Zinc is an essential mineral for the organism that must be supplied in food in small quantities, since it is a micronutrient.
Chemically, it is abbreviated with the abbreviations Zn.
Photo of marine products
Seafood is the food with more richness in zinc, and precisely owes this mineral its popularity as an aphrodisiac food
This mineral is found in all the cells of our body, but in very little quantity.
In the decade of the 1960 it was shown that this mineral was essential for the human being, that is, essential for life.
Zinc for children's growth
In the 1920s, scientific studies began to show the importance of this mineral for the development and growth of the human being.
Zinc is involved in the formation and mineralization of bone and reproductive organs. Deficiency of this mineral is associated with a growth retardation in children.
In the treatment of osteoporosis, zinc is a mineral recommended to increase bone mineralization along with other important minerals such as calcium, copper and manganese. In some cases zinc supplements are given for non-tartar teeth.
Functions of zinc in the body
This mineral collaborates in many routes of the metabolism since it constitutes a numerous group of enzymes. Zinc is involved in different metabolic processes of our body, such as the manufacture of DNA or genetic material, and in the metabolism of proteins.
For example, an enzyme formed by zinc (called alcohol dehydrogenase), is responsible for metabolizing toxins in our body, as the alcohol, so as to be eliminated. For this reason, people with alcoholism, cirrhosis or alcoholic liver disease can develop a long-term deficit of this mineral due to its excessive consumption.
For the same reason, zinc is a very important mineral for reproduction and fertility.
Zinc for prostate
Zinc inhibits the production of dihydrotestosterone, a testosterone derivative whose high levels are related to non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and to alopecia or male pattern baldness. Correct levels of zinc can help maintain health preventing some prostate problems.
Main properties of the mineral zinc and foods containing it.
Zinc for healthy skin, hair and nails
Zinc is a mineral involved in the condition of the skin, hair and nails. A deficit of this mineral is associated skin and hair problems, such as skin peeling, eczema, acne, psoriasis, bruising and the appearance of gray hair prematurely.
White spots may appear on the nails, and the hair may turn dull.
- Taste and smell: the olfactory and gustatory senses are possible due to the functions of this mineral. A diet rich in zinc enhances these senses.
Other benefits of zinc
- Immune system: scientific studies have shown that zinc helps to increase the defenses, since it stimulates them. It collaborates in the healing of wounds, infections and to reinforce the immune system. Zinc supplements are taken occasionally to shorten disease time and improve recovery in cases of colds.
- Wilson's disease: zinc acetate supplements are used to treat Wilson's disease, characterized by an accumulation of copper in the body. Zinc decreases the intestinal absorption of copper.
- Zinc for sight: within the eyes, there are the highest levels of zinc in the body. Intake of zinc supplements may be beneficial for vision problems.
- Zinc for acne: Because its role in controlling the secretions of insulin from the pancreas, helps control the secretion of sebum from the skin. (Accompany of hepatobiliary medicinal plants such as milk thistle)
- Antioxidant: this mineral exerts antioxidant properties and the body uses it in a natural way to neutralize the free radicals that form in the body.
Foods rich in zinc
Protein foods of animal origin are the richest in zinc, such as meats, fish, eggs, and dairy.
Seafood, especially mollusks, are rich in zinc
Vegetable foods give us lower but no less important amounts.
Only a qualified physician can determine the source of these symptoms and diagnose the deficiency of this mineral. There are other affections thant can produce the same disorders.
Generally the diet is not supplementedwith zinc tablets since this mineral is needed in very little amount (it is a trace element). Through the food can cover all your requirements. Foods rich in zinc are the most recommended sources to increase the contribution in this mineral.
- Zinc supplements should not exceed the 30mg dose. Unless expressly stated otherwise.
- Zinc should be taken away from meals, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
- Medical supervision during zinc supplementation is recommended.
- Avoid long treatments of more than 4 weeks. In the case of long treatments of more than one month, copper supplementation should be evaluated, as zinc reduces the absorption of this mineral.
- High doses of zinc (more than 100mg.) Per day are NOT recommended. The 450mg supplement. of zinc per day leads to problems with iron levels. A single dose of 30,000mg. (Equivalent to 30g) can lead to serious adverse effects, since zinc is a mineral that should be taken in very low amounts.
Side effects and hazards of zinc. Excess zinc in the body
- Nausea, vomiting: excess zinc can be manifested by symptoms of general malaise, nausea or vomiting.
- Decreased immune function: Zinc overdose may produce unwanted effects. Excess zinc can impair the function of the immune system.
- Copper deficiency anemia: due to the lower copper absorption, in the long term, zinc supplementation can lead to anemia. In fact, one of the symptoms of copper deficiency is fatigue and fatigue that accompany anemia.
- Do not take with antibiotics or other drugs: zinc alters the absorption and the effect of some antibiotics and drugs.