating the normal production of PGs thereby maintaining or restoring normal health and fitness.

Zinc deficiency can result in many symptoms including loss of appetite, growth retardation, diarrhea, tremor, hair loss, dandruff, a dry skin rash, white lines on fingernails, increased allergic sensitivity, disturbance of menstrual periods, pre-menstrual syndrome, delay of wound healing, loss of taste or smell sensation, dyslexia, poor night vision, photophobia (sensitivity to light), depression, sleep disturbance, hyperactivity, reduced fertility, loss of sex drive, pre-eclampsia (toxemia) of pregnancy and post-natal depression.

It has been observed that those suffering from any of the auto-immune diseases (such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis), atopic problems (allergy, eczema, asthma or migraine), or many of the inflammatory diseases (such as osteoarthritis or irritable bowel syndrome) have a consistent, and often severe, zinc deficiency which is greatly benefited by zinc replacement therapy.

0199639001580161875.jpgThe zinc taste test is used to evaluate this common state of deficiency. This simple and non-toxic test was devised and developed by Professor Derek Bryce-Smith, Professor of Biochemistry at Reading University. Professor Bryce Smith is an established authority on zinc and numerous other biochemical topics.

The test solution is zinc sulfate in purified water at a concentration of 2.5 gm/10ml. The test is based on the knowledge that the functions of taste and smell are dependent upon there being sufficient zinc available in the body. Therefore, if zinc is deficient, then the taste function will be diminished. This principle is utilized in the taste test by offering a standard test solution of zinc sulfate for tasting.

Why Do We Use a Chelated Form of Zinc? The most efficiently absorbed form of zinc is the chelated form. This is where the zinc is combined with amino acids, which assist in its absorption.

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