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Home :: Zinc

Zinc - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

What is Zinc ?

Zinc is an important mineral that the body uses in a variety of processes. It fuels everything from manufacturing DNA, wound healing, maintaining a strong immune system, to fighting colds, flu's, and other infections. The human body does not produce zinc on its own, so it must be obtained from outside sources.

Zinc essential mineral is important in prostate gland function and the growth of the reproductive organs. Zinc may help prevent acne and regulate the activity of oil glands. It is required for protein synthesis and collagen formation, and promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds. Zinc also allows acuity of taste and smell. It protects the liver from chemical damage and is vital for bone formation. It is a constituent of insulin and many vital enzymes, including the antioxidant enzyme super oxide dismutase (SOD). It also helps to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals in other ways.

A form of zinc called zinc monomethionine (zinc bound with the amino acid methionine), sold under the trademark OptiZinc, has been found to have antioxidant activity comparable to that of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Zinc lozenges have been reported to be effective in relieving symptoms of the common cold and reducing the duration of colds.

Uses and Benefits of Zinc

Zinc is a component of insulin and over 100 enzymes, proteins, nucleic acids and hormones. It helps in the healing of wounds, tissue repair, growth, energy conversion and sexual development. It regulates blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels. Sufficient intake and absorption of zinc are needed to maintain the proper concentration of vitamin E in the blood. In addition, zinc increases the absorption of vitamin A. For optimum health, a proper 1-to-10 balance between copper and zinc levels should be maintained. Some of the common benefits of zinc supplements :-

  • Helps prevent and lessen duration of colds, flu's, and infections.
  • Treats ailments like arthritis, under active thyroid, fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis.
  • Improves insulin levels and may help with diabetes.
  • Helps with hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, and ulcers.

Recommended Dosage of Zinc

The Recommended Dosage for Zinc are :-

  • Men - 15 mg.
  • Women - 15 mg.
  • Pregnant women - 30 mg.

Deficiency Symptoms of Zinc .

A deficiency of zinc may result in the loss of the senses of taste and smell. It can also cause fingernails to become thin, peel, and develop white spots. Other possible signs of zinc deficiency include acne, delayed sexual maturation, fatigue, growth impairment, hair loss, high cholesterol levels, impaired night vision, impotence, increased susceptibility to infection, infertility, memory impairment, a propensity to diabetes, prostate trouble, recurrent colds and flu, skin lesions, and slow wound healing

Rich Food Sources of Zinc

Zinc is found in the following food sources: brewer's yeast, dulse, egg yolks, fish, kelp, lamb, legumes, lima beans, liver, meats, mushrooms, oysters, pecans, poultry, pumpkin seeds, sardines, seafood, soy lecithin, soybeans, sunflower seeds, torula yeast, and whole grains.

Herbs that contain zinc include alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion, eyebright, fennel seed, hops, milk thistle, mullein, nettle, parsley, rose hips, sage, sarsaparilla, skullcap, and wild yam.

Some more information Zinc Supplement

Zinc levels may be lowered by diarrhea, kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, or the consumption of fiber, which causes zinc to be excreted through the intestinal tract. A significant amount of zinc is lost through perspiration. The consumption of hard water also can upset zinc levels. Compounds called phytates that are found in grains and legumes bind with zinc so that it cannot be absorbed. If you take both zinc and iron supplements, take them at different times. If these two minerals are taken together, they interfere with each other's activity.

Cautions and side effects of Zinc

Do not take a total of more than 100 milligrams of zinc daily. While daily doses under 100 milligrams enhance the immune response, doses of more than 100 milligrams can depress the immune system.

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