Zinc Benefits For Men
Taking zinc provides a range of benefits for men and women, but it has some significant perks for men. One benefit of taking zinc for men is that it may help to regulate testosterone levels in the body. Zinc may also help men reduce the risk of an enlarged prostate and can potentially help those dealing with symptoms like frequent urination. Men may also benefit from taking zinc in other ways, such as promoting healthy, thicker hair and assisting with protein synthesis for strong muscles.
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What Do Vitamin C And Zinc Do For The Body
Every nutrient, be it a vitamin, mineral or other nutrient, has multiple uses in the body. A well-balanced diet, whether from food alone or with the help of supplements, will ensure you dont suffer from the effects of nutritional deficiencies, diseases or other health conditions. To better understand the benefits of vitamin C and zinc, lets look at them as individual nutrients.
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Is Zinc Good For You
Asked by: Torrance Fahey DVM
Zinc, a nutrient found throughout your body, helps your immune system and metabolism function. Zinc is also important to wound healing and your sense of taste and smell. With a varied diet, your body usually gets enough zinc. Food sources of zinc include chicken, red meat and fortified breakfast cereals.
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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.
What Drugs And Food Should I Avoid While Taking Vitamin C Plus Zinc
Avoid taking more than one multivitamin product at the same time unless your doctor tells you to. Taking similar products together can result in an overdose or serious side effects.
Avoid the use of salt substitutes in your diet if your multivitamin and mineral contains potassium. If you are on a low-salt diet, ask your doctor before taking a vitamin or mineral supplement.
Do not take this medicine with milk, other dairy products, calcium supplements, or antacids that contain calcium. Calcium may make it harder for your body to absorb certain minerals.
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Zinc Occurs Naturally In Many Of The Foods You Eat
The good news is that zinc is found throughout our food, from meat, fish and poultry to whole grains, nuts, legumes and vegetables.
When I think of excellent sources of zinc, I also think of foods that are high in protein, Harrison said. Animal products offer the highest amount of zinc with seafood and red meat and poultry providing the highest amounts. Foods like eggs and dairy products, like milk and cheese, are also great sources of zinc.
Other zinc-rich foods include fortified breakfast cereals, oatmeal, peas and chickpeas.
When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamin C And Zinc
Because these supplements commonly contain both fat- and water-soluble vitamins, it’s typically recommended to consume them with a meal. This may enhance the absorption of certain nutrients while reducing the risk of gastrointestinal upset, which can otherwise occur when taking a multivitamin on an empty stomach.
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The Best Sources Of Zinc
Many foods naturally contain zinc, according to William Li, M.D., author of Eat to Beat Disease and president and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation.
Meat is a particularly rich source of zinc. For context, a 3-ounce serving of beef offers 7 milligrams of zincand that of crab offers 6.5 milligrams of zinc, while the same amount of chicken contains about 2 milligrams, according to the National Institutes of Health. Dairy products, on the other hand, contain a moderate amount of zinc .
Some plant foods including whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, along with some veggies, and fruits also offer the mineral, but theyâre not nearly as rich in the nutrient as meat. Case in point: Half-cup servings of kidney beans and diced portabella mushrooms contain less than 1 milligram each. Moreover, the little zinc that is in whole grains and legumes is difficult to absorb. Thatâs because both foods are high in phytates, aka natural chemicals that âimpair absorption of minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium in the digestive system,â explains Dr. Li. Phytates do this by binding to the mineral , reducing how much your body absorbs.
Zinc Lozenges For Colds
Due to zincs impact on immunity, many people turn to the mineral for the short-term to combat colds. One recent study found that common-cold patients who were given zinc lozenges recovered faster. After five days, 70% of the zinc patients had recovered compared with 27% of the placebo patients.
However, a 2020 study published in the British Medical Journal found that zinc acetate lozenges had no impact on common cold recovery rate compared to a placebo when used for five days after the first symptoms began. And documented side effects include a bad taste in the mouth and nausea. If you do choose to try zinc when you feel a cold coming on, seek professional guidance on the form, dose, and length of use.
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Risks Of Too Much Zinc
Too much zinc in supplement form can trigger adverse effects that include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches. Excess zinc can also alter the bodys copper status and iron function, reduce immunity, and lower blood levels of good HDL cholesterol. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level for zinc, which includes both foods and supplements combined, is 40 mg per day for all adults 19 and over. A long-term intake above the UL increases the risk of adverse health effects, unless supplemental zinc is prescribed and monitored by a physician for a specific medical condition.
