Zero in on the many benefits of Zinc. When it comes to the ABC’s of vitamins and minerals, we must look to the end of the alphabet to find one of the most essential minerals for good health.Zinc is always included in the “Big Five” antioxidant combination, along with vitamins A, E, C and the mineral Selenium. “Antioxidants” help to ward off “free radicals” – atoms or groups of atoms floating in the atmosphere with unpaired electrons which can attach to and damage cell membranes. When this occurs, cells may function poorly or die and our immune system goes down.Zinc’s powerhouse potency
Zinc has anti-inflammatory capability and should normally be found in every cell in our body. It is one of the keys to a healthy immune system, as it helps build white blood cells (T-lymphocytes) that fight infection.
Probably best individually known for its ability to prevent colds or shorten their cycle (especially as zinc gluconate, well tolerated and absorbed in lozenge form), zinc is also very instrumental in the following processes:
-Aiding in normal conception, fetal growth and development as well as childhood and adolescent growth and health
-Maintaining our senses of smell and taste
-Boosting enzyme activity
-Absorption of other minerals
-Healthy skin and hair
-Anti-inflammatory effect on acne
-Preventing heart disease and diabetes
A zinc deficiency can commonly be caused by poor diet, suppressed immune system from infection or an ongoing disease, high alcohol intake, breast feeding, or frequent diarrhea.
In the case of poor diet, zinc deficiency doesn’t only occur in meat lovers, vegetable haters, junk food junkies or chocaholics! Vegetarians need almost one and a half times the zinc, because it is harder to absorb from most green plant foods (with the possible exception of spinach) than from beef, shellfish, pork, lamb and poultry. Other good sources are beans and oatmeal.
For maintenance against zinc deficiency, 30 mg per day is the norm. When ill, that can be doubled or tripled in 2 to 3 separate doses at different times of day along with extra A, E, C and Selenium.
Anything over 150 mg per day can possibly cause a copper deficiency (copper should be taken at small amounts of 1 to 2 mg per day).
Zinc should not be taken on an empty stomach as it can cause gastric discomfort in the form of pain and cramps in the lower abdomen. So it should be taken after meals.