The Many Benefits Of Zinc Supplements
Zinc is an important mineral required for countless reactions and functions in the body, including proper growth and immune function, DNA synthesis, cell division and cellular metabolism. The highest concentrations of zinc in the body are found in the liver, pancreas, kidney, bone, muscles and eyes. The World Health Organization has identified zinc deficiency as one of the top factors contributing to disease in underdeveloped countries.
Common cold :-
Although zinc deficiency is known to depress immune function, the widely used zinc gluconate lozenges and chews often used to prevent or treat the common cold have not yet been found to be an effective treatment in studies and trials in those with normal zinc status.
Proper growth :-
Zinc deficiency was first discovered in adolescent boys suffering from mild anemia, short stature and delayed sexual maturation. Their diets were high in unrefined cereals and unleavened breads, both high in phytate, which competes with zinc for absorption. Once zinc deficiencies were corrected, the boys grew as much as 5 inches per year. Infant and children’s foods such as ready to eat cereals are now fortified with zinc.
Decreased risk of age-related chronic disease :-
A study from researchers at Oregon State University have found that improving zinc status through diet and supplementation may reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases. Using cell cultures, and a mouse model, researchers were able to show that age-related reductions in zinc status may lead to impaired immune system function and systemic inflammation, both contributing factors to chronic diseases. Adults 60 years of age and older from food-insufficient households have a significantly higher risk of zinc deficiency, reporting an intake of less than 50% of the Recommended Daily Intake for zinc compared with adults from food-sufficient households.2
Fighting age-related macular degeneration (AMD):-
AMD is an age-related disease that gradually deteriorates the part of the eye responsible for clear central vision, significantly decreasing reading ability and facial recognition. Zinc supplementation has been shown to the decrease risk of developing more advanced AMD by 25% and lower risk of central vision loss by 19%.
Wound healing :-
Zinc plays a role in maintaining skin integrity and structure. Patients experiencing chronic wound or ulcers often have deficient zinc metabolism and lower serum zinc levels. Those with low levels should be treated with increased zinc. However, research has not consistently shown that use of zinc sulfate in patients with chronic wounds or ulcers is effective at improving healing rate.
Foods sources of zinc :-
The best sources of zinc are beans, animal meats, nuts, fish and other seafood, whole grain cereals and dairy products. Zinc is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods. The typical western diet allows for adequate zinc intake, at an average range of between 10-15 milligrams per day. Several dietary factors can decrease zinc absorption. Phytates (found in whole-grain breads, cereals and legumes),copper, calcium and folic acid may all reduce zinc absorption. Zinc absorption is increased when consumed with red wine, glucose, lactose or soy protein.
Vegetarians may require up to 50% more than the recommended intake of zinc because of low bioavailability of zinc from plant-based foods.
- Beef, lean chuck roast, braised, 3 oz: 7.0 mg
- Baked beans, canned, ½ cup: 6.9 mg
- Crab, King Alaskan, cooked, 3 oz: 6.5 mg
- Ground beef, lean, 3 oz: 5.3 mg
- Lobster, cooked, 3 oz: 3.4 mg
- Pork loin, lean, cooked, 3 oz: 2.9 mg
- Wild rice, cooked, ½ cup: 2.2 mg
- Peas, green, cooked, 1 cup: 1.2 mg
- Yogurt, plain, 8 oz: 1.3 mg
- Pecans, 1 oz: 1.3 mg
- Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 oz: 0.9 mg.
Also called“atopic dermatitis”, eczema is an inflammatory and chronic disorder of the skin, and it is mainly caused by deficiency of zinc in the body. Zinc plays an important role in healing chronic infections and assists the body in restoring its ability to heal properly and completely. This irritation can be cleared up by re-balancing the zinc content in your blood.
Cognitive Function :-
Recent research has shown zinc to have a strong impact on mental function, because it can pair up with vitamin B6 to ensure the proper function of neurotransmitters that communicate with the body. Zinc is also found in high concentrations in the hippocampus, which controls thought and memory. For those who have suffered from an injury, extra zinc will keep brain function strong, because the body naturally diverts zinc to the other parts of the body for healing purposes.
Sense of Smell and Taste :-
Zinc is one of the most important elements for a healthy life, but it has some very unique benefits as well, including the improvement of the senses of taste and smell. Taste buds and olfactory cells are zinc-reliant, and it is necessary for the proper development and growth of those specific cells. Studies have shown that raising zinc levels can heighten these two senses, because they are finally functioning at optimal levels.
Weight loss :-
Zinc plays a leading role in weight loss for obese individuals. A number of studies have connected zinc with a decrease in appetite, which prevents overeating. This is related to zinc’s manipulation of the ghrelin hormone, which tells the body when it wants to eat.
Zinc is essential for the repair and functioning of DNA. It is essential for rapid growth of cells and for the building of major constituents of the cell over the course of a pregnancy. So much development and enzymatic activity takes place during pregnancy that zinc is one of the most important nutrients for infants and mothers.
In males, zinc plays a vital role in the prostate gland and prevents premature damage or strain, which can lead to problems like cancer. The natural antioxidant properties of zinc means that it actively seeks out free radicals, the hazardous byproducts of cell metabolism that can cause a number of diseases. Free radicals can morph normal cells into cancerous cells by breaking down the DNA integrity so the elimination of free radicals by antioxidants is one of the most vital lines of defense against many kinds of cancer.