People often start taking Zinc supplements when they think they might be getting sick. This makes sense since Zinc supplement benefits extend to the entire body. As one of the primary trace elements for our health, Zinc supplement benefits are plentiful.
Zinc supplements are one of the most commonly available mineral supplements. There is rarely a need to visit a specialty store to find Zinc supplements since Zinc supplement benefits are so well known that these things can be found at any common drugstore.
Since Zinc supplement benefits appear to account for so many features of our health, it makes sense to get an understanding of what Zinc really does for our bodies. While many of us think we know all about Zinc supplement benefits, we have to wonder if we really understand the importance of Zinc for our health.
What is Zinc? What are Zinc supplement benefits? And are there any aspects of Zinc we should know about before taking Zinc supplements? This guide will offer you the basic information on Zinc supplement benefits.
What Is Zinc?
Zinc is what is known as a trace mineral. This means the body requires only small amounts of Zinc. Still, Zinc is necessary for over 100 enzymes to perform their metabolic functions correctly. Zinc is one of the critical chemical elements necessary for chemical reactions to occur that make these enzymes work.
Zinc is a major component of the formation of DNA. It plays a vital role in the growth of cells. Zinc is also necessary for protein synthesis. Finally, Zinc is a vital part of healing damaged tissue and supporting a healthy immune system.
Since Zinc is so essential to the formation of cells, it is one of the most important elements during childhood, pregnancy, and adolescence.
Zinc is also important for our senses of smell and taste.
How does Zinc work?
Zinc is vital to structural, catalytic, and signaling functions in the body. As a structural element, Zinc forms an important component of proteins. Under specific conditions, Zinc forms a structural component with proteins, peptides, and nucleic acids (the fundamental unit of DNA).
In its catalytic functions, Zinc operates as a substrate for enzymatic reactions necessary for the proper functioning of more than 100 enzymes. This means Zinc is the necessary chemical element that makes these reactions possible.
Zinc is crucial in cell formations. It is a key feature of certain types of biochemical bonds that form the basis of cell structures. This means that Zinc is essential for the formation of cells at the most basic level. Without the presence of Zinc, cell formation could not occur.
Top Zinc Benefits
It is clear that Zinc is vital for our health. Since Zinc is critical to so many elemental biochemical functions, it would also be clear that there are many benefits of taking Zinc supplements to enhance our health. Some of the top benefits of Zinc include:
Improve immune function
There are a great many Zinc supplements on the market. There are still more supplements that include Zinc as an additional boost for the immune system. There are even medications that include Zinc as an additional way to enhance the immune system. The reason for the inclusion of Zinc in so many health supplements and over-the-counter medications is that Zinc is a powerful and effective way to improve your immune function.
A medical review of multiple studies found that Zinc lozenges that contain 80-92 mg of Zinc may reduce the duration of the common cold by over 30 percent. Other studies have shown that Zinc supplements can prevent the symptoms of certain types of upper respiratory infections. These same studies revealed that Zinc supplements can reduce the duration of upper respiratory infections.
Zinc also appears to operate as a powerful antioxidant. This reduces inflammation and can protect the body against several chronic health problems like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Improve heart health
Heart disease is a serious and even deadly condition. Heart disease now accounts for about 33 percent of fatalities around the world. This is why so many people are taking Zinc supplements to protect themselves against heart disease.
Recent research has found that taking Zinc supplements can improve several of the health factors that contribute to heart disease. Zinc supplements can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels, for example, and these are two of the major factors that contribute to the onset of heart disease.
In a systematic review of over twenty medical studies, researchers found that Zinc supplements decreased levels of LDL, or the so-called bad cholesterol, and blood triglycerides. This can make a major contribution toward reducing your risk of heart disease.
Other medical studies found that Zinc supplements can reduce systolic blood pressure levels. This is the most crucial blood pressure factor in high blood pressure, another major factor in heart disease.
Supports a healthy digestive system
Zinc is an essential mineral for the support of healthy intestinal bacteria. Many of the same biochemical functions of Zinc that make the human body healthy are also crucial to the health of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
Zinc supplements are known to help repair and heal the gut after certain types of gastrointestinal illnesses like diarrhea. Zinc helps heal and repair the intestines. These benefits may also help alleviate the symptoms of things like celiac disease and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Supplements that contain Zinc carnosine have been found to help repair the damage from stomach ulcers. Zinc carnosine also shows promise in combating the bacteria Helicobacter pylori which is the bacteria associated with stomach ulcers.
Signs of Deficiency
One of the main reasons people take Zinc supplements is to guard against Zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency can be quite serious. As we have seen, Zinc is essential for such a wide range of biochemical functions in the body that developing a Zinc deficiency is likely to mean serious medical problems.
Zinc deficiencies are actually not common. Zinc is found in a wide array of foods. However, our bodies cannot produce Zinc so we must obtain sufficient amounts of Zinc from other sources. Therefore, the possibility of a Zinc deficiency is quite real. Certain restrictive diets and some health issues can also lead to a Zinc deficiency.
