Strengthens The Immune System
While not all doctors agree on the benefits of zinc supplementation for the protection of viral diseases, a study published in 2011 showed encouraging and positive results.
Indeed, the study found that zinc administered early was able to reduce the duration and intensity of the common cold.
The researchers found that if prescribed as a preventive measure, zinc can significantly reduce the incidence of colds in younger children. On the other hand, due to the various methodologies used, it was not possible to define a precise dosage in this context.
Best Zinc Food Sources
Unlike some nutrients that are more difficult to obtain from food alone, such as vitamin D, zinc is readily found in both animal and plant-based foods. Top animal sources include oysters , beef, crab, lobster, pork, and yogurt. Plant sources include vegetarian baked beans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, oatmeal, and zinc-fortified plant foods, such as cereal.
The amount you need daily can easily be obtained through a normal, balanced diet. For example, the recommended dietary allowances for zinc are 11 mg per day for men ages 19 and up, and 8 mg for women 19 and over. The requirements for women who are pregnant or lactating are 11 mg and 12 mg respectively. A three-ounce beef patty provides 5.3 mg. One cup of vegetarian baked beans provides 5.8 mg.
In other words, even vegetarians can eat enough zinc. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, studies show that adult vegetarians have zinc intakes that are within the normal range. In addition, an adult’s body can adapt to a vegetarian diet in ways that help optimize zinc status, including increased absorption and retention of zinc.
Obtaining your zinc through food broadens your overall nutrient intake, since zinc-containing foods offer other important nutrients, which may include protein, fiber, other vitamins and minerals, and health-protective antioxidants. It also negates the potential risks tied to taking in too much zinc in supplement form.
Can Be Helpful During Pregnancy
Research has shown that low birth weight infants whose mothers were on zinc supplementation during pregnancy had a reduced risk of diarrhea and dysentery.
According to the World Health Organization, zinc deficiency might lead to intra-uterine deficiency during pregnancy. Maternal zinc deficiency might also compromise the health of the infant and lead to poor birth outcomes.
Population studies show that over 80% of the worlds pregnant women are deficient in zinc . Along with other nutrients such as vitamins C, D, and folate, zinc was also found to promote favorable outcomes during pregnancy as well as lactation.
Zinc is one of the most important minerals for fertility in both men and women . Low levels of zinc have also been linked to melasma .
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What Does Zinc Do For Skin
So, what does zinc do for skin and why is this mineral so important? When it comes to skincare, well often hear about the importance of vitamins and minerals, in particular vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, but we dont always hear about the importance of zinc. For many people, zinc is not the first thing to spring to mind when theyre thinking about their skins appearance but it turns out its actually one of the most important nutrients for maintaining healthy looking skin.
This often overlooked mineral is extremely important for skin health as well as for the rest of the body too. Zinc is an essential mineral that is needed for normal growth and maintenance of the body and many of the bodys enzymes rely on it to function correctly. Skin cells, in particular, rely on zinc for its array of different properties, so much so that many skin related issues are said to have a possible link to a zinc deficiency.
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Aamodt, R. L., Rumble, W. F., Johnston, G. S., Foster, D., and Henkin, R. I. Zinc metabolism in humans after oral and intravenous administration of Zn-69m. Am J Clin Nutr 1979 32:559-569. View abstract.
Abba, K., Gulani, A., and Sachdev, H. S. Zinc supplements for preventing otitis media. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2010 :CD006639. View abstract.
Abdolsamadi, H. and Hamian, M. An investigation on therapeutic effect of zinc sulfate in patients with geographic tongue. J Dent 2006 18:63.
Abdulhamid, I., Beck, F. W., Millard, S., Chen, X., and Prasad, A. Effect of zinc supplementation on respiratory tract infections in children with cystic fibrosis. Pediatr.Pulmonol. 2008 43:281-287. View abstract.
Addy, M., Richards, J., and Williams, G. Effects of a zinc citrate mouthwash on dental plaque and salivary bacteria. J.Clin.Periodontol. 1980 7:309-315. View abstract.
Afkhami-Ardekani, M., Karimi, M., Mohammadi, S. M., and Nourani, F. Effect of zinc supplementation on lipid and glucose in type 2 diabetic patients. Pak J Nutr 2008 7:550-553.
Agren, M. S. and Stromberg, H. E. Topical treatment of pressure ulcers. A randomized comparative trial of Varidase and zinc oxide. Scand.J.Plast.Reconstr.Surg. 1985 19:97-100. View abstract.
Aigner, M., Treasure, J., Kaye, W., and Kasper, S. World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of eating disorders. World J.Biol.Psychiatry 2011 12:400-443. View abstract.
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Is Niacinamide And Zinc Good For Skin
Niacine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the skin. It is also found naturally in many foods, including some of the most popular supplements. Niacina is found only in some foods and supplements, and it is not found as a dietary supplement. but its not a good choice for people with sensitive skin, because it can cause skin irritation and can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. The skin is sensitive to the effects of nicotinamide, so it may be best to avoid it if you have sensitive or eczema-prone skin or if your skin has been treated with a topical steroid. If you are taking a supplement containing nichrome, you should also avoid nicoquinolones, which are also used to treat acne.
