In the case of some people who suffer from eating disorders, they may be suffering from a zinc deficiency. A few years ago, Alex Schauss presented a paper about a number of patients who were suffering from anorexia nervosa. He found that they were zinc-deficient by using a simple test called a zinc taste test. The person takes some zinc sulfate solution in their mouth, and if they describe it as having a bad taste, they usually have sufficient levels of zinc. On the other hand, if they can't taste the solution or if it tastes just like water, then they may have a zinc deficiency, even if their blood levels look fine. Their tissue levels may still be low. Schauss found he had trouble correcting those zinc abnormalities using zinc tablets or capsules, and needed to use liquid zinc because that seemed to be absorbed.
When a person has a zinc deficiency, it's a vicious cycle because the zinc deficiency actually prevents you from being able to absorb it from the capsule and tablet form. If you can overload the system with the zinc liquid for a short period of time, frequently the condition will improve. While I haven't seen many patients in the last couple of years with anorexia nervosa, I have had people with milder loss of appetite, and sometimes excessive appetite, who have had zinc deficiencies. I have been able to rely on this test and administering zinc liquid to vastly improve the condition of these patients.
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