Zinc may be found in the last slot on your multivitamin's nutrition facts, but that doesn't make this valuable nutrient any less important for your health.
Zinc is a mineral that's essential for daily consumption for health. You can find zinc in certain types of seafood (oysters being the highest), beef, pork and chicken as well as oats, beans and nuts. You can find zinc in dietary supplements (including multivitamins), listed as zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate or zinc acetate. The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for zinc, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are as follows:
Up to six months -- 2 mg (male and female)
Seven to 12 months -- 3 mg (male and female)
One to three years -- 3 mg (male and female)
Four to eight years -- 5 mg (male and female)
Nine to 13 years -- 8 mg (male and female)
14 to 18 years -- 11 mg (male), 9 mg (female), 12 mg (pregnant) and 13 mg (lactating)
19 years and older -- 11 mg (male), 8 mg (female), 11 mg (pregnant) and 12 mg (lactating)
If you though zinc was just a metal, check out 10 ways your body utilizes zinc to keep you feeling your best:
1. Immunity Booster -- Zinc supports a strong immune system response to pathogens, preventing illness and possibly shortening the duration of a viral or bacterial infection, if contracted. Those who are deficient in zinc are more susceptible to infections.
2. Enzyme Buddy -- Zinc plays a role in the actions of more than 100 enzymes, which support cellular activity throughout the body. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include loss of appetite, hair loss, impaired immune function, growth retardation and delayed puberty.
3. Wound Healer -- Zinc is crucial for maintaining the health of the skin and mucosal membranes. This helps the skin repair itself after injury quickly and without infection. Being deficient in zinc could affect your ability to heal after surgery or injury.
4. Skin Condition Remedy -- In accordance with its ability to improve wound-healing time, zinc is beneficial for those suffering from skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema. Zinc's ability to reduce inflammation also plays a role in this benefit.
5. Developmental Aide -- We need zinc from the time of conception, making it an important mineral in prenatal vitamins and in our daily nutrition from there on out. Zinc helps the body grow and develop properly and the amount we need changes with age, as seen in the table above.
6. Sense Supporter -- If you're having difficulty smelling or if you find the foods you eat are more bland in taste than you remember, you may be in need of more zinc, which supports these key senses.
7. Cold and Flu Remedy -- Because of its immune system-supporting properties, you can find zinc in over-the-counter medications for the cold and flu as well as throat lozenges or cough drops. Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and actually inhibits the rhinovirus from binding to the nasal passages and replicating.
8. Digestive Aide -- Going back to the immunity-enhancing benefits of zinc, this mineral can also reduce your risk for contracting infections caused by parasites that can lead to diarrhea, especially chronic diarrhea.
9. Vision Protector -- Another of the senses, your ability to see, is also protected by zinc. Studies have found consuming adequate amounts of zinc on a daily basis can actually delay the advancement of macular degeneration and loss of vision as a result of aging.
As always, speak with your doctor before adding a zinc supplement to your routine, especially if you're being treated for any of the aforementioned conditions. Research continues to determine the exact role zinc plays in the conditions mentioned.
We'll be back next week with another versatile supplement. Shop for quality zinc supplements of all kinds at eVitamins and see what zinc can do for you!
Products you may like:
Nature's Plus Zinc Why you may like this product? A good, low dose to start
with, this zinc supplement
provides 10 mg of zinc per
tablet. You only need to take
it once daily, unless
otherwise directed by your
doctor, to strengthen the
immune system, support the
sense and much more.
Now Foods L-OptiZinc Why you may like this product? This zinc supplement is unique
because the zinc included has
been blended with methionine
to help the body better absorb
and hold onto this important
mineral. Each serving provides
30 mg of zinc plus 300 mcg of
copper to improve immune
Statements made about specific vitamins, supplements, procedures or other items sold on or through this website have not been evaluated by eVitamins, UK Department of Health (MHRA) or the United States Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. As always, please consult with a licensed doctor or physician before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program, before taking any vitamin or medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a problem.