Strategies to Counter Zinc Deficiency, Current Status and Future Directions

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

Microbial Biofertilizers and Micronutrient Availability

Publication Date



Zinc deficiency in humans is caused by a range of problems associated from soil to plants and to human beings. Coordinated efforts of the international community, especially policymakers, agricultural and plant scientists, dieticians, physicians and others, are required to address a variety of issues responsible for global hidden hunger of micronutrient deficiency. Among some of the most important approaches are zinc biofortification of the cereal crops using zinc biofertilizers and the development of zinc-efficient crops. The use of zinc biofertilizers is one of the most effective, sustainable and economic ways to improve the zinc status of the soil to grow zinc-dense cereals. Zinc-dense cereals developed through biofortification should be made available to populations that are mainly dependent on cereal-based diet. Dieticians and scientists should make efforts to encourage diversification of diet and to use zinc supplements to meet the requirement. One study suggests that including fishes in the diet can help to overcome micronutrient deficiency globally. People should also be convinced to shun food beliefs and taboos to combat micronutrient deficiency. Strategies to improve zinc absorption in humans should also be developed. Notably, wheat with reduced phytate content in the grains was developed with an aim to maximize zinc absorption in the intestine. Awareness programmes in areas suffering the most from zinc deficiency should be carried out among all stakeholders. Despite the suggestions from FAO and WHO, global efforts to combat zinc deficiency matching those for combating HIV, etc., are not in place.




Springer Nature

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Life Sciences


Zinc fertilizers and biofertilizers, Zn biofortification, Dietary diversification, Phytate

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access