Did You Know How Important Is Zinc For Your Body?

Are you up to speed when it comes to minerals and vitamins from A to Z? If yes, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that zinc plays a crucial role in our bodies.

An essential trace mineral, zinc is found in abundance in human body. It is involved in the production of about 300 enzymes and is important to perform a number of body functions, ranging from production of DNA to damaged cell repair. That’s not all zinc also helps us to sleep better at night, which again provides a host of other additional benefits.

So How Does Zinc Make Things Happen?

With so many zinc vitamins and zinc supplements at your local health store, you may find yourself wondering about the importance of zinc for the body.

Zinc earns its strips by supporting immune function in order to fight illness, promote healthy cell growth and development and also helps ensuring a proper sense of taste and smell. Other benefits of zinc include:

  • Bone formation: Zinc is used by enzymes for the production of collagen and alkaline phosphate (ALP), both of which are essential for bone formation. It is also used in the production of calcitonin, a hormone used to inhibit breakdown of bone.
  • Thyroid formation: Zinc is used in the production of a hormone (TRH), which signals thyroid to make thyroid hormones. It functions by converting the proteins we eat into amino acids to power the thyroid hormone production.
  • Cell replication: Almost 30% of zinc available in cells is found in the cell nucleus. This means, zinc is involved in DNA formation and also helps in replication of cells and proteins required by the body.

How Important Is Zinc For Immunity?

Zinc is an extremely important mineral in the first line of defense for our bodies. The first line of defense is mainly represented by the physical barriers, including skin and mucous membranes lining the inside of our bodies. Zinc is essentially present in the mucous secretions of the respiratory system and also on the surfaces of throat and lungs.

Zinc has an antimicrobial effect, which helps in killing inhaled viruses and bacteria before they get a chance to attack the immune system. It is also secreted in the saliva along with mucous membranes of the digestive system to destroy the ingested invaders.

The benefits of zinc don’t just end there – zinc is also used to support white blood cell production. It helps activating the B and T cells, which are needed by the immune system to fight off viruses and bacteria.

Antioxidant benefits of Zinc

Zinc helps in protecting the cell membranes against the oxidative damage caused by other metals, such as copper and iron, present inside the body. It also forms an essential part of an important antioxidant in the body, called as superoxide dismutase, which is used by liver in order to bind toxins to be removed from the body.

Are You Aware Of Zinc Deficiency Symptoms?

Deficiency of zinc in your body can be the leading cause for:

  • Stretch marks
  • Poor sense of smell and taste
  • White spots on nails
  • Acne
  • Anorexia
  • Poor growth
  • Hair loss
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Poor wound healing
  • Poor night vision
  • Dry skin

What Can Lead To Zinc Deficiency?

It should be noted that zinc absorption is significantly impaired by high quantities of iron, calcium and copper. Phytates that is commonly found in corn, wholegrain, legumes and rice is another factor that reduces zinc absorption. High perspiration, oral contraceptives, diabetes, caffeine and stress are other contributing factors that reduce the body’s capacity to absorb zinc.

How to Maintain Proper Zinc Levels?

Animal proteins, such as lamb, eggs, beef and chicken can help you maintain healthy zinc levels inside your body. Nuts, legumes, tofu, green beans, mushrooms and avocado also constitute rich sources of zinc. In case of severe zinc deficiency, you can also add high quality zinc supplements to your diet.

How Does Zinc Help Your Body?

One of the most essential minerals for our bodies, zinc plays a crucial role in performing various cellular functions. It is extremely vital for hair, skin and eye health and also for supporting cognitive functions.

However, the most observable effect of zinc is its impact on your immune system. According to research, zinc has proven benefits to effectively fight off symptoms of cold.

Zinc Benefits for Women

According to research, sufficient intake of zinc may help women ward off symptoms of PMS. Zinc is extremely essential for pregnant women as its deficiency may greatly increase the risk of low birth weight. Also, the lactating women transfer zinc to their babies to help them grow faster.