This Is How Zinc Can Help You During A Cold
Zinc is effective in fighting colds because it prevents the adherence of cold viruses to the host’s cells in the nasal mucosa it simply drives them out due to the fact that it occupies their docking location. Additionally, it inhibits the growth and stops the reproduction of these germs. Finally, zinc helps to alleviate the possible inflammation reactions caused by a cold because it prevents the release of histamine and stops the prostaglandin metabolism. Thus, the nasal mucosa does not swell as much, allowing the person to breathe easier. Owing to these findings, zinc should be taken in the form of a lozenge or gurgled as solution from an effervescent tablet before being swallowed. Although many complain of the taste, this is the only way that zinc can have a direct effect on the mucous membranes, fighting the viruses where they are instead of having to take the detour through the digestive tract.
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It Keeps Your Immune System Healthy
It appears that every immunological event relates in some way to zinc. Theres a strong connection between zinc deficiency and susceptibility to disease. A Cochrane Library meta-analysis of six studies that included a total of over 5,000 children between two months old and five years of age found that zinc supplementation reduced the incidence of pneumonia. And according to findings from a 2011 Cochrane review, zinc effectively shortens the duration and severity of the common cold .
People who are infected by Covid 19 and are zinc-deficient develop more complications, are more likely to require hospitalization, have longer hospital stays, and are more likely to die. While theres not yet enough evidence to officially recommend zinc for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, especially in amounts that exceed the RDA, research is ongoing for its potential use, and some initial studies have been promising.
Useful Health Benefits Of Consuming Vitamin C And Zinc
Multivitamins and minerals provide the body with the substances that the diet cannot provide. They are included in the routine to overcome the deficiency caused due to various diseases, pregnancy, poor nutrition, digestive disorders, and certain medications.
Vitamin C and zinc are known for numerous health benefits that include:
- Reducing the risk of age-related eye diseases
- To hasten wound healing
Vitamin C plays a role in the absorption of plant-based iron. It is a water-soluble vitamin and is found in fruits and vegetables including bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach. The recommended intake of vitamin C for women is 75 mg and a man is 90 mg.
Zinc is required by the body to make DNA for cell division. The best source of zinc is meat and seafood. The recommended daily allowance of zinc in women is 8mg and man is 11 mg.
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Zinc Supplements: What To Know
There are numerous types of zinc supplements, including zinc gluconate, picolinate, acetate, and citrate, and various forms, such as lozenges, capsules, and drops.
According to the National Institutes of Health, routine zinc supplementation is not recommended without the advice of a health care professional. In addition to choosing the best form and dose , zinc can interact with certain medications, medical conditions, other supplements, and foods.
For example, zinc should not be inhaled through the nose, as this may cause permanent loss of smell. Zinc may decrease how much antibiotic the body absorbs from the gut. Supplemental zinc can reduce blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, which may impact medication needs and blood sugar control. High-dose calcium supplements may decrease zinc absorption, and taking zinc sulfate with black coffee has been shown to reduce the minerals absorption by half.
What Experts Say
“Zinc is an essential nutrient that plays many important roles in the body. It is critical for immune health and plays a key role in cell growth, protein building, and wound healing. Meat, poultry, and seafood are great sources of zinc. It’s also found in plants like whole grains and vegetables however, we generally absorb less inc from plant sources than we do from animals.”Merrill Brady, MS, RD
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How To Take It
You should take zinc with water or juice. If zinc causes stomach upset, it can be taken with meals. Don’t take zinc at the same time as iron or calcium supplements.
A strong relationship exists between zinc and copper. Too much of one can cause a deficiency in the other. If you take zinc, including zinc in a multivitamin, you should also take copper.
Do not give zinc supplements to a child without talking to your doctor.
Daily intake of dietary zinc are listed below:
- Infants birth – 6 months: 2 mg
- Infants 7 – 12 months: 3 mg
- Children 1 – 3 years: 3 mg
- Children 4 – 8 years: 5 mg
- Children 9 – 13 years: 8 mg
- Boys 14 – 18 years: 11 mg
- Girls 14 – 18 years: 9 mg
- Men 19 years and older: 11 mg
- Women 19 years and older: 8 mg
- Pregnant women 14 – 18 years: 12 mg
- Pregnant women 19 years and older: 11 mg
- Breastfeeding women 14 – 18 years: 13 mg
- Breastfeeding women 19 years and older: 12 mg
You should not take high doses of zinc for more than a few days unless your doctor tells you to. Talk to your doctor before taking more than 40 mg of zinc per day and take breaks from zinc supplementation. During those breaks, get zinc from a well-balanced diet.
Slows Down The Progression Of Hiv
In recent years, studies on the effects of zinc against the progression of HIV have multiplied.
A study has shown that increased zinc intake slows the progression of the disease and would have beneficial effects on its symptoms.
