Nutrients are vital for human growth and well being. Proper and balanced intake of these nutrients helps in
maintaining optimal health. These nutrients include micro minerals like
arsenic, boron, cobalt, copper, chromium, fluorine, iodine, iron, manganese,
molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium and zinc.
Zinc is an important trace mineral that is found in almost every cell of the human body. It plays many crucial roles in our daily
lives. Zinc plays an important role in
the growth-height, weight, and bone development in infants, children and
Zinc and Immune System
Zinc helps in building healthy immune system by playing a crucial role in the development of the white blood
cells called T-lymphocytes. Increased levels of zinc in the human body have
proven effective in fighting pneumonia, diarrhea and infection. Zinc can also
reduce the duration and severity of a common cold.
Zinc and Fertility
Zinc helps in maintaining sperm count, mobility and normal
levels of serum testosterone. It also protects male from prostrates and the
accompanying prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostrate). In women, zinc is used to treat menstrual
problems and alleviate symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Zinc and Cell Division
Zinc is invaluable for the growth of fetuses whose cells are rapidly
dividing. The mere presence of this mineral can help avoid congenital
abnormalities and pre-term delivery.
Zinc and Vision
The human eye, especially the retina has high concentration of zinc that
protects and prevents us from night blindness and development of cataract. As
one ages, the quantity of zinc in the retina declines leading to age-related
vision problems like macular degeneration (AMD).
Zinc and Hair Loss/Growth
Research indicates that zinc can slow hair loss and improve fine, brittle hair when associated with an under
active thyroid. Zinc is effective in curbing graying hair, especially when
combined with copper, since these two are the major ingredients in melanin that
is responsible for hair color.
Apart from all the above, zinc supplements plays a crucial role in the prevention / treatment of the following
- Alzheimer's disease
- Anorexia nervosa
- Atopic dermatitis
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy
- Cervical dysplasia
- Common cold
- Cohn's disease
- Graves' disease
- Herpes simplex
- Infertility (male)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Macular degeneration
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Senile cataracts
The major reasons for zinc
Excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption,
Medications like ace inhibitors (blood pressure
medications), diuretics and antacids.
Diets high in carbohydrates.
Ingredients in the food colorings yellow, green,
orange and the food additive tartrazine can deplete the bodies zinc reserve.
Complement the same with zinc additives in your diet for good health. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include
loss of the senses like taste and smell, white spots on the fingernails, acne,
delayed sexual maturation, growth impairment, hair loss, high cholesterol
levels, impaired night vision, impotence, increased susceptibility to
infection, infertility, memory impairment, prostate trouble, recurrent colds,
and flu, skin lesions and slow wound healing.
Several forms of zinc exist and
are known as zinc amino acid chelate, zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, and zinc
chloride. Zinc supplements come in the form of tablets, liquid, capsules and
lozenges. One of the most effective and absorbable zinc supplements is zinc
chelate. Research indicates that zinc absorption can be improved if the
supplement is taken as lozenge and dissolved in mouth. Take your doctor's advice
before taking any zinc supplement. It is ideal to take zinc supplement before
you go to bed.
Consult your doctor for any zinc supplement especially if you are pregnant. Check on how it should be taken. Zinc
is generally not combined with iron supplements, which is usually given during
pregnancy. Follow the dose prescribed by your doctor, as overdose can cause
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lower the level of HDL cholesterol and also lead to
poor immune system function.
The foods we consume are the best sources of zinc. Foods that contain zinc include red meat, fish, oysters, whole
cereals, cheese, nuts, chicken, beef, wheat germ, bran, eggs, bread, sugars and
preserves, canned vegetables, green vegetables, potatoes, fresh fruits and
The following is the daily-recommended intake of zinc by the International Zinc Association
Zinc Supplements and Acne
Doctors opine that acne and Rosacea are linked to zinc deficiency. Zinc Glucanote and Zinc oxide are the
two widely used zinc supplement to treat acne. Research has proved that taking
zinc gluconate acne orally can reduce acne inflammation. It is believed that
topical application of zinc oxide on the affected areas can reduce the
production of sebum and oils and can accelerate the healing of your zits.
Chelated zinc forms are more effective for acne skin in terms of absorption.
However, they are expensive. Chelated indicates that the zinc is combined with
an amino acid to enhance better absorption.
Zinc Supplements and Children
Zinc plays an important role in
the growth of children. Adding zinc supplements to a growing child reduces the
incidence and severity of childhood infections. Research also indicates that
zinc supplement can reduce child mortality especially in the below poverty