Zinc Benefits for Men

Zinc is directly related to the natural testosterone production in the body. Testosterone is the hormone that is largely responsible to make up everything in a man, right from facial hair to musculature. It also plays an essential role in preventing the production of estrogen in males.

Overweight? Let Weight Loss Vitamins Help you!

Are you dealing with ‘I cannot fit in my old clothes’ stage? Well, this is the time to shun the elevator and use the stairs. Weight loss may be a short phrase but is a very long phase. It needs patience- a lot of it, self control and too much of hard work. Although, a strict workout schedule is necessary, some weight loss vitamins can be quite helpful to shed your extra fat. Vitamins and health are closely related. Let’s make an analogy. Imagine there is a huge machine which is made to run the whole day. Now start removing its screws one by one. It won’t make a difference initially but eventually the machine will become too weak to work. These screws are like the ‘Vitamins’ in your body. They may be required in small quantities but their deficiency adversely affects our health. However, during weight loss we tend to focus only on the nutrients that provide energy such as proteins. But, vitamins have a very important role to play here:

  • Vitamin B complex present in oats, eggs, wheat bran, helps in regulating your metabolism which is necessary for weight loss. Inositol which is a member of this family helps to break down fats, which makes it an indispensible vitamin for weight loss.

  • While dieting, your main aim is to burn the extra calories and Vitamin C does just that for you! It helps to convert sugar into energy and prevents it from pilling up.

Apart from the vitamins, there are several natural weight loss supplements that help you burn your fats. Ever heard of diatomaceous earth? Yes the ones used to clean the pool! This may sound bizarre but the food grade quality of these fossilized algae can help you not only to lose your weight but also manage your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Also, there are Chia seeds- a rich source of Omega 3, fucoxanthin, whey protein and many more supplements which you can easily pick up online. You must consult your dietitian before starting any supplement.

When you make a resolution to lose weight, your work is already half done! Now all you need to do is, stick to it, eat well, and work out!

The Right way to Diet

Follow a healthy eating plan

A healthy diet plan should include ample of fresh fruits, green vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, seafood, legumes and nuts. Have lots of fiber in the form of salads. Keep your vitamins intake in check. Apart from all the other benefits, vitamins act as mood elevators too.

Nothing will work out without ‘work out’

Exercise is a powerful approach to help you burn calories and increase your strength, balance, and coordination while reducing stress and improving your overall health. You may hit the gym, practice yoga or indulge in aerobics. But, don’t just focus on your diet and miss out on exercise. Eating healthfully and cutting calories is only half the recipe for weight lose. The other but indispensable part is regular physical activity.

Go nutty

Nuts make you feel fuller and also keep your energy levels gushed up throughout the day. So, always keep your pockets loaded with nuts.

Don’t take big steps

We all know how hard it is to change your diet plan. But change should be made gradually. Try leaving your unhealthy eating habits one by one and finally you will reach your goal.

Set achievable goals

Losing 10 kilograms in a month is just impossible. So don’t dream. Leading a healthy lifestyle after following an unhealthy diet plan for years is difficult and will take time. Have patience and be satisfied if you observe a reducing trend.

Reward yourself

Treat yourself with your favorite dessert if you achieve a mini target. Don’t worry! That won’t nullify all your efforts but in fact will motivate you to achieve more.

Track your meal

If you are eating outside your house, keep a track on how much calories you are taking. Go for the healthier options like baked or steamed instead of fried, juice in place cold drinks etc. Go for small sized meals and combine it with a salad if needed.

Weight loss requires constant motivation, self control and patience. So, keep going well on this bumpy road to health!


It Works! The Truth behind Supplements for Healthy Skin

You’re walking down the drugstore vitamin aisle, gazing at the vast and confounding array of supplements for healthy skin, each one of them touting miracles for a flawless skin that glows. Bewildered, you stand there and imagine: where do these actually come from and do these really work? – Sounds familiar?

