The health benefits of Zinc include proper functioning of immune system, digestion, control of diabetes, improves stress level, energy metabolism, acne and wounds healing. Also, pregnancy, hair care, eczema, weight loss, night blindness, cold, eye care, appetite loss and many other factors are included as health benefits of zinc.
Zinc, being an important mineral plays a vital role for the protein synthesis and helps in regulation of the cells production in the immune system of the human body. Zinc is mostly found in the strong muscles of the body and especially in high concentrations in the white and red blood cells, eye retina, skin, liver, kidneys, bones and pancreas. The semen and prostate gland in men constitutes large zinc amount. In a human body, even 300 enzymes or more than that requires zinc for the normal functioning. The researchers believe that 3000 proteins out of 100,000 are involved in human body consisting of Zinc. A normal human body consists of two to three grams of Zinc.
There are organs of the human body, which secrete Zinc such as salivary gland, prostate gland and pancreas. Even the immune cells secrete Zinc.
The deficiency symptoms of zinc include
Low blood pressure
Loss of appetite
Loss of sense of smell and taste
Depression, rough skin
White spots under finger nails.
The most important health benefits of zinc are as follows:
Studies have shown zinc to be an effective home remedy for curing pimples or acne. It is even more powerful than placebo and consumption of antibiotic medication is still considered to be more effective.
Also called as atopic dermatitis, is an inflammatory and chronic disorder of skin. It is mainly caused by deficiency of zinc in the body. Zinc plays an important role in healing chronic infection and assists the body in restoring its ability to heal properly.
This mineral is important for erasing acne from skin. It regulates in controlling the amount of testosterone in the body which plays a dominant role in causing acne. In addition to it, zinc is also concerned with collagen synthesis. This further aids in normalizing the amount of skin oils and maintenance of a healthy skin.
Deficiency in zinc causes delayed healing of wounds. Human body has several zinc dependent enzymes, which promote the synthesis of collagen that thereby aids in wound healing.
Zinc is very important in dealing with prostate disorders. Zinc deficiency causes enlargement of the prostate gland and makes it vulnerable to cancer. It is advisable to take 15mg of zinc everyday, under close medical observation, when suffering from prostate disorder.
Zinc supplements help in decreasing the severity and duration of cold illness. It reduces the amount of proinflammatory cytokinesis, which is aggravated during the cold infections.
Zinc plays a leading role in weight loss and in controlling the appetite of the person.
It is essential for the repair and functioning of DNA. It is hence, necessary for quick growth of cells and building of major constituents of the cell during the course of pregnancy.
In males, zinc assists in spermatogenesis and development of the sex organs. While in females, it aids in all the reproductive phases, including parturition and lactation stages.
Zinc plays a vital role in many biological functions such as reproduction, diabetes control, stress level, immune resistance, smell and taste, physical growth, appetite and digestion.
Zinc helps a person to sense the taste and smell, provides an aid to wound healing, boosts immunity and helps in promoting the fetus growth. Zinc helps in protecting against the infectious disorders and fungal infections, which includes pneumonia and conjunctivitis.
Zinc acts as an antioxidant and is basically involved in some of the biochemical decisive reactions, which includes protein synthesis, enzymatic function and carbohydrate metabolism.
Zinc is a component of a number of enzymes, which help in regulation of cell growth, protein synthesis, hormonal level, DNA, regulating the gene transcription, energy metabolism and other related health benefits of zinc.
In males, zinc plays a vital role in the prostate gland and prevents the early damage, which can lead to problems like cancer.
People suffering from chronic fatigue are suggested to consume fish oil, as it is rich in zinc. The doctors suggest no other medications are required for curing chronic fatigue except the intake of fish oil rich in zinc content.
Alopecia causes loss of hair in both children and adults. Remedies suggested by the doctors to the people suffering from it, should intake a diet rich in zinc content. There are various capsules that are rich in zinc, so the medicines rich in zinc will help preventing hair loss.
It is a disease when the bones become weak and fragile. Zinc is a component of hydroxyapatite, which is a salt and makes the bone matrix strong and hard. Due to this reason, zinc content should be added in your dietary plan to avoid bone loss.
Consuming Zinc in about 150-450 mg will improve the vision. So it is always suggested to consume food like beef, lamb, oysters, buckwheat and crabs as they are rich in zinc content and will improve the vision of the eye.
Zinc is essential for proper functioning of all of the body’s cells. In some cases, zinc supplements can boost health and well-being. Zinc is obtained from foods and is added to some. Dietary supplements can boost zinc levels in the body. Zinc can also be found in lozenges for colds and sore throats, as well as in other over-the-counter medications to treat colds. Zinc is not stored in the body. A daily intake is needed to maintain balance in the body.
Zinc can boost immunity. Zinc supplements may shorten the duration of a cold and are currently being researched for drug development to fight infections and viruses. Zinc can boost the function of T-cells (cells that help fight infection). A study published in April 2009 in the “Journal of Leukocyte Biology” showed that zinc enhanced the expression of T-cells that can destroy bacteria.
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Growth and Development
Zinc can benefit patients with sickle cell anemia who characteristically suffer from delayed growth and development. A study led by Dr. Babette S. Zemel of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania showed that children with sickle cell anemia experience increased growth and development compared to a group not given zinc supplements. There is also speculation that sickle cell anemia is associated with zinc deficiency. (see reference 2)
Wound healing, including gastric ulcers (erosion of the stomach lining) can be facilitated with zinc supplements. A study published in November 1975 in the “Medical Journal of Australia” showed that patients with ulcers healed three times faster when given zinc sulfate than when given a placebo. A more recent study by the Osaka City University Medical School in Japan, performed on rats, showed that zinc deficiency delayed ulcer healing, again showing the importance of zinc for wound healing.
Zinc supplements can combat diarrhea and have been shown to be important for children to shorten the duration of infectious bouts of diarrhea. A study published in 2000, performed by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health researchers, found that children under age five given zinc supplements consistently ceased to have diarrhea sooner than a control group of children.
About this Author
Kathleen Blanchard is a registered nurse, with more than 10 years of experience in cardiovascular health, emergency room and ICU. She writes professionally for Emaxhealth.com. and AskMen.com. Blanchard is currently employed as a senior case manager and has held certification as a critical care registered nurse (CCRN), advanced trauma life support (ATLS), and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS).