The Nutrition Mission: Keeping Up With Zinc
Zinc is a vital nutrient for the human body. People who do not obtain enough of this mineral are vulnerable to a number of illnesses and diseases. This mineral is important for many of the body’s processes including immune system regulation.
Keeping the immune system in the pink
Zinc is important for the immune system for the division and growth of the body’s cells. This mineral helps the immune system to keep invading bacteria and viruses at bay. Zinc is also vital for DNA replication.
Boosting synaptic strength
This trace element is found in areas of the hippocampus known as vesicles. The hippocampus is a small area of the brain which is associated with spatial reasoning and memory. Zinc helps with memory retention and thinking skills.
Healing the skin from the outside in
Zinc is a vital mineral for young looking, healthy skin. Zinc oxide is a topical cream which is used to alleviate the discomfort of dry skin, itchy rashes and hives, and reduce the pain and inflammation of chilblains, dermatitis, and chapped lips. Zinc sulfate solution is effective for treating acne, cold sores, and minor burns.
Helping hair pump up the volume
This mineral is not only an active player in hair growth but also in hair repair. Zinc also ensures that the oil glands around the hair follicles function properly.
Stabilizing mood swings
Abnormal levels of this trace element have been shown to affect mood. In people with mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, zinc levels are often low. Zinc sulfate supplements can alleviate mood swings.
When there isn’t enough Zinc
Zinc deficiency in children can lead to stunted growth. In adults, a deficiency can also cause thinning hair, acne, diarrhea, skin and eye lesions, and decreased appetite. Deficiency can also delay wound healing. Copper intake, such as that which is leached into the water in households with copper pipes, can deplete zinc levels.
Eat more zinc
For some people, a supplement may be the best way to avoid deficiency. Zinc can also be obtained from several natural dietary sources, such as:
- Lean meats
- Soy products
Don’t take too much
Zinc can be taken as a daily dietary supplement. While it has many benefits, this mineral should not be taken in doses higher than 40mg per day. A physician or pharmacist can advise patients individually about whether or not a zinc supplement is the right treatment.