Zinc is an essential mineral in human metabolism that accelerates the function of as many as 100 enzymes in our body. There’s approximately 1.5 g (in women) and 2.5 g (in men) of zinc in our body that is typically stored in the skeletal muscles and bone.
Since zinc intake is known to be solely dependent on the consumed food, the daily dose has been recommended to be around 11 mg and 8 mg for adult men and women respectively.
Zinc and Our Immune System
Enough zinc is required in the body as it plays a significant role in the following ways-
- Constructing new DNA
- Cell growth/ Cell division
- Building proteins
- Wound healing and
- Ensuring proper immune health
Although zinc oxide is rumored to cause “metal fume fever”, this really isn’t the case when it comes to using it as a raw ingredient.
In fact, many of our day-to-day skincare items such as baby lotions, bath soaps, foot powders as well as makeup and nail products contain trace amounts of it. On top of that, this compound, present in sunscreens are literally our savior as they block both UVA and UVB rays and therefore contributes to appreciable skin health.
As taking zinc contributes to growth, sexual development, and reproduction, its deficiency is associated with multiple adverse side effects that include-
- Sudden weight loss
- Thinning hair
- Chronic wound
- Cognitive impairment
- Anosmia (partial loss of smell) and Ageusia (partial loss of taste)
- Loss of appetite
- Venous ulcers or open sores in the skin
Beverages Containing Zinc
When it comes to drinks, water or any other beverages stored in metal containers carry high levels of zinc. What’s more interesting is that it’s also commonly found in tap water that flows through zinc-coated pipes (for rust prevention).
Likewise, drinks from many of our well-known brands are also good sources of zinc along with other vital vitamins and minerals that guarantee a healthy immune system. We’ve listed some of these beverages for your ease-
- Milk ~1-1.1mg
- Chocolate Milk 1mg
- Instant Coffee 0.4mg
- Coffee Drink 0.1mg
- Black Tea 4mg
- Matcha Tea ~0.062mg (1/2 tsp)
- Kobu Cha 0.2mg
- Mugi Cha 0.1mg
- Apple Juice 0.07mg
- Apricot Juice 0.07mg
- Peach Juice 0.24mg
- Pomegranate Juice 0.4mg
- Blackberry Juice 0.41mg
- Raspberry Juice 0.4-0.5mg
- Gatorade 0.1mg
- Sprite (Lemon-Lime) 0.14mg
- Dr. Pepper 0.2mg
Taking Vitamin C and Zinc Together: Good Choice or Bad?
In plain words, go for it!
Even though vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) and Zinc are understood to have many benefits in different physiologies of the human anatomy. However, these two nutrients together make the immune system strong through a joint-boosting effect and thus keep diseases at bay.
Despite its favorable immune function, make sure that you don’t end up consuming too much vitamin C or zinc as it may result in nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
Are Zinc Supplements Safe?
As with other supplements, oral zinc supplements are also considered to be safe and beneficial to people who have very low levels of zinc.
When taken during a cold, it helps alleviate the symptoms and reduces its span. Additionally, zinc supplementation has also been reported to gradually decelerate the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Nonetheless, doctors suggest avoiding using intranasal zinc, as research shows its interconnections with a partial or complete reduced sense of smell.
Too Much Zinc in the Body
Zinc intake from food sources is deemed a safe nutrient for human consumption. Even so, the amount should be confined to 40 mg of zinc.
If and when the body’s zinc absorption crosses 40 mg per day, you will likely face a risk of reduced copper uptake.
Hence, it is highly advised to keep a check on your consumption of drinks or certain foods containing zinc to ensure optimal health.