In other words, more zinc isnt better, and as noted, some of the risks associated with excess zinc are similar to those of a zinc deficiency. If your doctor or registered dietitian has recommended a zinc supplement for any reason, ask about the dosage, form, frequency and length of use, and when and how to take it.
Decreases Risk Of Preterm Birth
Zinc helps the body make proteins and DNA, and its needed for proper growth and development, too, according to the NIH. Because of these functions its an important mineral for pregnant women and young children, and zinc supplements may help pregnant women avoid early labor.
A review published in February 2015 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found there was a 14 percent reduction in preterm birth when pregnant mothers took a zinc supplement. But the researchers noted that this could be because most of the studies they looked at involved low-income women who may have had poor overall dietary quality and been deficient in zinc to begin with. Therefore, the reduction in preterm birth may have been the result of the supplements correcting deficiencies rather than an added benefit of supplementation.
Best says shed only recommend a zinc supplement to a pregnant woman if she had a known deficiency. But for pregnant women and young children, its important to avoid deficiency by making sure youre getting enough zinc in your diet. And its important to note that the recommended daily intake of zinc is increased for women who are pregnant to 11 mg per day for women 18 and older who are pregnant and 12 mg per day for those 14 to 18 years old who are pregnant.
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Elderberry With Vitamin C And Zinc: Does It Work
The first pharmaceutical medicine did not come around until the 1800s. For centuries before that, our ancestors relied on sound knowledge of natural derivatives to effectively heal themselves of diseases.
They laid the foundations for some of the most versatile natural solutions that we use today, such as vitamin C and zinc. Similarly, folk medicine also highly regards the bioactive properties of elderberries for immune support.
But, what would happen if we bring the three natural antioxidants together? What are the health benefits of elderberry with zinc and vitamin C? Lets find out.
Don’t Skip The Egg Yolks
If you’re looking to get plenty of vitamin D, make sure you don’t ditch the egg yolks and eat the entire egg! Vitamin D is found in the yolk of the egg, not the whites, which makes them a great vitamin D-boosting food. This is especially true for eggs from free-range or pasture-raised chickens, as they may contain up to six times more vitamin D than eggs from conventionally raised chickens11. As a bonus, when you eat the whole egg, you’re also getting plenty of other important nutrients, including choline, healthy fats, and essential amino acids. Here’s a great egg salad recipe to get inspired!
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Types Of Zinc Supplements
Zinc is readily available in many common foods. Hitting your RDA of zinc intake through a well-balanced diet or lifestyle changes is possibleso zinc supplements are not necessarily required for many people. However, if you and your healthcare provider decide on oral zinc supplementation, the most common forms youll see when shopping around include the following :
- Zinc gluconate is the most common form of zinc, generally found in common cold remedies, such as zinc lozenges and nasal sprays.
- Zinc acetate is another common over-the-counter form often used to treat deficiencies and in cold remedies.
- Zinc sulfate has a history of potentially improving skin conditions like acne . Recent clinical trials also suggest that zinc sulfate may help people hospitalized with COVID-19 .
- Other types of oral zinc supplements include zinc picolinate, zinc orotate, and zinc citrate.
- You are likely to see zinc oxide in sunscreens and topical creams to treat minor skin irritations like diaper rash. It is usually in cream or lotion form, so it is not used as a zinc supplement.
Lastly, the amount of elemental zinc varies. For example, 220 mg of zinc sulfate contains 50 mg of elemental zinc. No definitive data indicates which type has the best absorption of zinc.
Why You Need Zinc In Your Diet
After iron, zinc is the most abundant trace mineral in your body, which means its a mineral that we cant do without but only need in small quantities in order to be healthy. Men and women 19 years and older need 11 milligrams and eight milligrams, respectively.
You dont need much zinc, but it has so many benefits and can really affect how your body works, said Rachel Harrison, a registered dietitian and certified nutrition support clinician at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix. It plays an important role in several zinc-dependent enzyme systems such as those involved in digestion, wound healing and DNA and RNA production.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of zinc and whether you could benefit from supplementing your diet.
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What Are The Benefits Of Zinc
Eating a healthy, varied, and balanced diet is really important, as it helps us get all the important nutrients our bodies need.