Symptoms of a Zinc deficiency include decreased immunity, hair loss, poor appetite, diarrhea, and slow healing of wounds.
Multiple scientific studies have shown that Zinc supplements effectively increase Zinc concentrations in the blood. This will most likely correct a Zinc deficiency. Some symptoms of Zinc deficiency, diarrhea, for example, can improve in as little as 24 hours after taking Zinc supplements.
Food Sources of Zinc
Most people who are in good health can obtain all the Zinc they require from dietary sources. Zinc is present in a wide variety of foods. Foods that are good sources of dietary Zinc include:
- Shellfish: oysters, crab, lobster
- Nuts, seeds
- Whole grains
- Fortified breakfast cereals
There are some Zinc supplemental forms that come in an intranasal spray. Doctors caution against using this because it has been linked to the loss of your sense of smell.
Beyond this, the main risks of taking Zinc supplements are interactions with certain types of medications. Take extra precautions if you are taking any of the following:
Taking Zinc supplements while you are taking quinolone or tetracycline antibiotics can interfere with your body’s ability to fight bacteria. If you are careful to take your antibiotic two to four hours after taking a Zinc supplement, you can minimize this potential danger.
This is a drug prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis. Zinc supplements can reduce the effectiveness of these drugs. Again, taking your prescription two to four hours after you take a Zinc supplement can minimize this danger.
These types of blood pressure medications can increase the amount of Zinc in your urine. This reduces the amount of Zinc you absorb from Zinc supplements.
Zinc Side Effects
Zinc supplements are generally considered to be safe for almost anyone. Some people have experienced some side effects that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Taking too much Zinc can cause fever, coughing, headache, and flu-like symptoms.
Zinc can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb copper which is another important trace mineral. This only appears to happen when people take Zinc supplements for long periods of time.
As noted above, there can be serious interactions with certain medications, particularly certain types of antibiotics.
As with all vitamin and mineral supplements, it is always best to consult your doctor if you have any existing health conditions that may relate to taking Zinc supplements.
How much Zinc you take depends largely on your specific needs and the amount of Zinc you get from dietary sources. You should also pay close attention to the exact concentration of Zinc in any vitamin and mineral supplement. Different forms of Zinc provide different precise concentrations of elemental Zinc. For example, Zinc sulfate provides 23 percent elemental Zinc. This means 220 mg of Zinc sulfate will provide around 50 mg of elemental Zinc.
The elemental concentrations of Zinc will be listed on the product label. It is important that you read these labels since the health benefits of any supplements will depend on this information.
The recommended dosage of Zinc for healthy adults is around 15-30 mg of elemental Zinc. It is possible to obtain this level of Zinc from dietary sources. Eating a diet that consists of meat, poultry, seafood, fortified breakfast cereals, nuts and seeds, legumes, and dairy products will provide all the elemental Zinc your body requires.
People who adhere to restrictive diets such as vegetarians and vegans may find they need to take Zinc supplements to make sure they get all the Zinc they need to remain healthy.
Higher doses of Zinc are sometimes prescribed to treat certain conditions such as acne, diarrhea, and respiratory infections.
Best Zinc Supplement
Immune Defense from NF Sports provides a healthy boost of elemental Zinc to help build your immune system Immune Defense also contains L-Lysine, Vitamin C, and Vitamins B2 and B6 for optimal immune response.
One of the primary reasons many people take Zinc supplements is to boost their immune system. Immune Defense from NF Sports is the most effective Zinc supplement for this purpose. With the combination of Zinc and other immune-boosting ingredients, Immune Defense provides the maximum immune response.
How much Zinc is safe?
The recommended dosage of Zinc for healthy adults is 15-30 mg per day. This will provide the levels of Zinc necessary for your health and to maintain a healthy immune response.
How much Zinc is too much?
You should not exceed 40 mg of elemental Zinc per day. Too much Zinc can lead to a variety of side effects.
When should I take Zinc?
You get the best results from Zinc supplements if you take them one to two hours before meals. If you experience an upset stomach from taking Zinc on an empty stomach, you can take Zinc supplements with meals. You should tell your doctor if you are taking Zinc with meals to make sure you do not have other gastrointestinal complications.
Wrapping things up
Zinc is a crucial trace element that is necessary for our health. Since Zinc is involved in such a wide array of metabolic functions, from cell production to a healthy immune system, it is critically important that you get enough Zinc in one form or another.
Most people can't get enough Zinc to maintain their health from dietary sources. Zinc is found in such a wide variety of foods that it is relatively easy to obtain enough Zinc from food. However, people on restrictive diets or people who require an extra boost of Zinc to fight illness may benefit from taking Zinc supplements.
Zinc supplements have become one of the most valuable assets for fighting illness. Everything from the common cold to the flu can be treated with a healthy and effective Zinc supplement. If you need a Zinc supplement to boost your immune system, Immune Defense combines elemental Zinc with several other nutrients that will enhance your immune system.