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The 6 Best Benefits Of Zink For Health + Food Sources

Benefits Of Zink For Health: Zinc is an essential nutrient found in a variety of plant and animal foods, along with supplements. It plays a key role in skin health, immune function, and cell growth and may protect against acne, inflammation, and other conditions.

Zinc is a nutrient that plays many vital roles in your body.

Because your body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, you must obtain it through food or supplements.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, This article explains everything you need to know about zinc, including its functions, health benefits, dosage recommendations, and potential side effects.

What is zinc?

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Zinc is considered an essential nutrient, meaning that your body can’t produce or store it.

For this reason, you must get a constant supply through your diet.

Zinc is required for numerous processes in your body, including:

Gene expression

Enzymatic reactions

Immune function

Protein synthesis

DNA synthesis

Wound healing

Growth and development

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Zinc is naturally found in a wide variety of both plant and animal foods.

Foods that don’t naturally contain this mineral, such as breakfast cereals and snack bars, are often fortified with synthetic forms of zinc.

You can also take zinc supplements or multi-nutrient supplements that provide zinc.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Because of its role in immune function, zinc is likewise added to some lozenges and other natural cold treatments.

Role in your body

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Zinc is a vital mineral that your body uses in countless ways.

In fact, zinc is the second-most abundant trace mineral in your body — after iron — and is present in every cell.

Zinc is necessary for the activity of over 300 enzymes that aid in metabolism, digestion, nerve function, and many other processes.

In addition, it’s critical for the development and function of immune cells.

This mineral is also fundamental to skin health, DNA synthesis, and protein production.

What’s more, body growth and development relies on zinc because of its role in cell growth and division.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Zinc is also needed for your senses of taste and smell. Because one of the enzymes crucial for proper taste and smell is dependent on this nutrient, a zinc deficiency can reduce your ability to taste or smell.

Health benefits

Research shows that zinc has numerous health benefits.

1. Boosts your immune system

Benefits Of Zink For Health

Zinc helps keep your immune system strong.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Because it is necessary for immune cell function and cell signaling, a deficiency can lead to a weakened immune response.

Zinc supplements stimulate particular immune cells and reduce oxidative stress.

For example, a review of seven studies demonstrated that 80–92 milligrams (mg) per day of zinc may reduce the length of the common cold by up to 33%.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, What’s more, some older research suggests that zinc supplements significantly reduce the risk of infections and promote immune response in older adults.

2. Accelerates wound healing

Benefits Of Zink For Health

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Zinc is commonly used in hospitals as a treatment for burns, certain ulcers, and other skin injuries.

Because this mineral plays critical roles in collagen synthesis, immune function, and inflammatory response, it is necessary for proper healing.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, In fact, your skin holds a relatively high amount — about 5% — of your body’s zinc content.

While a zinc deficiency can slow wound healing, supplementing with zinc can speed recovery in people with wounds.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, For example, in a 12-week study in 60 people with diabetic foot ulcers, those treated with 50 mg of zinc per day experienced significant reductions in ulcer size compared to a placebo group.

3. May reduce the risk of certain age-related diseases

Healthy diet

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Zinc may significantly reduce your risk of age-related diseases, such as pneumonia, infection, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Zinc may relieve oxidative stress and improve immune response by boosting the activity of T-cells and natural killer cells, which help protect your body from infection.

Older adults who supplement with zinc in some older studies experience improved influenza vaccination response, reduced risk of pneumonia, and boosted mental performance.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, In fact, one 2007 study determined that 45 mg per day of elemental zinc may decrease the incidence of infection in older adults by nearly 66%.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Additionally, in a 2013 study in over 4,200 people, taking daily antioxidant supplements — vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta carotene — plus 80 mg of zinc decreased vision loss and significantly reduced the risk of advanced AMD.

4. May help treat acne

treat acne

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Acne is a common skin disease that is estimated to affect up to 9.4% of the global population.

Acne is driven by obstruction of oil-producing glands, bacteria, and inflammation.

Studies suggest that both topical and oral zinc treatments can effectively treat acne by reducing inflammation, inhibiting the growth of P. acnes bacteria, and suppressing oil gland activity.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, People with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc. Therefore, supplements may help reduce symptoms.

5. Decreases inflammation

Decreases inflammation

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Zinc decreases oxidative stress and reduces levels of certain inflammatory proteins in your body.

Oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, a contributing factor in a wide array of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, and mental decline.

In a 2010 study in 40 older adults, those who took 45 mg of zinc per day experienced greater reductions in inflammatory markers than a placebo group.

6. Deficiency symptoms

Deficiency symptoms

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Although severe zinc deficiency is rare, it can occur in people with rare genetic mutations, breastfeeding infants whose mothers don’t have enough zinc, people with alcohol addictions, and anyone taking certain immune-suppressing medications.

Symptoms of severe zinc deficiency include impaired growth and development, delayed sexual maturity, skin rashes, chronic diarrhea, impaired wound healing, and behavioral issues.

Milder forms of zinc deficiency are more common, especially in children in developing countries where diets are often lacking in important nutrients.

It is estimated that around 2 billion people worldwide are deficient in zinc due to inadequate dietary intake.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Since zinc deficiency impairs your immune system — increasing the chances of infection — zinc deficiency is thought to cause over 450,000 deaths in children under 5 every year.

Those at risk of zinc deficiency include:

People with gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease

Vegetarians and vegans

People who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Older infants who are exclusively breastfed

People with sickle cell anemia

People who are malnourished, including those with anorexia or bulimia

People with chronic kidney disease

People with alcohol use disorder

Symptoms of mild zinc deficiency include diarrhea, decreased immunity, thinning hair, impaired taste or smell, dry skin, fertility issues, and impaired wound healing.

Zinc deficiency is difficult to detect using laboratory tests due to your body’s tight control over zinc levels. Thus, you may still be deficient even if tests indicate normal levels.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Doctors consider other risk factors — such as poor dietary intake and genetics — alongside blood results when determining whether you need supplements.

Food sources

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Many animal and plant foods are naturally rich in zinc, making it easy for most people to consume adequate amounts.

Foods highest in zinc include:

Shellfish: oysters, crab, mussels, lobster, and clams

Meat: beef, pork, lamb, and bison

Poultry: turkey and chicken

Fish: flounder, sardines, salmon, and sole

Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.

Nuts and seeds: pumpkin seeds, cashews, hemp seeds, etc.

Dairy products: milk, yogurt, and cheese


Whole grains: oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.

Certain vegetables: mushrooms, kale, peas, asparagus, and beet greens

Animal products, such as meat and shellfish, contain high amounts of zinc in a form that your body easily absorbs.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, Keep in mind that zinc found in plant-based sources like legumes and whole grains is absorbed less efficiently because of other plant compounds that inhibit absorption.

Benefits Of Zink For Health, While many foods are naturally high in zinc, certain foods — such as ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and snack bars — are fortified with zinc.

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