Zinc & It’s Supplements – A Complete Guide
If you are suffering from a deep cut or a wound that just won’t heal, maybe you are not consuming a sufficient amount of zinc. Zinc is a trace element that helps in wound healing and ensures a healthy immune system for further prevention.
Almost all the cells and tissues in our body contain some amount of zinc, although the majority of zinc can be found in bones and muscles. Zinc is crucial for the healthy growth and development of a human being. Here are all the functions of zinc at a glance,
- Works as a catalyst to activate around 100 different enzymes.
- Promotes healthy growth during childhood.
- Speeds up wound healing.
- Transports proteins like vitamins A and D into the cells.
- It regulates gene expression.
- Stabilizes cell membranes.
- It helps cells defend better against oxidative stress.
- Takes participation in the synthesis of key proteins.
- Stores and releases insulin.
- It helps in synthesizes DNA correctly.
Now let us take a brief look into the functioning of zinc and how it benefits the human body.
Health Benefits of Zinc
Low levels of zinc in the body can severely harm the immune system. Here’s how the human body requires zinc to enable activities of the T cells also known as the T lymphocytes.
These T cells work by controlling the immune system responses and also attack cells damaged by infections.
Hence you need zinc to activate these cells and allow the immune system to function efficiently.
Along with helping to carry out basic functioning, zinc also keeps the immune system going strong.
Since it is important for the functions of the cell if zinc lacks in amount and cells fail to function properly, the immune system will be left weak and impaired.
If you take zinc supplements on a regular basis, you can reduce the risk of infections and common cold in your body by a huge percentage.
Diarrhea is a threatening illness that is reported to take the lives of 1.6 million kids every 5 years.
Studies have shown that a regular course of zinc tablets is effective in alleviating the symptoms of diarrhea and also preventing it in the future.
Speeds Up Wound Healing
Zinc is a crucial mineral to maintain the structure of the cell that forms our skin. Hence it has a significant effect on repairing the skin. People who often suffer from wounds not healing fast or constant ulcers may be deficient in zinc levels.
Zinc is effective in improving the healing rate in the skin and also in treating other skin irritations.
Boost Fertility Rates
Researches have shown that low sperm quality goes hand in hand with low zinc levels in the body. Poor zinc consumption can put men at a high risk of producing low-quality sperms thus leading to complete infertility.
Ideal Zinc Intake Chart
Sufficient zinc intake is important for all ages, but it becomes especially important in children because kids are more prone to zinc deficiency that can hamper their growth, increase the risk of infection and other respiratory diseases.
Foods With High Zinc Content
Zinc is easily spread out in a variety of food items. However, people who follow a vegetarian diet should focus on consuming 50 per cent more zinc content as the bioavailability of zinc is extremely low in plant obtained food items. Foods with the highest reported zinc content are,
- Whole grains
Zinc Deficiency Symptoms & More
Zinc deficiency has come to be known as a common reason for malnutrition worldwide. It is more commonly spread in the areas where people depend on plant-based diets more than animal meat. Although their diet is not always low on zinc content, the bioavailability of that zinc can lead to zinc deficiency.
Children and women tend to need more zinc than men. Commonly known zinc symptoms are,
- Not feeling hungry
- Slow healing of cuts, scrapes and wounds
- Inhibited growth
- Hair loss
- Bouts of depression
Zinc Supplements – What You Should Know?
If you plan on buying zinc supplements, you may come across different types of options, they all are made of different components and each affects your health in its own unique ways.
Zinc supplements are generally available in different formats such as capsules, tablets and lozenges. Here are a few types of zinc supplements that you are most likely to find on the shelves or online.
Zinc gluconate is one of the most common forms of over the counter zinc supplements. It is prescribed to treat the common cold through lozenges tablets and nasal sprays.
It is a widely available and most affordable zinc supplement which you can pick if you want to level up your zinc intake without making a hole in your pocket. The best part is, it gets easily absorbed in our body.
Similar to zinc gluconate, zinc acetate is also prescribed to reduce symptoms of a cold in the form of lozenges. It speeds up the healing process and cures cold effectively.
Zinc sulphate is a water-soluble form of zinc supplement and gets easily absorbed by the body. Along with stepping up the intake of zinc, zinc sulphate also works great on acne-prone skin.
Zinc picolinate can be safely described as the zinc formula that best gets absorbed by our body compared to any other type of zinc. This feature makes it the most common choice for zinc supplements.
As always, a well-balanced diet with a sufficient intake of zinc and other essential minerals is always the best option, but that may not always be feasible with our modern lifestyles, which is what makes, supplements a necessity.
Make sure to consult your doctor, and take only the prescribed amount, and there should be no side effects whatsoever.