Health Benefits of Zinc

Zinc is usually the last mineral name you will find in a box of multi-vitamin supplements. But that doesn’t mean that it is the last needed nutrient for the body. In fact, it is an essential micro-mineral found in all body parts and is vital for the healthy activity of all the body’s system. The activity of about 300 enzymes relies on zinc to get them moving.

1.       Boosts immune system
Zinc is known to prevent or shorten the duration of colds due to its ability to strengthen the immune system where it demonstrated to enhance white blood cell functions. People with low zinc supply are known to experience increased susceptibility to a variety of infectious organisms.

2.       Supports smell and taste sensitivity
Zinc deficiency has been found to impair the sense of smell and taste. A protein that is directly involved in our sense of taste is believed to be linked to zinc in order for it to function properly.

3.       Increase fertility
Low zinc supply in males has been found to cause infertility, reduced sperm count and abnormalities in sperm motility. Adequate supply of zinc in females promotes proper cell division, a process critical to the early stages of conception and fetal development.

4.       Helps prevent osteoporosis
Zinc deficiency is a risk factor for osteoporosis. Studies have shown that zinc stimulates bone formation and inhibits bone loss.

Oysters natural by Allerina & Glen MacLarty.
image credit

5.       Zit fighter
You’ve probably heard that zinc is good for acne. This is due to zinc’s influence on hormones which controls the production of oil in the skin. Zinc also promotes healthy cell growth and has shown to contribute in the healing of other skin disorders including eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, diaper rash and burns.

6.       Anti-inflammatory effects
Studies suggest that zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and has an analgesic action during the early stages of inflammation. Zinc supplementation was also linked to a reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

7.       Aids in weight loss
One of the many symptoms of zinc deficiency is weight loss as it is an important mineral for appetite control. But this doesn’t mean that you should overdose on zinc if you want to lose weight.

8.       Helps balance blood sugar
Zinc is an important factor in regulating insulin production. It aids blood sugar get into the cells and helps insulin to function properly.

9.       Promotes healthy eyes
Among the tissues in the human body, the eyes contain the highest concentrations of zinc. It plays an important role in eye health, and recent studies have shown the association of zinc to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

10.   Keeps prostate healthy
High concentrations of zinc are also found in the prostate, and for years, experts have known that the mineral may play a role in prostate health. Preliminary studies suggest that zinc slow down the activation of prostate cancer cells.
Despite the many health promoting effects of zinc, this doesn’t mean that one should have more than what the body needs. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults is only 10-15 mg.  Oysters, shellfish, beef and other red meats and most nuts and legumes are good sources of zinc.

© K Kristie