This is an essential micronutrient mineral that’s responsible for good health.
This mineral is available in different sources such as plant and animal products, supplements and medications. Although it occurs in small quantities, oysters have shown to have the highest concentration.
Supplements are mainly zinc compounds and include zinc gluconate, sulfate, acetate, and zinc lozenges.
Zinc Rich Foods
Different food products have varying nutrient levels of this mineral. Foods rich in zinc include;
- Legumes; beans, lentils
- Red meat and seafood; oysters, shellfish, pork, beef
- Dairy foods; cheese, milk
- Some Vegetables; pumpkin, sweet potatoes
- Whole grains; oats, rice, wheat
- Seeds and nuts; squash, cashew nuts, almonds, peanuts
- Eggs and dark chocolate
Zinc Lozenges – Used in the treatment of a common cold.
Zinc Gluconate – Preventing and treating zinc deficiency.
Zinc Picolinate – This is the most readily absorbed form of the supplement.
Zinc Carnosine – It helps stabilize small bowel integrity and stimulates gut repair processes.
Zinc Supplements For Men
Supplements may be used by deficient men patients to increase their sperm count and fertility. Zinc sulfate and folic acid are the most common supplement used for this.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for this mineral in male adults is 15milligrams and 12 mg for women daily. Whereas the tolerable upper level (UL) intake is 40 mg per day for adults. Ingestion above the set UL may result in overdose and toxicity.
An overdose is only possible if people consume zinc above the set UL. It is mainly as a result of excess intake of supplements. An overdose may be characterized by the following symptoms;
It may result in low immune strength and susceptible to illness and infections. However, an overdose is extremely rare since excess zinc is excreted through urine.
Deficiency is a result of low zinc levels in the body. Nevertheless, deficiency may affect different groups more than others. People at the highest risk of deficiency include;
- Patients with malabsorption syndrome
- Breastfeeding women
- Sickle cell patients
Deficiency may result in negative health effects such as;
- Memory loss
- Hair loss
- Low sperm count
- Slow wound healing
- Impaired senses of smell and taste
Zinc importance is often disregarded since it occurs in small quantities
Symptoms of Zinc deficiency
Deficiency may have the following symptoms;
- Growth retardation.
- Hair loss.
- Delayed healing of wounds.
- Impaired immune functioning.
- Loss of appetite
Zinc Health Benefits
Though zinc found in foods is in small quantities, it has vast health and nutritional benefits to the body. e.g.
Health Benefits of Zinc
- It helps the immune system fight bacteria and viruses
- Zinc pills may help reduce diarrhea.
- It aids in fast wound healing
- Essential in maintaining a healthy brain and its cognitive functions
- It helps reduce the severity and duration for common cold to up to 7 days.
- Reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases.
Nutritional Benefits of Zinc
- Its supplements are used in the treatment of acne.
- Zinc improves the synthesis, storage, and release of insulin which is essential in stabilizing blood sugar levels.
- It is important for ensuring proper senses of taste, vision, and smell.
- Zinc helps the body to develop properly.
Zinc Wound Healing
This mineral is used in protein synthesis and cell growth which is vital in fast wound healing.
Is Zinc Good For Acne
Serum zinc levels are lowest in teenage males age 13-14 thus the high prevalence of acne in this age group. Supplements are used in the treatment of acne. Zinc Pca and sulfate supplements are mostly used in the treatment of acne.
It is used for dental cement of tooth crowns and bridges.
Zinc Pyrithione Shampoo
It is a hair medicine that is used on the scalp and hair to treat skin dandruff. However, this medicine may interact with other drugs and cause side effects such as; rashes and irritation, and peeling skin. Therefore it is important to seek medical advice on the use of this shampoo if you are on other medications.
This mineral helps in the production of protein_keratin. This protein is essential in hair growth because it is a main part of the hair follicle. Our trusted research proves that zinc deficiency may suppress the formation of this vital protein thus reducing hair growth and volume. It also keeps the oil glands around hair follicles working effectively. The use of zinc supplements tends to treat deficiency and also improves the health of the hair.
Zinc Rich Foods For Vegetarians
Animal foods and proteins have the most concentration for zinc. This may be a challenge for vegetarians who have to opt for different sources of the mineral. Nutritionists at Information Cradle IC advise vegetarians on a high intake of whole grains such as wheat to increase their mineral levels, without affecting their general health.
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