Zinc: An essential mineral for optimal health
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Essential to cellular growth and repair.
- Elevates your level of muscle building.
- Assists in wound healing, blood formation, and general growth and maintenance of all tissues
What is Zinc?
Zinc is an essential trace mineral. Every cell in the body needs this nutrient and hundreds of body processes rely on it, from the immune system and the enzymes that produce DNA to the senses of taste and smell. Although the body does not produce zinc on its own, this mineral is readily available in drinking water and certain foods. Even so, a surprising number of adults fail to get enough of this mineral through their diet. Better food choices and a good multivitamin and mineral supplement can help compensate for such mild deficiencies.
What does Zinc do?
There’s now evidence that supplements may also be useful in providing the extra zinc needed to fight cold and flu symptoms. In addition, zinc has shown promise for speeding the healing of canker sores and sore throat, promoting recovery from skin injuries, reducing tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and controlling acne and eye problems. Zinc is believed to promote a strong immune system by, among other things, revitalising the thymus gland and its production of white blood cells. In addition, autoimmune diseases (chronic ailments linked to the improper functioning of the immune system, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia) may also benefit from zinc supplementation.
The presence of too little zinc has been linked to a decreased immune response in older people. Again, supplemental zinc may be a viable remedy. In a study of 118 relatively healthy but elderly nursing home residents in Italy, researchers found that those given 25 mg of zinc daily for three months developed stronger immune systems. By boosting the immune system, zinc may also protect against fungal infections and various infectious disorders, such as conjunctivitis and pneumonia. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Why take Zinc?
Colds and Flu: When taken promptly at the first signs of illness, zinc lozenges can minimise the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms. Research indicates that the zinc may actually destroy the cold virus, cutting the duration of an infection nearly in half. In one study, common colds disappeared about three days earlier in participants who sucked on zinc lozenges every couple of hours instead of on a placebo lozenge. Only zinc in the form of zinc gluconate, ascorbate, or glycinate will fight a cold, however, so pick your product carefully. Avoid lozenges containing sorbitol, mannitol, or citric acid, as these chemicals, when combined with saliva, make zinc ineffective.
Canker Sores and Sore Throat: Zinc lozenges appear not only to boost your resistance to canker sores but also make them heal more quickly should they appear. The lozenges may even stave off a sore throat that’s threatening to develop as a result of a cold.
Skin Wounds, Eczema, Rosacea, Burns, and other irritations: Zinc repairs the skin’s top layer in part by helping to process the essential fatty acids that encourage healing. Adding zinc supplements to your diet may therefore lead to more efficient recovery from burns, psoriasis, rosacea, hemorrhoids, and eczema, especially if the affected area is not healing well. The body also requires extra nutrients such as zinc to help repair burned skin and reinforce the immune response.
Acne: In some studies, zinc has been linked to skin health because it enhances the immune system, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthy hormone levels. Acne may improve as a result. In one study, zinc when taken in conjunction with topical prescription antibiotic solutions, such as erythromycin and clindamycin, considerably increased the capacity of these medications to clear up the acne. Because long-term use of zinc inhibits copper absorption, it should be taken along with that mineral. One study reported that participants taking 30 mg of zinc daily had a clearer complexion after two months than participants taking a placebo, at least according to the evaluating physicians. In a separate study, zinc performed as well as the standard acne antibiotic, tetracycline. Not all studies have found zinc to be beneficial for acne, however.
Eye Problems: Zinc appears to boost the effectiveness of vitamin A, a nutrient well known for its role in keeping the eyes healthy. In addition, zinc plays a critical role in the functioning of the retina and the light-sensitive area known as the macula found within it. Supplements have been shown to slow vision loss in individuals with macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in individuals over age 50. Symptoms of the inflammatory eye condition known as conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, may lessen with zinc as well. In a French study of people with symptoms of conjunctivitis from seasonal allergies, zinc combined with antihistamines led to considerable improvement in 78% of the study participants. In the case of infection in the eye, keep in mind that even mild cases that fail to clear rapidly should be seen by a doctor.
Diabetes: By improving levels of insulin (the hormone so important to regulating the body’s energy supply) zinc supplements may help people with type 1 or 2 diabetes manage their disease more effectively. In addition, some people with diabetes have wounds that fail to heal well; this problem relates in part to the presence of high blood sugar levels and zinc may help to control problems.
Osteoporosis: By promoting mineral absorption and keeping bones healthy, zinc may help to prevent this progressive bone disorder and its associated disabling complications, such as fractures. Zinc is often taken with copper, which plays a critical role in keeping collagen – a protein that strengthens the bones and connective tissue – in good shape. At least six months of treatment with zinc/copper combinations are needed before bone-strengthening effects occur.
Infertility: Zinc’s effect on sex hormones may make it valuable in treating infertility in both women and men. Zinc plays a positive role in female fertility by promoting proper cell division, a process critical to the earliest stages of conception and fetal development. Similarly, in male reproduction zinc may well be necessary for adequate testosterone levels and sperm counts.
Enlarged Prostate: Zinc ranks among the key nutrients for the health of the prostate gland in men. Some evidence indicates that it may not only reduce an enlarged prostate but actually relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a common but bothersome condition that can result in problems such as difficulty urinating and weak urine flow. Zinc supplements are most appropriate for prostate problems (BPH, specifically) categorised as mild to moderate; check with your doctor to see if your case qualifies as such. In fact, a doctor should check your condition regularly every six months to track your progress.
Nourish hair: Zinc, along with other vitamins and minerals, promotes hair growth. It may even help slow the loss of hair and counter brittleness, particularly if the problems are due to an under-active thyroid gland. Extra benefits are derived from combining zinc with copper, as this mineral is an essential ingredient in melanin, a natural pigment in hair.
Recommended Intake for Zinc:
If You Get Too Little Zinc: Severe zinc deficiency is rare in developed countries. But even a mild deficiency in this mineral can result in a host of ills, from increased risk for colds and flu to impaired wound healing and a diminished sense of smell. Skin ailments such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis may develop. Low sperm counts may occur. Blood sugar (glucose) tolerance may be compromised, with an associated increased risk for diabetes. In addition, over time, impaired immunity may develop.
If You Get Too Much Zinc: Zinc in amounts greater than 200 mg a day can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Taking even 100 mg a day in supplement form over long periods can result in problems, including lowered levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and diminished immune-system function.
- When treating the majority of ailments mentioned: Take 30-50mg once a day.
- For eye infections: Take 30-50mg a day for one month.
- Absorption of copper may be compromised by long-term (a month or more) ingestion of zinc.
- If you also take iron supplements, avoid absorption problems by taking the zinc two hours after the iron.
- Because zinc may decrease the absorption of the antibiotics tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline, making them less effective, take zinc at least two hours after the antibiotic.
- Zinc supplements can safely be combined with many prescription drugs for diabetes, but consult your doctor to ensure that your need for insulin doesn’t change.
- If you are a coffee drinker, be sure to take zinc supplements at least one hour before or two hours after drinking the coffee; the absorption of zinc is reduced by 50% when taken with coffee.
Serving Size: 1 Capsule
Servings Per Container: 120
Amount Per Serving
Zinc (as zinc arginate, zinc glycinate) 15mg
Copper (as copper glycinate) 2mg
Take one (1) capsule, one to two times daily with meals.
If you are pregnant or lactating, consult a health care professional before using this product. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Store in a cool, dry place. Do not use this product if the safety seal on the bottle is broken.
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