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The Benefits Of Zinc: All You Need To Know

Zinc is a mineral that offers a wide range of health benefits. Zinc is required for the functioning of over 300 enzymes, and it plays a vital role in many different bodily processes such as metabolism, digestion, nerve function etc.

Our bodies do not produce it naturally; thus, is it imperative that we ingest it through food or supplements. Zinc is naturally found in many foods we eat, and without it, our bodies wouldn’t function properly. 

Follow this guide for everything you need to know about the health benefits of zinc, and when taking zinc supplements is a good idea. 

Health Benefits Of Zinc 

The benefits of zinc are immense and widely varied. Here is a breakdown of some of the most important advantages of taking zinc supplements. 

Zinc Supports The Immune System 

Zinc supports the immune system, blood clotting, wound healing, and healthy functioning of thyroids.

In addition, zinc is necessary for healthy growth and development during pregnancy and childhood. It even assists with the sense of taste and smell.

Zinc is also used to metabolise nutrients and assist with DNA and protein production. The mineral is also involved with cell division in the body.

Zinc May Benefit The Sexual Health Of Men 

According to this study, Zinc is closely related to testosterone production in the male body. So beyond the general benefits that zinc offers, the study suggests that it also plays a vital role in sexual health for men. 

There is some evidence that zinc could play a role in a male’s fertility and sex drive. Zinc levels may also influence erectile dysfunction. 

Zinc Can Help Women Through Menopause 

A study revealed the benefits of zinc for improving mood and cognition for women during menopause. In addition, zinc can help decrease inflammation and reduce fatigue, mood swings, and depression. 

Improves Skin Conditions And Acne 

Zinc is a popular supplement for inflammatory and bacterial forms of acne, which a 2012 study reported. Another study has also found oral zinc to be an effective treatment for mild acne. 

The outer layer of our skin contains five times more zinc than the layer underneath. This has resulted in zinc being a popular mineral to take to assist with healing skin injuries and protect the body against UV damage. 

Helps Hair Growth And Restoration 

Studies have shown that hair loss is a common symptom of zinc deficiency. This is because zinc assists hair tissue growth and repair while also helping the oil glands around hair follicles function properly. 

Zinc For Muscle Growth And Strengthening 

Research has shown that zinc plays a vital role in the growth and cell proliferation. It is essential for producing a hormone that promotes muscle growth, which is released after muscle strengthening exercises. In addition, the mineral helps muscles repair from training and assists with muscle protein synthesis. 

May Reduce Inflammation 

Zinc may reduce the levels of inflammatory proteins in the human body.  

As mentioned, zinc can help regulate the immune system, an essential factor in reducing inflammation

Furthermore, zinc also helps with the levels of oxidative stress, which may lead to several chronic illnesses. 

Speeds Up Wound Healing 

It is commonly used to treat burn wounds, ulcers and general skin injuries in hospitals. This is because zinc is a significant feature in collagen synthesis (and, as stated above, immune function and the decrease of inflammation). 

The skin holds approximately 5% of the body’s zinc content. With that being said, it is no wonder that increasing your zinc intake can speed up the recovery of wounds. 

Zinc Side Effects 

In some cases, taking zinc supplements can cause specific side effects. This may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and a metallic taste in the mouth

In some cases, zinc could cause kidney or stomach damage. In addition, applying topical zinc to broken skin could cause tingling or itching sensations.

Zinc Deficiency Symptoms

If your body is experiencing a zinc deficiency, some of the common symptoms include:

  • Hair loss
  • A loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Impotence
  • Increased skin infections
  • A lack of smell or taste
  • Weight loss
  • Wounds taking longer than expected to heal
  • Eye problems
  • Feelings of irritability

Zinc Food Sources

Zinc is naturally found in various food sources, the best option being oysters. Other foods with a high zinc content include red meat and poultry, crab, lobster, beans, nuts, whole grains, dairy products, and cereals. 

Different Forms of Zinc 

There are various forms of zinc to take. These can be taken orally as tablets or in liquid concentrate, dissolved in water, or used as topical creams. 

Three common forms of zinc include: 

Zinc Oxide 

A white powder commonly used in ointments for skin conditions. Zinc oxide is also a common additive to sunscreen. 

Zinc Picolinate 

The zinc salt of picolinate acid is commonly used as a tablet for zinc deficiency. 

Zinc Citrate 

A nutritional supplement containing the zinc salt form of citric acid. Zinc citrate acts as an antioxidant. It is used to assist various biological processes and helps strengthen the immune system. 

Zinc Gluconate 

This supplement is most commonly used in cold remedies (e.g. lozenges and nasal sprays) 

Zinc Acetate 

Zinc Acetate is similar to zinc gluconate in that it is also generally added to cold remedies. In addition, it helps to speed up recovery and reduce flu symptoms. 

Zinc Sulfate 

This supplement is used for two purposes, zinc deficiency and acne reduction. 

Health Benefits of Taking Zinc and Magnesium

Zinc and magnesium are two essential minerals that are often taken together.

Some benefits of taking zinc and magnesium supplements include:

Zinc and magnesium work synergistically, meaning that they have a combined effect that is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Zinc is necessary for the body to produce energy, and magnesium is required for the body to use energy efficiently.

Both zinc and magnesium are involved in numerous biochemical reactions in the body.

Taking zinc and magnesium can help to ensure that all of your mineral needs are met.

Zinc and magnesium can help to improve sleep quality, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mood.

There is one caveat, though. As large doses of minerals can compete with each other to be absorbed we suggest not to use calcium, zinc, or magnesium supplements at the same time. Instead, maybe consider taking zinc in the morning and magnesium in the evening.

Zinc and Vitamin D benefits

Most people are not aware of the many benefits that zinc and vitamin D can provide.

Zinc and vitamin D deficiencies are quite common and may be linked to poor immune function. A low-cost blood test can confirm the lack and set the course to replenish the low stocks of these vital nutrients.

According to recent research, taking zinc with vitamin D may help enhance the intake of this essential nutrient.

Supplements to Consider

Here are a few recommended zinc supplements:

These supplements include zinc and other essential vitamins and minerals to promote the body’s healthy functioning. 

Conclusion 

The human body needs zinc to stay healthy. Zinc is one of the most vital minerals that assist with many bodily functions. Therefore, if you are experiencing a zinc deficiency, it’s critical to take the right zinc supplement to aid the restoration. 

Zinc plays a role in strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation and may speed up the wound healing process (among other benefits).  

Luckily, due to the vast array of zinc supplements available, it is easy to keep your zinc intake optimal.