Supplements for healthy skin have long existed in specialty stores, but in the past few years, they’ve expanded their reach to local grocery and drug stores too. And why not – after all the claims and promises made by all these supplements are sufficient to grab anyone’s attention. Moreover, these come with a futuristic appeal, where all you have to do is to swallow a pill to turn back the clock, not only by pumping out fine lines within a matter of few days, but the supplements for healthy skin will also make your body rebuild its own collagen from within!

Supplements for Healthy Skin: Fad or Fact?

So, with its increasing popularity, one question that bothers each mind is – are supplements for healthy skin just a revived version of hope in jar or do they actually work?

Recent clinical research reveals that there is actually something real to those claims. According to the findings, people who consumed quality supplements for healthy skin on a regular basis measured around 20% reduction in growing signs of aging as compared to ones who did not. It seems that, however improbably, quality supplements formulated for healthy skin could actually make your skin reform into a younger version of itself.

Supplements for Managing Acne Prone Skin

You’ll come across a lot many remedies to treat acne. Problems related to acne is one of the most discussed topics, as frequent breakouts is a common problem for so many people and they can have a big impact on one’s sense of beauty and even on self-esteem. Literally, there’s no one who wishes to experience the unsightly bumps, scarring, redness and pain associated with acne.

For some people, no over-the-counter or prescription drugs seem to work – so the promise of permanently getting rid of acne by taking a single supplement every day becomes extremely tempting. So, here’s a breakdown of internal acne fighters and researched based information on how much they work against the claims made:

  1. Zinc

An essential trace element, zinc is only needed in small amounts for human health. According to various studies, zinc supplements have shown to deliver anti-acne skin benefits. These studies also claim that zinc should be taken orally for maximizing its health benefits. There have even been reports of people becoming severely ill due to taking excessive amounts of zinc in the hopes of treating their acne. So, in case you are considering using zinc supplements to heal acne, make sure you consult your health care provider first.

  1. Vitamin B3

Niacinamide and niacin are the two forms of Vitamin B3. It is found in a variety of food products including green vegetables, milk, fish, eggs, etc. Niacinamide works as a potent cell-communicating ingredient that delivers many anti-aging benefits and there are also growing evidences that it even helps mitigating acne marks.

  1. Vitamin A

A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin A comes in many forms including retinyl palmitate and retinol. It is considered as one of the best supplements for healthy skin and the best cure for acne breakouts. But it should be remembered that Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, which builds up in the body and therefore when taken in excessive amounts can cause serious health implications, such as headaches, vertigo and blurred vision. In worst cases, it may even cause loss of muscle coordination.

Anti-Aging Vitamins

It’s no unknown fact that vitamins and minerals are essential for us to be healthy. Therefore, we should prefer eating antioxidant rich diet. Vitamins are a popular category of ingredients in skin care products which claim to provide anti-aging benefits.

The supplement industry too is aware of the many skin care benefits of vitamins and has not wasted any time in stocking shelves with vitamin supplements that promise to reduce dark spots, rejuvenate skin, and diminish fine lines and wrinkles, without the need of undergoing surgery.

  1. Vitamin C and E

Potent antioxidants, Vitamin C and E can help fight signs of aging, specifically sun damage. Mega doses of both Vitamin C and E helps in reducing the effects of free radical damage that is one of the major factors of pre-mature aging.

  1. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is repeatedly touted as miracle worker that helps prevent premature skin aging. It is a vitamin like substance, which can be found all through the body, especially in liver, heart, pancreas and kidney. It functions to provide energy to cells and has been shown to deliver anti-oxidant benefits, but different body substances must work in harmony to make use of all these benefits.

What Works For your Skin

The answer is pretty simple – a well-balanced and healthy diet along with the right approach to taking vitamin and supplements for healthy skin, irrespective of your health concerns is the best thing for you. It is important you realize that eating unhealthy foods would not help your body to maintain itself.

