11 Health Benefits of Zinc
Zinc is an essential element that offers many therapeutic benefits which are often overlooked. This article’s aim is to list some of zinc’s beneficial properties and its importance for the human body.
Zinc’s real value for the human body is much greater than the general opinion that people have. In order to know more, we need to dig dipper into its role into human physiology.
Human body contains 2 to 3 grams of zinc, which is usually found in bones, teeth, skin, liver, muscles, etc. Because neither one of them can supply the body with zinc constantly, in order to meet its needs for zinc, the body relies on different foods. Over 300 of the body’s enzymes with vital functions depend on a healthy supply of zinc in order to function properly. So let’s get to it and talk about some of the most important health benefits of zinc.
Health Benefits of Zinc
1. Proper functioning of vitamin A – Vitamin A depends on zinc in order to function properly. Zinc regulates the levels of vitamin A and the quantity in which it is being released by the liver.
2. Proper functioning of the pancreas and of the digestive system – The pancreas also uses zinc a lot, because zinc is a component of insulin, which in turn is released by the pancreas. Zinc also helps in the production of stomach acid. This is precisely why low stomach acid and other related conditions like heartburn can be treated with zinc.
3. Helps metabolism – Metabolism is also partially dependent on zinc’s presence. Zinc takes part in transforming thyroxine (T4) in triiodothyronine (T3).
4. Helps the senses – Three out of the five senses would not be able to function properly without a proper amount of zinc: the sense of taste, the sense of smell and vision.
5. Prevents prostate problems – Zinc helps in keeping the prostate in good condition and prevents benign hypertrophy of the prostate. This is because it inhibits the 5 alpha reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone to DHT. This conversion is exactly what causes the enlargement of the prostate.
6. Boosts the immune system – There is a direct correlation between the health of the immune system and the quantity of zinc inside the body. The mineral helps regulate levels of T lymphocytes and T4 lymphocytes. This role in the immune system offers zinc the capacity to facilitate the healing of wounds. It’s also been determined that zinc has anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Helps with muscle grow – Whenever you are doing exercises in order to increase the muscle mass, you are actually tearing muscles apart in order to allow new cells to grow. Well, zinc is crucial in this process, as it facilitates the growth of new muscle cells. That’s exactly why it is recommended as a supplement by body builders.
8. Boosts fertility levels – Zinc is a vital element in the production of healthy sperm. It help prevent the breakdown of the reproductive cells and it protects the DNA inside them. Whenever an ejaculation occurs, approximately 15 mg of zinc are lost, in order to provide a burst of energy that propels the sperm. That’s why men need more zinc than women.
9. Boosts energy levels – The enzyme called lactate dehydrogenase is one of the enzymes needed in order for a person to have energy. Zinc helps the body produce this enzyme, but it doesn’t stop here. Zinc helps organs that regulate energy (like the thyroid) in building cells.
10. Detoxifies the body – One of zinc’s extremely important benefits is helping with the detoxification of the body. It is actually an antioxidant that fights against free radicals. This is done by encouraging the production of SOD, which is an enzyme that actually breaks free radicals down. Needless to say, the implications of this are numerous. Zinc helps fight an amazing variety of conditions and diseases from cataracts to cancer.
11. Helps with growth – It’s been discovered that children who are zinc-deficient don’t grow properly and dwarfism occurs. A child needs a lot of zinc because at a young age lots of new cells need to be produced in order for normal growth to occur.
Finally, now that you found out how beneficial zinc is, you need to know how much of it is recommended on a daily basis. An adult needs about 0.2 mg for each kg of body mass daily. Consuming more than that is not recommended, because even though it does have incredible benefits, you don’t want to overdo it either.
Where can you find zinc? Approximately 70% of all the zinc we get is from animal products. Raw meat, liver, eggs, sea-fruit are rich sources of zinc. Since zinc is not commonly found in vegetarian diets, zinc’s assimilation is slower in people who are vegetarians.
As a final conclusion, you must remember that zinc is extremely important in the proper functioning of the human body because it is a mineral with many and varied benefits.