One of the ways to test for zinc deficiency is Zinc Tally or Zinc Status. It's basically a solution of zinc in water. You hold 10 mL in your mouth for 10 seconds and gauge your response in four grades:
- no taste -- tastes exactly like water (highly deficient)
- after about 8-10 seconds, slight metallic taste (deficient)
- immediate metallic taste, but tolerable (not deficient)
- very strong, immediate, unpleasant metallic taste -- you will make a face and want to spit it out immediately (excellent zinc status)
Anybody know how reliable this test is? A quick Google search returned peer-reviewed journal articles that claimed that there are no reliable zinc tests that measure marginal deficiency -- so I'm wondering if the claims from the Zinc Tally people are overblown. Charles Poliquin seems to put his faith in Zinc Tally, but I wanted to see if any of you know more about this.
asked byJJ (6157)
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on September 25, 2010
at 05:32 AM
We learned about it in my nutrition classes at Bauman College (holistic nutrition school) and it's supposed to be pretty reliable. That said, being deficient in zinc doesn't just mean you should go out and down pills of zinc. You should figure out WHY you're deficient- whether something is prohibiting you from absorbing it, or something is putting you out of balance, or if you're just not eating any after all. All of which are possible reasons for the deficiency to present itself.
on January 12, 2011
at 10:51 PM
I reverse my position above, upon further amateurish review. This (lone) paper shows good accuracy of zinc taste tests (in pregnant women). Can't hurt to try it, I guess!
on January 12, 2011
at 08:26 PM
Quackwatch says it's bunk: http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/tests.html
on August 13, 2013
at 11:23 PM
If you are showing a zinc deficiency, go and get a test for pyroluria, which blood disorder causes a chronic deficiency in zinc and b6, even though dietary sources are 'adequate' for regular people. If you have it, it's no big deal to fix. Unless you aren't diagnosed and it will become more and more of a problem as the years go by.
Doesn't hurt to test for this.