Zinc has received significant attention recently for its ability to help fight off infections, including by shortening the duration and severity of the common cold and pneumonia.
While the ability to support a healthy immune system is critical, zinc does so much more for our bodies.
Is zinc good for you?
Absolutely! Zinc helps our body fight inflammation, which means that zinc fights pain, reduces muscle cramps, and boosts our immune systems to protect us from a wide variety of illnesses.
It also has antioxidant effects which helps prevent deterioration in our bodies. The role of zinc in our system has been linked to a wide variety of serious health conditions and it even plays a role in our survival.
Promoting a healthy brain function is another of zinc’s important contributions to our health. For example, zinc reduces the risk of depression and major depressive disorder, which is especially important for people who do not respond to antidepressant medication alone.
Additionally, zinc supplements are often given to children who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Research is currently underway regarding how much zinc contributes to our learning processes and other cognitive functions, including our ability to form new memories.
Zinc is also one of our important foundational building blocks, as it is a component of our cells – located literally throughout our entire bodies. It helps us store proteins in our DNA, which is vital to human development during the infancy and childhood stages of life.
For example, it reduces the risk of premature births as well as miscarriages. Zinc’s presence in our cells may also be related to its role and protecting our bodies against osteoporosis.
Also, zinc benefits our ability to heal when we are injured or ill. For example, zinc has been found to help our skin stay healthy as well as to fight skin ulcers, bed sores, and diabetic foot sores.
It has also been suggested that applying zinc to the skin can help treat acne. In addition to helping us heal from minor wounds, zinc has even been used to help improve healing in people with severe burns and to reduce recovery time.
Finally, zinc contributes to at least three of our five senses. For instance, zinc has been used to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease in which vision deteriorates with a blurry center of vision or even blank spots as we get older.
It contributes to our oral health in a variety of ways as well, including by fighting gum disease, bad breath, and cold sores, and it has even been linked to our ability to smell.
The benefits of zinc also include improved fertility and sexual function. Research has shown that low zinc levels may be linked to low sperm counts and male infertility.
Therefore, many men focus on maintaining high levels of zinc in their diet on a daily basis to promote virility and a higher sperm count.
Additionally, having enough zinc and our systems helps us to avoid hair loss, maintain healthy nails, fight sickle cell disease, and combat gastrointestinal issues like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
It also helps people who suffer from alcoholism maintain their health since the alcohol causes them to lose nutrients from their bodies and quickly become fatigued.
Is it ok to take zinc every day?
Our bodies absorb zinc quickly, and then it is excreted with other body fluids. Therefore, we lose zinc every day as part of our daily body functions.
Even though zinc is a trace mineral and we do not need a lot in our systems, we need to incorporate enough zinc into our diet every day to maintain the proper levels.
You might even decide to take zinc supplements to help you reach the recommended daily intake value.
the side effects of too much zinc in your body?
Be careful not to take too much zinc, especially if you choose to take zinc supplements in addition to eating zinc-rich foods on a regular basis.
Too much zinc in your diet can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Zinc side effects also include the loss of appetite and headaches, as well as weaker immune systems.
Adults should never consume more than 40 mg of zinc per day in order to avoid harmful zinc side effects.
Adult men should consume 11 milligrams of zinc per day, while adult women should consume at least 8 milligrams. The daily intake needs increase if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Pregnant women should consume 11 mg per day, pregnant teens and breastfeeding women should consume 12 mg per day, and breastfeeding teens should consume 13 mg per day.
Most people can consume enough sync with a healthy diet. Oysters are the best sources of zinc, as they contain well over the daily recommended intake value. Lean red meat and other shellfish are also excellent sources of zinc.
Additionally, you can add zinc to your diet through dairy products, whole grain foods, and fruits and vegetables, although they contain much less zinc than meat.
This is particularly important for vegans and vegetarians, who will not benefit from meat as a source of zinc. Vegans and vegetarians typically have more legumes and other foods that negatively impact the body’s ability to absorb zinc.
If you fall into this category, you may want to eat as much as 50% more zinc than the daily recommended value in order to make sure your body retains enough zinc to get the full benefit from this important mineral.
If your diet does not include enough zinc, you can take a zinc dietary supplement to help you achieve your goal. You can purchase zinc supplements over the counter, and they often are combined with other essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.
As always, be sure to check the label to determine how many zinc supplements you should consume per day. However, in general, it is safe to take zinc dietary supplements on a daily basis.