Theres a long list of vitamins and minerals that should feature in our daily diet, and each is important in its own way. In this particular guide, well be talking about zinc, its benefits, and how you can get more into your diet.
Are You At Risk For Zinc Deficiency
The risk for zinc deficiency depends on the individual and involves factors like age, diet pattern, medical conditions, and certain lifestyle habits.
The absorption rate for zinc from foods can range from 16-50%, meaning that the remaining zinc passes through the body unused. But what does that mean for you?
Some research indicates that those who follow a plant-based diet may need to eat as much as 50% more zinc than the recommended amounts to accommodate for the loss of absorption on account of phytates, or take a daily zinc supplement. As a result, plant-based eaters may experience greater rates of subclinical zinc deficiency than omnivores. The good news is that an individuals current zinc status may influence their absorption rate meaning that your body can adapt to a lower zinc status.
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Too Much Zinc Hurts The Immune System
In one study, 300 mg/d of zinc as two divided doses of 150 mg zinc sulfate decreased important markers of immune function, such as the ability of immune cells known as polymorphonuclear leukocytes to migrate towards and consume bacteria. The most concerning effect in the context of COVID-19 is that it lowered the lymphocyte stimulation index 3-fold. This is a measure of the ability of T cells to increase their numbers in response to a perceived threat.
The reason this is so concerning in the context of COVID-19 is that poor outcomes are associated with low lymphocytes .
While 300 mg/d zinc did not lower lymphocyte counts, the fact that it lowered their ability to multiply in a lab dish suggests that such high doses could prime a person to have a poorer ability to maintain their lymphocyte count in a disease.
There are some suggestions that lower doses donât cause this problem:
Radiation therapy lowers lymphocyte counts. 150 mg zinc/d does not lower them any further or hurt the ability to recover them in patients with head and neck cancer.
In patients with a parasitical infection known as leishmaniasis, 45 mg/d did not hurt the ability of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, a group that includes lymphocytes, to replicate in a stimulation index test.
In HIV-infected patients with tuberculosis, 50 mg/d did not hurt lymphocyte counts.
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It May Protect The Eyes
AMD is a degenerative disease that affects the macula, and it’s the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. The macula is the central part of the retina, where zinc happens to be very highly concentrated.
In a clinical trial published in Current Eye Researchin 2008, participants with AMD were given either 25 milligrams of zinc twice daily or a placebo. After six months, the zinc group had significant improvements in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and flash recovery time.
And zinc was a key component of the AREDS/AREDS2 formulas, which have shown promise for improving intermediate and late-stage AMD. These seminal eye health clinical trial interventions also included antioxidant micronutrients copper vitamins C and E and carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
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Prevention Of Diseases Or Conditions Related To Zinc Deficiency
Pregnancy complications and adverse pregnancy outcomes
Estimates based on national food supply indicate that dietary zinc intake is likely inadequate in most low- and middle-income countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia . Inadequate zinc status during pregnancy interferes with fetal development, and preterm neonates from zinc-deficient mothers suffer from growth retardation and dermatitis and are at risk of infections, necrotizing enterocolitis, chronic lung disease, and retinopathy of prematurity . Maternal zinc deficiency has also been associated with a number of pregnancy complications and poor outcomes. A recent case-control study conducted in an Iranian hospital reported higher odds of congenital malformations in newborns of mothers with low serum zinc concentrations during the last month of pregnancy . A 2016 review of 64 observational studies found an inverse relationship between maternal zinc status and the severity of preeclampsia, as well as between maternal zinc intake and the risk of low-birth-weight newborns . There were no apparent associations between maternal zinc status and the risk of gestationaldiabetes mellitus and preterm birth. However, the conclusions of this analysis were limited by the fact that most observational studies were conducted in women from populations not at risk for zinc deficiency .
Impaired growth and development
Delayed mental and psychomotor development in young children
Symptoms Of A Zinc Deficiency
There are a number of symptoms and signs that you have a zinc deficiency. The following signs are the most common:
- Weight loss or weight gain.
- Changes in a person s appetite which can include cravings for sweet or salty foods.
- Problems with smell and taste.
- Various digestive issues including stomach upset, cramps and diarrhea
- Chronic fatigue
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Hormonal issues such as worsening menopause symptoms and PMS.
- Inability of wounds to heal effectively
- Nerve dysfunction
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