There is not particularly surprising since almost half of the people who suffer from HIV are zinc deficient.
Thus, supplementation can significantly improve the state of health of people living with HIV and strengthen their immune system, which is often severely affected by the disease.
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The Importance Of Zinc
Zinc seems to be important for almost everything you can imagine and helps towards the normal bodily functions of many things including the immune system, wound healing, cognitive function, fertility and reproduction, DNA synthesis, testosterone levels in the blood, maintenance of normal bones, protein synthesis and the maintenance of normal hair, nails and skin .
Zinc is also such a versatile mineral that it is often used to help with numerous conditions including male infertility, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, high blood pressure, the common cold, arthritis, osteoporosis and many, many more. It is also often used to help treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and aging skin, not only because it has healing properties but also because its full of anti-inflammatory properties too.
Linus Pauling Institute Recommendation
The RDA for zinc appears sufficient to prevent deficiency in most individuals, but the lack of sensitive indicators of zinc nutritional status in humans makes it difficult to determine the level of zinc intake most likely to promote optimum health. Following the Linus Pauling Institute recommendation to take a multivitamin/mineral supplement will generally provide at least the RDA for zinc. Daily total intakes of zinc should not exceed the UL in order to limit the risk of copper deficiency in particular .
Although the requirement for zinc is not known to be higher for older adults, many have inadequate dietary zinc intakes . A reduced capacity to absorb zinc, increased likelihood of disease states that alter zinc utilization, and increased use of drugs that decrease zinc bioavailability may all contribute to an increased risk of mild zinc deficiency in older adults. Adequate dietary intake of zinc is essential for older adults because the consequences of mild zinc deficiency, such as impaired immune system function, are especially relevant to maintenance of their health.
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It May Improve Vision And Protect Against Eye Disease
Zinc works alongside vitamin A and other antioxidants to support eye health and normal vision. It helps vitamin A produce melanin, a protective pigment found in your eyes . Not getting enough zinc can also worsen your night vision. Some research indicates that zinc supplemented with antioxidant vitamins can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration a condition in which the central field of vision becomes blurred or lost over time. This is a pretty significant contribution considering macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly in Western countries.
Intake Recommendations And Sources
The Institute of Medicine recommends small amounts of vitamin D and zinc daily — just 15 micrograms of vitamin D, and 8 or 11 milligrams of zinc for women and men, respectively. Simply adding fatty fish and dairy products to your diet helps you consume more vitamin D — for example, a 6-ounce portion of canned salmon contains your entire recommended daily intake, while each 8-ounce serving of cow’s milk contains 2.5 micrograms. You can also get vitamin D from sun exposure, although some climates require more time in the sun than others. Fish, meat and shellfish boost your zinc intake, while chickpeas and almonds serve as vegetarian-friendly zinc sources.
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Toxicity And Dosage Recommendations
Just as a deficiency in zinc can cause health complications, excessive intake can also lead to negative side effects.
The most common cause of zinc toxicity is too much supplemental zinc, which can cause both acute and chronic symptoms.
Ingesting too much zinc can also cause deficiencies in other nutrients.
For example, chronic high zinc ingestion can interfere with your absorption of copper and iron.
Reductions in copper levels have even been reported in people consuming only moderately high doses of zinc 60 mg per day for 10 weeks .
It Helps Improve Blood Sugar Regulation
According to a 2015 review of both test tube and human studies, zinc has many beneficial effects on both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Specifically, zinc appears to play an important role in pancreatic -cell function, the activity of insulin, modulation of glucose, and the process by which diabetes develops and has complications.
So if youre trying to prevent, reverse, or manage diabetes, in addition to watching your weight and eating a largely plant-based diet, make sure you get enough zinc to keep your pancreas firing on all cylinders .
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What Are The Foods Rich In Zinc
Here are some of the richest sources of zinc. Do keep in mind that the absorption rate of zinc is better in animal-based foods than plant foods.
- Grass-fed beef
- Garbanzo beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chicken and turkey
- Cocoa powder
You might also want to look at supplements. Zinc is found in most multivitamin and multimineral supplements. They often contain zinc in the form of zinc sulfate, zinc acetate, or zinc gluconate, though the best-absorbed forms of zinc are the glycinate, citrate, and monomethionine forms of the mineral, which are found in higher quality supplements.
All good. But wait dont go overboard.
May Reduce The Risk Of Certain Age
Zinc may significantly reduce your risk of age-related diseases, such as pneumonia, infection and age-related macular degeneration .
Zinc may relieve oxidative stress and improve immune response by boosting the activity of T-cells and natural killer cells, which help protect your body from infection .
Older adults who supplement with zinc experience improved influenza vaccination response, reduced risk of pneumonia and boosted mental performance (
Oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, a contributing factor in a wide array of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and mental decline .
In a study in 40 older adults, those who took 45 mg of zinc per day experienced greater reductions in inflammatory markers than a placebo group .
Zinc may effectively reduce inflammation, boost immune health, reduce your risk of age-related diseases, speed wound healing and improve acne symptoms.
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