Zinc is a mineral that is found in almost every cell in the human body, despite its importance, this mineral is often taken for granted. A lot of people tend to remember zinc when they have a cold or sore throat. These people take zinc supplements and lozenges to treat colds or sore throats. However, these individuals should bear in mind that zinc won’t cure these ailments. The mineral, however, will help boost the immune system so the cold won’t develop into something more serious. In addition to these health benefits, zinc is found in many food groups and is important for nourishing the skin, boosting the functions of the reproductive system.
Being a naturally occurring element, zinc is found in food such as oysters (one of the highest source of zinc), liver, chicken, turkey, dairy products, and many more. This mineral a significant element in today’s diet. However, too little or too high levels of zinc can be harmful. Zinc deficiency can lead to impairment of taste, poor immune system, and skin problems. Other symptoms may include diarrhea, hair loss, fatigue, slowed wound healing, infertility, and decreased growth in infants. High levels of zinc, on the other hand, may cause cramps, anemia, changes in cholesterol levels, loss of libido, impotence, and dizziness. The right levels of zinc may improve brain function and hasten the healing of wounds.
Other benefits of zinc may include:
- It functions as an antioxidant and is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and protein synthesis;
- It is important in the regulation of cell growth, energy metabolism, and regulation of gene transcription ; and
- May help protect the prostate from cancer.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of zinc in individuals is 15 milligrams a day, but recent medical studies show that people can take as much as 40 milligrams a day. Taking zinc supplement is important because medical studies show that this mineral is not stored in the body and people need to take the minimum dose every day. Men need more zinc than women because the male semen contains about 100 times more zinc than what is found in the blood. The more sexually active a man is, the more zinc he will require. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults is 1/3 higher than that of women. Recent health reports show that zinc is essential to helping couples address infertility. Zinc dosages of 50 mg a day may result in an increase in semen production and improve fertility. This supplementation is beneficial in conception by affecting the hormone levels in the body.
Despite the importance of zinc, individuals who want to include zinc in their food regimens should seek the advice of doctors and other health professionals before taking zinc supplements. Zinc supplements may help balance the supply of zinc and other important minerals that body may lack. It is important to take the right amounts of supplements and combine them with nutritious diets and exercise. A healthy lifestyle should always be the foundation of good health. Remember to read labels of multivitamins and supplements before taking them. It is important to know the ingredients and quality of medications one is taking. Understanding the benefits of zinc and other vitamins and minerals may lead to improved overall health and happier lives.