Health Benefits of Zinc: Zinc’s health benefits include the proper functioning of the immune and digestive systems, controlled diabetes , reduced stress levels, improved metabolism, and increased healing rates for acne and wounds. It is also helpful in relation to pregnancy, hair care, eczema, weight loss, night blindness, cold, eye care, appetite loss, and many other ailments.
Important Sources of Zinc:
The main dietary source of zinc is meat and other products like;
- Whole grains
- Pumpkin seeds
- And pecans have smaller, but still worthwhile, amounts of this beneficial mineral.
Why is Zinc so Important?
Zinc is an important mineral that plays an essential role in protein synthesis and helps regulate cell production in the human body’s immune system. It is found primarily in the strongest muscles in the body and in particularly high concentrations in the white and red blood cells, retina, skin, liver, kidneys, bones, and pancreas. The semen and prostate in men also contain significant amounts of zinc.
There are more than 300 different enzymes in the human body that require zinc to function normally. Researchers believe 3,000 proteins (out of roughly 100,000) have this vital mineral.
A normal person has two to three grams of zinc at any one time. There are organs in the human body that secrete it, such as the salivary gland, prostate, and pancreas. Even cells that are involved in the activity of the immune system secrete zinc. It is consumed in various metabolic processes and excreted through the normal excretory and urinary tract. Therefore, it needs to be refilled frequently. If this is not the case, you will suffer from deficiency symptoms, a list of which can be found below.
Health Benefits of Zinc:
The main health benefits of this important mineral are listed below.
- Skin Care: Studies have shown that zinc is an effective home remedy for pimples. This mineral is also important for getting rid of acne on the skin. It regulates and controls the amount of testosterone in the body, which plays a dominant role in causing acne. In addition, zinc is involved in collagen synthesis. This further helps normalize the presence of oil under the skin and improves the maintenance of healthy skin. The open wounds that come with acne are practically magnets for bacterial and viral infections. This mineral can stimulate the number of white blood cells and reduce the risk of infections of any kind. White blood cells are an integral part of the healing process and can protect the body against a number of infections, including those that commonly affect ulcers, burns, surgical cuts, and other wounds. Zinc is also needed for the production of collagen, a connective tissue needed for skin repair and regrowth. Acne can leave permanent scars on the skin, and zinc can help reduce the signs of these scars.
- Prevents Prostate Disorder: According to the International Journal of Cancer , this mineral is of great importance in treating prostate disorders. Its deficiency leads to the enlargement of the prostate, making it prone to cancer. It is advisable to take 15 mg of zinc daily under close medical supervision if you have a prostate disorder. Studies have shown a reduction in tumor growth in the prostate when there is enough zinc in the body.
- Improves Cognitive Function: Zinc has a strong impact on mental function as it, along with vitamin B6, can ensure the proper functioning of the neurotransmitters communicating in the body. It is also found in high concentrations in the hippocampus, which controls thinking and memory. For those who have suffered an injury, zinc keeps brain function strong as it is naturally redirected to the other parts of the body for healing purposes.
- Relieves Eczema: Eczema, also known as “atopic dermatitis”, is an inflammatory and chronic disease of the skin and is mainly caused by a lack of zinc in the body. It plays an important role in curing chronic infections and aids the body in restoring its ability to heal properly and completely. According to research , this irritation can be resolved by rebalancing the levels of zinc in your blood.
- Improves The Senses of Taste and Smell: Zinc has unique benefits including improving the senses of taste and smell. Taste buds and olfactory cells are zinc dependent and necessary for the proper development and growth of these specific cells. Studies have shown that increasing zinc levels can improve these two senses and help them function at optimal levels.
- Weight Loss: Zinc plays a leading role in weight loss in obese people. A number of studies have linked this to a decrease in appetite, which prevents overeating. This is related to zinc’s manipulation of the ghrelin hormone, which tells the body when to eat.
- Boosts Reproductive Health: Zinc is important for DNA repair and function. It is essential for the rapid growth of cells and for the construction of the main components of the cell during pregnancy. The tremendous development and enzymatic activity that takes place during pregnancy make it one of the most important nutrients for infants and mothers. In men, zinc helps with spermatogenesis and the development of the genital organs, while in women it helps with all stages of reproduction, including childbirth and breastfeeding. When it comes to sperm, this mineral plays an important role in many ways. First, it acts as a kind of sedative for the sperm so that it doesn’t use up unnecessary energy. It also protects the reproductive DNA inside the sperm from decay so that correct transmission of information is ensured. Once the sperm enters the female reproductive tract, it quickly dissolves and has a sudden surge of energy. After all, it is an essential part of the enzymes that allow the sperm to enter the egg.
- Helps With a Cold: Zinc supplements help reduce the severity and duration of colds and other minor illnesses. This mineral reduces the number of pro-inflammatory cytokines that make the body worse when you have a cold or other infections. It is also ideal for reducing colds and infections because of its ability to stimulate white blood cell activity.
- Relieves Chronic Fatigue: People suffering from chronic fatigue are usually advised to consume fish oil because it is high in zinc. Many doctors don’t suggest any other drugs to cure chronic fatigue other than fish oil. Zinc has to do something right! It is an essential part of normal muscle function, and researchers believe that muscle fatigue is a major cause of chronic fatigue. Hence, zinc is the ideal supplement to boost your energy levels.
- Stimulates Protein Synthesis: Zinc acts as an antioxidant and is involved in some of the most critical biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, enzymatic function, and carbohydrate metabolism. Because this mineral is involved in so many integral systems and functions in the body, this cannot be emphasized enough – you need to include it in your diet!
- Regulates Cell Growth: Zinc is an integral part of a number of enzymes that regulate cell growth, protein synthesis, hormone levels, DNA, gene transcription, energy metabolism, and other related functions.
- Helps with Alopecia: Alopecia causes hair loss in both children and adults. Doctors often say that people with this condition should increase their zinc intake in their diet. Since it is conducive to thick hair, it can sometimes reduce the symptoms of alopecia. You can get zinc supplements and capsules in almost all health food stores and grocery stores. Studies suggest that zinc is more effective against alopecia in children than in adults.
- Prevents Cancer: According to a research report on ” Zinc in Cancer Prevention, ” adding zinc to your daily diet can reduce oxidative stress and improve the immune system. This is one of the possible reasons this mineral may help prevent cancer, according to the report.
- Controls Bone Loss: As we age, our bones become weak and fragile. This mineral is a component of hydroxyapatite, a salt that makes the bone matrix strong and hard. For this reason, zinc should be added to your diet to prevent bone loss, especially if you show signs of premature aging and osteoporosis.
- Helps in Reducing Night Blindness: Consuming around 150-450 mg of zinc improves your eyesight. It is therefore always recommended to consume foods like beef, lamb, oysters, buckwheat and crab as these contain zinc and improve your eyesight. It is especially helpful for people who suffer from night blindness. Vitamin A, which is an essential part of improving night vision, stimulates certain enzymes that will not work without zinc. Hence, it is a necessary mineral for reducing night blindness.
Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency:
- Growth retardation
- Low blood pressure
- Delayed bone growth
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of smell and taste
- Rough skin / pale skin
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- White spots under the fingernails