Not only is zinc one of the most abundant trace minerals in your body, but it also plays a key role in nearly every aspect of health. Zinc is an essential trace element commonly found in red meat, poultry, and fish. It is necessary for small amounts for human health, growth, and a sense of taste. Zinc is found throughout the body. The body doesn’t store excess zinc, so it must be obtained from the diet. It’s needed for immune function, wound healing, blood clotting, thyroid function, and much more.
It also plays a key role in maintaining vision and might have effects against viruses. It is a major player in the creation of DNA, growth of cells, building proteins, healing damaged tissue and supporting a healthy immune system. Because it helps cells to grow and multiply, adequate zinc is required during times of rapid growth, such as childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy. Zinc is also involved with the senses of taste and smell.
Zinc is available in supplement form as pills and lozenges. Excess zinc can interfere with the absorption of iron and copper. High doses can also cause nausea and even vomiting. Therefore, important not to take supplemental zinc unless it is known that the diet is low in foods containing zinc or a zinc deficiency is confirmed. A registered dietician can help evaluate your diet and your diet can determine if zinc intake is low.
Zinc helps to boost your immune system
Zinc helps to keep your immune system strong because it is necessary for immune cell function and cell signalling; deficiency can lead to a weakened immune response. People who don’t have enough zinc in their bodies may be at greater risk for pneumonia and other infections. Children and the elderly are at greater risk. Zinc supplements stimulate particular immune cells and reduce oxidative stress. Studies suggest that both topical and oral zinc treatments can effectively treat acne by reducing inflammation, inhibiting the growth of acne bacteria, and suppressing gland activity.
Helps to treat wounds
Zinc oxide was used in ointments to treat wounds, as noted in ancient Greek medical texts. Today, zinc oxide is still a popular over-the-counter skin treatment. It can defend against sunburns by reflecting and scattering ultraviolet rays so they do not penetrate the skin. It is also used to treat inflamed skin conditions like burns, eczema, bedsores, and diaper rash.
The compound forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, repelling away moisture and allowing the skin to heal. It may also aid enzymes in breaking down damaged collagen tissue so that new tissue can be formed.
Helps to manage blood sugar
Zinc plays a role in the storage and secretion of insulin, the hormone that allows cells to use sugars from the food we eat so it doesn’t build up in the blood.
Zinc supplementation contributes to blood sugar control and promotes healthy lipid parameters among people with diabetes. Further research has shown that supplementing with zinc has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity among obese individuals.