Few nutrients play so many different roles in keeping us healthy as zinc.
Imagine this zinc helps energize more than 300 different enzymes which control more than 300 life-sustaining, biochemical reactions. It is estimated that 3,000 of the approximately 100,000 proteins involved in human life contain zinc. Zinc is also critical to immune health, digestion, reproduction, physical growth, sugar metabolism, taste and smell.
We need zinc for growth, development, and protection. Zinc exists in virtually every cell in the body including the skin, hair, nails, eyes, bone, and liver. (In men, it also is found in high concentration in the prostate.)
Many cells secrete zinc, including the pancreas, salivary gland, and prostate. Our immune cells also secrete zinc.
In our diets, zinc is found in different forms depending on the way foods are processed and cooked. Water-soluble forms are more prone to depletion for instance, beans lose about half their zinc during cooking. Fortunately, the mineral can be obtained through supplementation.
- Zinc is involved in healthy vision, taste, and smell.
- Zinc is essential for cell division and growth.
- Zinc supports antioxidant health.
- Zinc assists in the formation of DNA our genetic material.
- It plays a role in more than 300 enzymes in the body.
- Zinc is important for immune function.
- Zinc assists in the proper functioning of insulin.
- Zinc is involved in carbohydrate, protein, fat, and energy metabolism.
- Zinc is involved in protein formation.
- Zinc helps promote wellness in key areas of reproductive and sexual health.
- Zinc plays a key role in the synthesis of testosterone.
- A clinical study in young men found that a very low intake of zinc negatively affected both testosterone levels and normal semen production.
- As a component of the enzyme collagenase, zinc contributes to skin health.
- Zinc is essential if the body's immune system is to work properly. By supporting the immune system, zinc can help during a variety of stressful conditions.
- Zinc is a cofactor of superoxide dismutase (SOD) an important antioxidant enzyme which helps fight harmful free radicals.
- Zinc is used to maintain skin health.
- Zinc is especially important in the prostate, and may support its normal function.
- Zinc is especially known for promoting immune system health.
- Research suggests that zinc (and other antioxidants) may support vision health.
- As a component in many enzymes, zinc is involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and energy.
- Since zinc helps regulate cell division and DNA synthesis, it's essential for normal growth during childhood and adolescence.
- Zinc is needed for the growth of reproductive organs and sperm maturation.
- Zinc helps regulate the rate at which our bodies use energy called the metabolic rate.
- It supports the optimal functioning of our senses including sight, smell and taste.
- For many years, zinc has been used as an astringent, an antiseptic, and a skin protectant.
- Zinc assists in maintaining the proper concentration of Vitamin E in the blood.
Fortunately, there are many good sources of dietary zinc, including:
The structure function claims made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These dietary supplement products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.