Zinc benefits the body in many ways: helps with hormone production, growth and repairment; ... Zinc is also found in most multivitamin and mineral supplements.
10 Powerful Zinc Benefits, Including Fighting Cancer
Zinc, which is actually a type of metal, is an essential trace element. When you hear zinc in regards to your health, you probably think of it as one of the many effective natural cold remedies. In other words, only really necessary once in a great while.
However, zinc is needed in small amounts every day in order to maintain health and perform important functions each day. Zinc benefits the body in many ways: helps with hormone production, growth and repairment; improves immunity and facilitates digestion. Zinc benefits also include its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, therefore zinc may have significant therapeutic benefits for several common, chronic diseases like fighting cancer or reversing heart disease.
Zinc is actually present within all bodily tissue and needed for healthy cell division. It acts like an antioxidant within the body, fighting free-radical damage and slow the aging process. Zinc also has a big impact on hormonal balance, so for this reason, even a small zinc deficiency can result in an increased risk for infertility or diabetes.
According to researchers at the Department of Dermatology at the University of California,
zinc plays an essential role in numerous biochemical pathways: organ systems, including the integumentary, gastrointestinal, central nervous system, immune, skeletal, and reproductive systems… Zinc deficiency results in dysfunction of both humoral and cell-mediated immunity and increases the susceptibility to infection. (1)
Without enough zinc present in your diet, its possible to experience negative reactions like frequently getting sick, feeling like youre always tired and run down, poor concentration, stunted growth, and the inability to heal wounds.
How Much Do We Need to Experience These Zinc Benefits?
According to the USDA, the dietary reference intakes for zinc below are based on age and gender: (2)
- 0–6 months: 2 milligrams/day
- 7–12 months: 3 milligrams/day
- 1–3 years: 3 milligrams/day
- 4–8 years: 5 milligrams/day
- 9 –13 years: 8 milligrams/day
Adolescents and adults:
- Males age 14 and over: 11 milligrams/day
- Females age 14 to 18 years: 9 milligrams
- Females age 19 and over: 8 milligrams/day
Zinc is usually available in various forms, including lozenges, syrups, gels and capsules. Zinc is also found in most multivitamin and mineral supplements. These supplements can contain zinc in the form of zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate or zinc acetate. As of now, all are believed to work in very similar ways so one type is not thought to be superior over the others.
Finally, its believed that women taking the birth control pill or who are on hormone replacement therapies drugs may also be at a higher risk, since this can interfere with zincs roles in the body related to hormones.
The most common signs and symptoms associated with zinc deficiency include:
- Changes in appetite, including food cravings for salty or sweet foods
- Changes in ability to taste and smell
- Weight gain or loss
- Hair loss
- Digestive problems, including diarrhea
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Hormonal problems, including worsened PMS or menopause symptoms
- Low immunity
- Poor concentration and memory
- Slowed ability to heal wounds, skin infections or irritation
- Nerve dysfunction