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
- 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.