You cannot continue eating processed foods and expect your body to stay healthy by adding supplements. You might want to experiment with supplements but don’t forget that they are not a cure and can be dangerous when taken in excess amounts.

When it comes to managing acne and fighting the signs of aging, its worth you compile a great skin care regime and pamper your skin with quality supplements for healthy skin to make it look at its best.

Have You Been Experiencing Lack Of Energy And Vitality Lately? You Could Be Vitamin B12 Deficient

If you’ve tried every possible thing to boost your energy, but still feel drained, you may wish to start looking for answers somewhere else. Dropping levels of Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is one of the main overlooked reasons. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that lies at the core of our body’s ability to make DNA for forming new cells, transform the food that we eat into energy, required to power our metabolism and also to form healthy red blood cells. According to the recent studies about 15-40% people on an average suffer from Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency – Should You Be Concerned?

Now, you must be wondering why you should be concerned with Vitamin B12 deficiency. You would be surprised to know, but insufficient levels of this vitamin can be one main reason for mood changes, deep fatigue supported by symptoms of dementia, which may prevent you from performing to the best of your abilities and the best of your energy. If left unchecked or ignored, Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to permanent nerve damage. This is why it is important for you to be concerned with its falling levels.

Prominent symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Unusual mood swings

  • Lack of vitality and energy

  • Difficulty in concentrating

  • Feeling of numbness in feet and hands

  • Inflamed and cracked tongue

Who’s At The Risk Of Developing Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

The trending changes in lifestyles, medications and diets have been affecting our Vitamin B12 levels drastically. And while you should be taking to your health care provider regarding your personal history, mentioned below are certain groups which stand a close change of developing this deficiency:

  1. If You Are On Certain Medication

The absorption of Vitamin B12 largely occurs in the stomach. Here, the acid inside the stomach works to unlock B12 from the food that you eat and makes it available to other parts of your body. In case you are on medication which supress the production of gastric acid, you may become vulnerable to develop Vitamin B12 deficiency.

  1. If You’ve Had Gastrointestinal Surgery Or Are Suffering From Gastrointestinal Disorders

Any kind of stomach surgery, such as gastric bypass, can affect your body’s ability to absorb Vitamin B12 normally. Also, if you’re suffering from IBS, celiac disease or Crohn’s disease then again, your chances of developing Vitamin B12 deficiency are extremely high. This is because you may be unable to absorb sufficient quantities of this vitamin from your food.

  1. If You Are 50 Years Or Above

Our body tends to undergo various changes as we age and changes in the stomach lining are one of them. These changes can reduce the production of stomach acid by up to 30% and as a result, your body loses its capacity to unlock sufficient quantities of Vitamin B12 from food sources. This is why, it is largely recommended that aging adults should consume high quality Vitamin B12 supplements, such as iOTH’s Tough and Ton. What’s the difference? These dietary supplements contain Vitamin B12 in its free form and as such these do not depend on the unlocking mechanism of gastric acid in the stomach.

Top Ways to Boost Your Vitamin B12 Levels

Besides taking quality supplements, what could be the other possible ways to boost Vitamin B12 levels in your body?

Certain foods are naturally rich in Vitamin B12 content. For instance, animal foods like poultry, pork, seafood and dairy products are some of the most reliable sources. While fortified foods, especially the breakfast cereals are enough to make up required amounts of this vitamin for your body. Here are some of the easiest ways you can boost Vitamin B12 levels in your body:

  1. Begin Your Day With Fortified Foods

Make healthy eating and fulsome breakfast a part of your daily habit. Try munching on fortified foods, especially at your breakfast table. These foods are not only affordable but are also one of the easiest ways to get you the required amount of B12.

  1. Unlock The Health Benefits Of Clam

Sea food is by far one of the best sources to gain sufficient quantities of Vitamin B12. It is quite interesting to know that mere 3 ounces of canned clams would be sufficient to supply 100% Vitamin B12 to your body and is also an excellent source of protein, zinc, iron and selenium. Trout, salmon and sardines are also known to deliver similar health benefits.

