Zinc is an important mineral that is found in every single cell of the body. The red and white blood cells, our bones, retina, kidneys, pancreas and liver all store zinc. The tenth most common element in the human body, zinc is vital for the functioning of more than 300 hormones and countless enzyme systems in the body. Zinc is also vital for cells to divide and replicate during the production of new tissues. Most of us assume that we have sufficient zinc from our diet, however there is growing amount of evidence that approximately 20% of the world’s population is deficient in zinc, which equates to one in five of us. This deficiency is irrespective of where you live.
Only a very small intake of zinc is necessary to reap the benefits. Currently, the “Recommended Dietary Allowance” (RDA) for zinc in the US is: 8 mg/day for women and 11 mg/day for men.
The element is naturally found in a number of different foods, but it is also available as a dietary supplement.
When you hear zinc in regards to your health, you probably think of it as one of the many effective natural cold remedies. In other words, only really necessary once in a great while.
However, zinc is needed in small amounts every day in order to maintain health and perform important functions each day. Zinc benefits the body in many ways: helps with hormone production, growth and repairment; improves immunity and facilitates digestion. Zinc benefits also include its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, therefore zinc may have significant therapeutic benefits for several common, chronic diseases like fighting cancer or reversing heart disease.
Zinc is actually present within all bodily tissue and needed for healthy cell division. It acts like an antioxidant within the body, fighting free-radical damage and slow the aging process. Zinc also has a big impact on hormonal balance, so for this reason, even a small zinc deficiency can result in an increased risk for infertility or diabetes.
Zinc is used for treatment and prevention of zinc deficiency and its consequences, including stunted growth and acute diarrhea in children, and slow wound healing.
It is also used for boosting the immune system, treating the common cold and recurrent ear infections, and preventing lower respiratory infections. It is also used for malaria and other diseases caused by parasites.
Some athletes use *zinc for improving athletic performance and strength.
*Zinc is also applied to the skin for treating acne, aging skin, herpes simplex infections, and to speed wound healing.
*Zinc citrate is used in toothpaste and mouthwash to prevent dental plaque formation and gingivitis.
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Immune System Function
*Zinc plays a crucial role in supporting optimal immune system function. White blood cells which help to fight off infection depend upon *zinc for their development and activation. A deficiency of *zinc can result in diminished amounts of white blood cells and reduced ability to fight infection and heal wounds. This is precisely why *zinc supplements are often recommended for fighting colds & flu.
*inc is an important component of one of the most powerful antioxidants produced with the body known as Copper/Zinc Superoxide Dismutase. This antioxidant helps to neutralise free radicals that can wreak havoc with our body’s systems and thus maintaining healthy levels of *zinc is especially important to increasing our longevity.
Adequate *zinc levels are absolutely important for fertility in both men and women. In males, the prostate is the organ with the richest *zinc supply while in females it is the uterus. Developmentally, the uterus and prostate come from the same embryonic origin and require *zinc for their function. In women *zinc deficiencies can lead to hormonal imbalances, irregular menstruation, lack of egg maturation or release from the ovaries. In men, a deficiency of *zinc can lead to prostate enlargement, low sperm count, poor sperm motility and quality.
Repair Genetic Material
*Zinc is necessary for the repair of our genetic material, for helping skin to heal, for growth and for over 300 enzyme systems, which control countless processes in the body including taste, smell and metabolism. *Zinc deficiencies can also lead to hair loss, skin lesions, diarrhoea and impaired vision. We cannot underestimate the many benefits of having adequate *zinc in our bodies.
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.
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 Deficiency Symptoms
Low blood pressure
Retarded bone growth
Loss of appetite
Loss of smell and taste senses
Rough skin/Pale Skin
White spots under finger nails.