Zinc
Immune System Protector . Flu fighter
 
Minerals

 

Zinc

Our 18th nutrient mineral (in alphabetical order). Zinc is a trace element (ie. Our bodies require only a small amount of this mineral). Chemical symbol: Zn. Protector of the immune system and major disease fighter. Mild zinc deficiency is a common problem. Zinc absorption can be seriously affected by the consumption of phytic acid (found in raw whole grains and bran), or tea, or coffee in the same meal. In contrast to iron, zinc is not stored and is easily lost from the body.

Zinc is essential to cells, including the cells that fight viruses and infections. Research has shown that zinc supplements help ease cold symptoms. Studies on young adults have shown that Zinc is able to significantly reduce the duration of colds and flu symptoms (eg. congestion, cough, headache, hoarseness, sore throat).

Zinc is mostly needed during pregnancy, breast-feeding, growing children & teens, or if we are suffering from a wound, burn or infection.

Functions/Benefits
Reducing the severity of cold/flu symptoms. Alcohol detoxification. Carbon dioxide transport. Collagen synthesis. Prostate gland function. Energy metabolism. Bone formation. Growth. Healthy reproductive organs. Male fertility. Protein & carbohydrate synthesis. Vitamin A metabolism and distribution. Wound and burn healing.

Deficiency Symptoms
Abnormal hair loss, acne, anorexia, depression, fatigue. Impaired taste and smell. Enlarged prostate. Poor libido, male infertility (sterility). Mental illness, nervousness. Nystagmus (rapid involuntary oscillation of the eyeballs). Poor growth in children, poor hair growth. Skin rashes, slow wound healing, white spots on fingernails.

Zinc deficiency may also lead to macular degeneration (a common cause of blindness).
Over 30% of people suffering from Crohn’s disease (a gastrointestinal disorder) have zinc deficiency.

Food sources
Eggs. Milk. Mushrooms. Leafy green vegetables. Meat. Nuts. Seafood. Seeds. Whole grains. Wheat germ. Bran.

US RDA: 15mg
EU RDA: 15mg

Nutrient Destroyers
Alcohol. Phosphorous deficiency. Excessive calcium.

Toxicity
Zinc is considered non-toxic, but in very high doses (above 150mg per day), may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Studies show that doses of 200mg per day may cause deficiencies in other nutrients and may lead to anemia. And doses of 300mg per day actually lower immunity (defeating the purpose of taking zinc to boost immunity).


 

Next > Minerals (vitamins’ best friends)

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