Zinc is one of the trace elements that ensures the full functioning of the body. It is often forgotten and underestimated, although about 2 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic zinc deficiency.
This is usually due to:
- unbalanced diet and excessive consumption of cereals containing salts of phytic acid;
- the presence in a person of malabsorption syndrome and sickle cell anemia, as well as chronic damage to the liver and kidneys, inflammatory bowel diseases and worm infestations;
- taking some medications (in particular, from the group of glucocorticoids), using soy protein and drugs with a high content of selenium;
- taking contraceptives;
- during pregnancy, breastfeeding;
- veganism (complete rejection of food of animal origin);
- alcohol addiction;
- abuse of coffee;
- during the recovery period after operations and severe injuries.
What is the role of zinc in the human body?
Although zinc is a mineral, it is no less important for strong immunity than vitamins D and C. It is needed for:
- production of proteins and DNA;
- muscle growth and recovery;
- correct sense of taste and smell;
- quick healing of wounds;
- helping the immune system to fight bacteria and viruses;
- improving digestion;
- regulation of hormone production.
Moreover, zinc helps block inflammation and protects the upper respiratory tract, which is particularly vulnerable to pathogens, from them.
What happens with zinc deficiency?
- the activity of immune T cells decreases;
- the speed of wound healing slows down;
- general resistance to infections weakens;
- chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract appears;
- the sense of taste and smell is disturbed;
- hair falls out;
- loss of visual acuity and delamination of nails begins;
- white spots appear on the nails;
- possible growth retardation in children.
What does zinc contain?
Although zinc is found in many foods, most of them belong to the category of good nutrition — while bread, pasta, potatoes and even ordinary meat are poor in this mineral.
The most zinc is found in:
Two or three oysters or six large shrimps are enough to cover the daily norm. It should also be noted that zinc from animal foods is absorbed much better than from plant foods.
2. Seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)
Pumpkin seeds contain 10 mg of zinc per 100 g, sesame — 7 mg, sunflower seeds — 5.3 mg.
Since the liver is the main organ of the body involved in zinc metabolism, it contains the most zinc. 100 g of beef liver includes up to 4 mg of an important mineral, and the degree of its assimilation is as high as possible. However, to cover the norm, you need to eat 200-300 g of liver every day.
4. Cereals (oatmeal, buckwheat)
Foods rich in zinc are buckwheat (2.1 mg per 100 g) and oatmeal (2.68 mg per 100 g). Porridge from these cereals also contains vitamins and healthy fats, necessary for strengthening immunity.
5. Hard cheese (Dutch, Swiss, cheddar, gouda)
The most zinc is contained in hard varieties of natural cheese — up to 3-4 mg per 100 g of product. Let’s agree that soft cheese differs in the production procedure, not requiring fermentation — for this reason, zinc is much less in it.
Rules for the use of zinc
The amount of mineral consumption depends on the characteristics of the body and individual needs. The average dose of zinc for adults is 10-20 mg per day, but during severe diseases, with high loads and during the recovery period, the dose can be increased several times.
A characteristic feature is that during increased physical and mental stress, zinc is absorbed better.
The exact daily dose depends on the type of supplement, as each of them contains its own amount of elemental metal. Pharmaceutical companies produce zinc in various forms, the most popular of which are zinc picolinate, chelate, gluconate, citrate, and acetate.
As an example, let’s take 2 types of zinc food supplements: zinc picolinate 22 and zinc chelate from TM Solgar.
Please note that zinc chelate and picolinate are absorbed equally well, so they can replace each other if necessary. However, some studies have confirmed that the degree of absorption of picolinate by the body is higher.
Zinc Picolinate (Zinc Picolinate) 22 mg from Solgar promotes the health of the skin, hair and nails, supports the taste and organs of vision, and also causes the synthesis of collagen in the bone tissue. Including supports DNA formation and cell growth. Zinc contributes to the maintenance of antioxidant activity and the health of the immune system.
What’s more, zinc picolinate tablets do not contain corn, yeast, wheat, soy or dairy products and are made without the use of preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.
Zinc chelate SOLGAR CHELATED ZINC recommended for weakened immunity, disorders of the nervous system, fragile bones, instability of the endocrine system.
It affects the normal growth of hair, nails, skin and wound healing, has a beneficial effect on vision. Zinc also plays an important role in protecting the body from oxidative processes and is especially useful for supporting healthy aging.
For adults, take one tablet per day (preferably with a meal) or as directed by your doctor.
The article is exclusively of a recommendatory and informative nature. Zinc dosage should be discussed with your doctor.