Zinc – The Famous Trace Mineral & Why You Need It
Function and Importance
Zinc is an essential trace mineral, antioxidant, and is found in every cell of the body. It works directly with more than 300 critical enzymes in our bodies.
The body contains 2 – 3 grams of zinc and most of it is found in adrenals, brain and eyes, hence “No zinc no think”. Zinc is the hardest mineral to absorb and its deficiency is very widespread.
DNA synthesis – works directly in cellular metabolism and maintains DNA integrity. Several proteins involved directly in DNA damage signaling and repair, replicating enzymes and transcription factors require zinc for proper functioning. When the body is deficient in zinc, the functioning of those signaling molecules and proteins is disrupted and can result in poor maintenance and damage of DNA and formation of cancer.
Supports healthy growth and development – when zinc levels in the body are low, physical and sexual development in growing children can be retarded. People deficient in zinc can develop mental diseases and increased infections.
Immune support – it plays an important role in cell division, cell growth and breakdown of carbohydrates. Zinc promotes the growth of white blood cells, which fight infections and, as an antioxidant, it fights free radicals in the body. Studies have shown that it can prevent colds and flu, and if taken at the first symptoms, can shorten its duration.
Fertility and sexual health – deficiencies in zinc significantly affect our hormone balance and especially male reproductive health. It’s been shown in studies to change sperm composition and quantity.
Sensory organs – an acute depletion of zinc causes taste and smell loss. It is reversible in most people when the zinc levels are brought back to normal. It works together with vitamin A to support vision, by sensing light and sending nerve impulses to the brain.
Skin health – zinc is important in wound healing, has anti-inflammatory effects, and protects against UV radiation. Zinc also assists in proper protein formation and cell membrane structure. Here again it works in unison with vitamin A (or retinol), which is very crucial for a healthy skin.
- Make sure it is from a reputable, high-quality manufacturer.
- Best forms are when sourced as true amino acid chelate: glycerinate, picolinate, orotate, gluconate.
- According to the National Institutes for Health:
- infants 7 months – 3 years should get 3 mg daily;
- children 4 – 8 years – 5 mg;
- 9 – 13 years – 8 mg;
- males 14 years and older – 11 mg;
- females 14 -18 – 9 mg;
- pregnant females 19 and older – 11 mg.
Wound Healing: Take 1 month before, 1 month after surgery
Burns: 50-75 mg/day
Cold Prevention/Sore throats: (lozenges) 25-50 mg of zinc
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