Zinc is one of the basic trace elements for all living beings, and it must be supplied to the body daily.
It plays a vital role in the immune system and energy production. It is also involved in the production of thyroid and sex hormones, promotes muscle growth, promotes the healing of wounds and prevents hair loss.
Zinc is, after iron, the trace element that is most present in the body. It is very important to have enough of this trace element. Sportsmen and athletes, as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, need an additional and greater than average quantity of zinc.
In this post we'll provide you with detailed information about the mineral zinc.
What is zinc?
Zinc is a mineral that can not be synthesised by the body and must be supplied daily through food or supplements.
It is necessary for the functioning of many enzymes in the human body.
It is primarily found in the muscles and skin, as well as in the eyes, liver, and bones.
It is present in many natural elements, such as rocks or water.
It participates in various chemical processes in the human body. It has an essential role in the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
It is also involved in the production of energy and in the formation of tissues and muscle building.
Zinc promotes quick healing of wounds and has anti-inflammatory effects. Another property of this mineral is that it strengthens the immune system.
It is also essential for the formation of white blood cells, and is involved in the formation of thyroid hormone, testosterone and insulin.
Zinc beautifies the skin and strengthens the bones, hair, and nails.
Zinc is found in many foods we consume daily, but enriching the diet with a supplement is also recommended.
Zinc supplements are particularly recommended:
For people who have an additional need for zinc, such as athletes and sportspeople who do intensive training
During pregnancy and lactation
For those following a diet low in zinc, as it is the case with vegetarians and vegans
For those who have a weakened immune systems or who suffer from chronic and acute infections
For those who have skin problems, such as allergies, acne or eczema
For situations in which the body has a lowered zinc levels, as in the case of severe diarrhoea
For vegetarians and vegans
For people suffering from a zinc deficiency
People who have greater need for zinc due to drug use
What foods contain zinc?
Zinc is found in many foods, particularly in those of animal origin such as red meats, poultry and offal. Fish, shellfish and especially oysters are especially rich in zinc.
Some cheeses are rich sources of zinc. Other foods that contain significant amounts of zinc are whole grains, oats, beans, lentils and most nuts.
What are the symptoms of a zinc deficiency?
There is no other nutrient that can replace zinc in the human body. When there isn't a sufficient and regular supply of zinc, a deficiency occurs.
Occasionally, zinc needs are not fully covered, although our diet may be varied. Men usually need between 9-10 mg of zinc daily, and women around 7 mg of zinc per day.
Dietary zinc supplements are a great help for people who have a deficiency of this mineral in their body. Always look for a quality zinc dietary supplement that also provide other minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium and copper.
The opinion of nutritionists, dieticians and experts on zinc:
1. Zinc prevents colds
Several clinical studies have shown that increasing the dose of zinc in the diet helps heal infections and that it can also be used with preventive measures to prevent their occurrence. Clinical studies have shown that children taking zinc have fewer colds compared to those not taking it.
2. Zinc promotes a healthy prostate
Clinical studies in this area have shown that a sufficient amount of zinc in the diet, in combination with selenium, greatly reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer. Although it helps to treat prostrate diseases, zinc must always be taken with caution.