Zinc plays a very important role in keeping us healthy. It is found in cells throughout the body, mostly in the bones and muscles and a relatively high concentration is stored in the prostate gland and retina of the eyes. It is essential in helping the body's immune system function at its best. In this section we offer a range of zinc supplements that come in different forms: capsule, oral drops and ointment. Important facts about Zinc Benefits of Zinc Zinc deficiency Symptoms Natural sources of Zinc
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Page updated 06/04/18 12:47:36 p.m.
Important facts about Zinc:
- It is an essential mineral and one of the most abundant trace elements in the body, second to iron.
- It is mostly found in the bones and muscles.
- Relative high concentration are stored in the prostate gland and retina of the eye.
- It enhances the senses of vision, taste and smell.
- Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers need extra boost of zinc.
- Stress quickly depletes zinc supply in the body.
What are the benefits of Zinc?
- It makes proteins and DNA that make up the genetic material in all the cells.
- Helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
- Helps relieve diarrhea by halting it in its tracks, as well as helping prevent future bouts of this condition. (1, 2)
- Stimulates learning and helps enhance memory function. (3)
- Helps shorten the duration of common cold episodes by up to 40%. (4)
- Plays a role in supporting skin integrity and structure.
- Assists in proper growth
- Helps prevent cellular damage in the retina, which leads to vision loss.
- Helps increase fertility in men. Several studies and trials have discovered that those who suffer from low sperm quality and male infertility are also low in zinc. (5)
Who is at risk of Zinc deficiency?
- Most people get enough zinc from their regular diet, however there are certain people who are at risk of zinc deficiency:
- Those who have had gastrointestinal surgery or those who have digestive disorders such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
- Vegetarians, because meat is a good source of zinc.
- Older infants who have been breastfed because breast milk may not have enough zinc for infants over 6 months old.
- Alcoholics, because alcohol decreases the amount of zinc the body can absorb and increases the amount lost in the urine.
What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?
Although a rare occurrence, having very low zinc levels can cause the following: slow growth in infants and children, delayed sexual development in adolescents and impotence in men.
Those who suffer from zinc deficiency can also experience: hair loss, diarrhea, eye and skin sores and loss of appetite. Additionally, it can also lead to weight loss, slow wound healing, decreased ability to taste food and lower alertness levels.
Natural sources of zinc:
It has always been a good guideline to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in order to get enough vitamins and minerals. It is no different in the case of zinc. Eating the following food can provide the daily requirement of this very important trace element:
Pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, garlic, sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, wheat germ, squash seeds and chickpeas.
Beef, shrimp, egg yolks, turkey, salmon, lobster, pork, beef liver and lamb are also very good sources of zinc.
References: TIME Examines How Zinc Supplements May Help Save Children Worldwide. Published 10 August 2009 Study Examines Campaign To Increase Use Of Zinc To Prevent Childhood Diarrhea. Published 5 November 2009 Zinc Important For Learning And Memory. Published 7 October 2011 The Duration Of The Common Cold May Be Shortened By Zinc Lozenges. Published 27 July 2011 Infertility: Causes, Diagnosis, Risks, Treatments. Published 21 January 2015
What are common side effects?
Taking too much vitamin C can lead to certain conditions: diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps.
What are the common signs of vitamin C deficiency?
- Vitamin C deficiency is a rare condition but for those who get very little amount of this very important nutrient ( approximately below 10mg per day) for many weeks can lead to getting scurvy.
- Symptoms are:
- Inflammation of the gums
- Small red or purple spots on the skin
- Joint pain
- Poor wound healing
- Corkscrew hairs
- It can also lead to depression
What are the natural sources of vitamin C?
- Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables can ensure that you are getting enough vitamin C into your system. The following are highest in amount of vitamin C:
- Citrus fruits: oranges and grapefruit, Kiwi fruit, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes
- Red and green peppers
- Broccoli, baked potatoes
- Foods and beverages fortified with vitamin C
Page updated 06/04/18 12:47:36 p.m.