Here’s the truth about the often-forgotten mineral zinc…
It should be a must-have in your supplement stack but if you’re like most Americans, you don’t think about zinc very often. You might know it’s important for your immune system or that oysters are high in this mineral, but for some people, that’s pretty much it.
Zinc is essential to good health and plays a crucial role in hundreds of biochemical processes in the body—over 300 metabolic processes but is only needed in small quantities.
If it plays a role in this many processes, why don’t we hear more about this essential nutrient? Let’s get into what exactly makes zinc so important and how we can ensure we’re getting enough of it every day!
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a role in many body functions. One of the main things it does is help your immune system work properly. It’s an essential component of many proteins involved in the immune system, such as certain cytokines (signaling molecules) and white blood cells. It also plays an important role in the production of T cells and B cells, which help your body fight infections by recognizing foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses.
Zinc helps regulate the production of cytokines, which are small proteins that play a key role in activating your immune system so it can respond appropriately to potential threats to your health. It supports normal growth and development during pregnancy and childhood, helps maintain a healthy sense of smell and taste, keeps your eyes working well, and more. Zinc also helps form the protein collagen which is important for wound healing.
As mentioned, zinc is necessary for hundreds of processes within the body so if you have a zinc deficiency it can lead to health problems such as: (1)
If you need to increase your zinc intake, there are a couple of ways to do so. The first would be through your diet. Zinc is found in a variety of foods, including: (2)
If you’re not already eating a wide variety of these foods regularly, then consider adding them to your plate.
In addition to a healthy dose of zinc, fruits and vegetables also contain other key vitamins and minerals that are important for your health. These include potassium, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium.
Zinc is found in various foods, but for some, it can be difficult to get enough from diet alone.
Zinc is found in various foods, but it can be difficult to get enough from diet alone. If you have trouble meeting your daily needs through food alone—or if you are an athlete or pregnant woman who requires more than the daily recommended allowance (RDA) of zinc—supplements may be useful for helping you meet your requirements.
On average, the dosing for zinc supplementation is 11mg for men and 8mg for women with a tolerable upper-level intake of 40mg per day. It is always recommended to speak with your physician before starting a new regimen, especially if you have other underlying health conditions.
We hope you feel more confident about your zinc intake now and have a better understanding of its importance in our bodies. If you have suffered from any of the noted symptoms of deficiency stated above, consider adding zinc to your supplement stack and remember to speak to your physician about your concerns as well.