Zinc is a type of metal and an essential trace element. It’s present within all bodily tissue and needed for healthy cell division. It acts like an antioxidant within the body, fighting free-radical damage and slowing the aging process. Zinc also has a major impact on hormonal balance, so for this reason, even a small zinc deficiency can result in an increased risk for infertility or diabetes.
The most common signs and symptoms associated with zinc deficiency include:
- Changes in appetite, including food cravings for salty or sweet foods
- Changes in ability to taste and smell
- Hair loss
- Digestive problems, including diarrhea
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Hormonal problems, including worsened PMS or menopause symptoms
- Low immunity
- Slowed ability to heal wounds, skin infections or irritation
- Immune Function: is vital for: T-cell growth and differentiation into the white blood cells that we need to ward off disease, Apoptosis (“programmed cell death”) to kill dangerous bacteria, virus and cancer cells, gene transcription, the first step of gene expression, protective functions of our cell membranes. Zinc is also a key structural component for a slew of hormone receptors and proteins that contribute to healthy, balance mood and immune function.
- Wound healing: patients experiencing chronic wounds or ulcers often have deficient zinc metabolism and lower serum zinc levels. Zinc is often used in skin creams for treating diaper rash or other skin irritations. A Swedish study that analysed zinc in wound healing concluded, “topical zinc may stimulate leg ulcer healing by enhancing re-epithelialization, decreasing inflammation and bacterial growth. When zinc is applied on wounds, it not only corrects a local zinc deficit but also acts pharmacologically.”
- Prevents Prostate Disorder: according to the International Journal of Cancer, this mineral is very important in dealing with prostate disorders. Its deficiency causes enlargement of the prostate gland and makes it vulnerable to cancer. It is advisable to take 15mg of zinc every day, under close medical observation, when suffering from a prostate disorder. Studies have shown a reduction in tumor growth in the prostate when normal levels of this mineral are present in the system.
- Improves Senses of Taste & Smell: zinc has unique benefits, which include 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 improve these two senses and help them function at optimal levels.
- Improves Fertility: according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), zinc plays an important role in fertility, reproduction and testosterone synthesis. In men, zinc is essential for sperm count, quality and mobility, and low levels of can cause a decreased semen volume and testosterone levels. In women, zinc supports the healthy development of the egg and promotes regular ovulation.
- Proper Food Digestion: zinc is needed for the breakdown of fat, carbs and protein. Zinc is needed for the different enzyme reactions that occur when metabolizing these important macro nutrients, so a deficiency in Zinc may cause symptoms such as leaky gut disorder, abdominal bloating, poor nutrient absorption (malabsorption), fatigue, anaemia ….the list goes on!
- Improve Strength & Increase Lean Muscle Mass: recent research demonstrates the role zinc has in raising the levels of three important anabolic hormones in the body: testosterone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), and growth hormone (GH). Several studies have found that low levels correlate with lower levels of serum testosterone, which can greatly affect many aspects of performance such as strength, body fat percentage, and recovery.
- Powerful Antioxidant: zinc has been regarded as a powerful intracellular antioxidant as it targets and aids in the reduction of free radicals. Interestingly, it is also particularly effective at counteracting the harmful effects of elevated iron levels. As recovery from strenuous exercise requires the clearance of free radicals, optimal zinc levels can help athletes recover more effectively from practice or competition.
- Hair’s health: oral zinc compounds have been used for decades for treating disorders such as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, forms of hair loss, because zinc benefits hair follicle health. Zinc is an essential co-factor for multiple enzymes and is involved with important functional activities in the hair follicle. Zinc is also a potent inhibitor of hair follicle regression, and it accelerates hair follicle recovery. Studies suggest that some alopecia areata patients have zinc deficiency, and oral zinc sulfate therapy serves as an effective treatment.
- 6 medium oysters providing 32 mg
- 100 mg beef (Chuck Steak) 11 mg
- lamb: 3 ounces ( 85 grams) 6.7 milligrams
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds 6.6 milligrams
- 1 ounce ( 28 grams) hemp seeds 5 miligrams
- 100 grams Grass-Fed Beef 5 milligrams
- 1 cup Chickpeas 5 milligrams
- 1 cup lentils 2.5 milligrams
- 1 ounce Cocoa Powder 1.9 milligrams
- 1 ounce Cashews6 milligrams
The doses of zinc supplements, often as high as 50 milligrams, can exceed the recommended intake, and you should exercise caution as high amounts of zinc taken long term can be harmful.
Chelated — Best Form of Zinc: your body does not naturally digest zinc easily. To make it more bioavailable, zinc needs to be attached to another substance. Often zinc is “chelated” to organic and amino acids to increase its bioavailability. Mercola advises that the best form of zinc is one that’s chelated to ensure absorbability.
Zinc oxide, given as an oral supplement, has been found to have a significantly lower level of bioavailability than zinc citrate and zinc gluconate in a 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Zinc oxide is often used as a topical agent, such as in sunscreen or for treatment of skin disorders, including dermatitis, eczema, diaper rash and psoriasis.