  1. Given Up On Red Meat? Try Nutritional Yeast

All those who have given up on red meat or follow a vegan diet, can fulfil their Vitamin B12 requirements by taking B12 enriched nutritional yeast. All you need to do is just sprinkle some amounts of nutritional yeast on your daily meals or smoothies or even on your desserts to meet your daily Vitamin B12 requirements.

Elixir of life: Vitamins & Minerals – Part II: Vitamins

The first part of this three part blog was an overview of vitamins and minerals. This part we take a closer look at the types of vitamins and their role.Vitamins are classified broadly into two categories water-soluble and fat-soluble. You need to know this for example if you’re supplementing your vitamin requirement via supplements as fat soluble vitamins are better absorbed if taken with food. Let’s have a closer look at the two types.

Water-soluble vitamins

  • B vitamins

  • Biotin (vitamin B7)

  • Folic acid (folate, vitamin B9)

  • Niacin (vitamin B3)

  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5

  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

  • Thiamine (vitamin B1)

  • Vitamin B6

  • Vitamin B12

  • Vitamin C

Why are they important

Water-soluble vitamins play a host of different tasks in the body. One of the most important being the release of energy from the food you consume Still others help in maintaining tissue health. Here are some examples of how different vitamins help you maintain good health:

  • Release energy: Several B vitamins form the bases of certain co-enzymes. These co-enzymes aid in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrate in turn liberating energy.

  • Proteins synthesis and new cell generation. Vitamins B6, B12 along with folic acid help in metabolising amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and help in cells division and multiplication.

  • Building collagen. Vitamin C plays an important role in build collagen. Collagen plays a vital role in healing wounds, supporting walls of blood vessels, and forms the base for bones and teeth.

Words to the wise

It is generally believed that, our body does not store water-soluble vitamins. However, it might be true in the case of some of the water soluble vitamins but not all. Some of them can stay in the body for extended periods of time. For instance, Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver and you might have several years’ worth of this vitamin in your body at any given stage. Vitamin B12 is not the only one, folic acid and vitamin C reserves could last for a couple of days as well.

Generally, though, the stock of these vitamins would require replenishment every few days.

A word of caution:

Though the risks associated with excessive intake are low in water soluble vitamins, there is however a small risk associated with excessive intake of some of these vital micro-nutrients. Through the chances of this happing through food alone are virtually zero, the risk is quit real when it comes to supplements. For instance, a B6 dose that’s well over RDA can cause damage to the nerves, in turn causing numbness and even weaken the muscle.

Fat-soluble vitamins

As the name suggests Fatty foods and oils are reservoirs for fat-soluble vitamins. Within the body, these vitamins are stored primarily in the fat tissues. The liver is organ that holds these vitamins.You can think of these vitamins as being time-released. Unlike most water soluble vitamins these can be stored in the body and you may replenish your reserves weeks and even months apart and still get your fill. Your body accumulators the excess and doles it out when needed.

The four fat-soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin E

  • Vitamin K

Why are they important

Collectively these quartets of vitamins promote eyes, skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and nervous system health. In additions to these fat-soluble vitamins play a pivotal role in:

  • Building strong bones: together vitamins A, D, and K play a pivotal role in the process of bone formation.

  • Shield the vision: Vitamin A is probably the most important nutrient for the eyes. It aids in keeping the cells healthy and provides protection for the vision.

  • Guard the body: Vitamin E also acts as powerful antioxidant. It helps mop up free radicals which can damage healthy cells and provides for complete well-being.

A word of caution

As the body store excessive fat-soluble vitamins over long periods of times, the risk of toxicity are very real with these vitamins. As is the case with water-soluble vitamins there is very little chance to reach these via diet alone. But if you’re taking supplements you need to be very careful.