Zinc is considered as an essential trace mineral. The criteria for knowing whether a trace mineral is essential include presence of nutrient in healthy tissue, if it is found in fetus and newborns and if the body maintains homeostatic control over its uptake in bloodstream or tissue and its excretion.
Zinc is relied on by every cell in the body and hundreds of body processes. It is needed in the immune system, the enzymes that produce DNA to the senses of taste and smell. The body does not manufacture zinc on its own. But this mineral is widely available in drinking water and certain foods.
Zinc has provides the body a number of health benefits, among them are:
- It fights colds and flu. Zinc lozenges can lessen the length and severity of cold and flu. Zinc actually destroys cold virus. Choose zinc lozenges in the form of gluconate, ascorbate or glycinate. Avoid zinc sorbitol, mannitol or critic acid since saliva makes these chemicals ineffective.
- It speeds up healing of canker sores and sore throat. Zinc boosts resistance to canker sores and sore throat. It heals them faster.
- It supports healing of skin wounds, eczema, rosacea, burns and other irritations. It repairs the top layer of the skin by helping to process the essential fatty acids that promote healing.
- It controls acne. Zinc promotes skin health by improving the immune system, lowering inflammation and promoting healthy hormone levels resulting to control of acne.
- It lowers tinnitus. Tinnitus is caused in part by low levels of zinc.
- It treats eye problems. It enhances the benefits of vitamin A.
- It controls diabetes. It improves level of insulin thereby aiding people with type 1 or 2 diabetes control their disease effectively.
- It minimizes digestive complaints by its capacity to promote healing.
- It protects against osteoporosis. It fosters mineral absorption and keep bones health.
- Treats infertility problems related to hormones. Zinc fosters proper cell division during the earliest stages of conception in women. And in men, it is necessary for adequate testosterone levels and sperm counts.
- It reduces enlarged prostate. Zinc promotes health of prostate gland in men and relieves symptoms of BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Zinc comes in various formulations such as: tablet, lozenge, liquid and capsule. The recommended intake is 15 mg for adult men and 12 mg for adult women. To treats disorders, higher doses are required. Too little of zinc may cause increased risk for colds and flu, impaired wound healing and reduced sense of smell. Skin ailments, low sperm counts and blood sugar tolerance may happen.
Too much that is at 200 mg a day can result to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Tasking more than 100 mg a day in supplements for long period of time can cause disorders such as reduced levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol.
Zinc may interact with certain drugs and nutrients such as copper. Taking zinc for more than a month may cause reduction the absorption of copper. Take the supplements two hours after iron because this may cause absorption problems too. Zinc can also cause decrease in absorption of antibiotics. Take it two hours after antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline. Total daily intake of zinc from food and supplements should not be more than 150 mg a day.