Getting enough zinc can wonders in numerous health conditions. Zinc activates white blood cells to fight infections. It helps protect the body against viruses. Men need zinc for sperm production and to keep the prostate gland healthy. Zinc helps the pancreas make insulin and keep normal sugar levels.
Zinc is essential for good memory. Zinc supplements even help teenagers get better grades in school.
How important is zinc? Zinc is present in every cell in the body. It is a component of over 200 enzymes. There are high amounts of zinc in red blood cells, white blood cells, your bones, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and retina. Men have high concentrations of zinc in the prostate gland. Every cell in the body needs zinc to divide and replace itself when the body makes new tissues.
Here are two lists. One is a list of conditions that can occur when the body does not get enough zinc. The second is a list of conditions that improve due to the benefits of zinc supplements.
Not getting enough zinc can lead to chronic fatigue, dermatitis, diarrhea, hypothyroidism, female infertility, impaired platelet aggregation, insulin resistance, and loss of taste or smell. It can cause reduced resistance to infection, night blindness, poor appetite, poor memory, attention deficit disorder, and reduced learning ability, and it can cause slower growth in children, slow healing of wounds, and infertility in men. Add to this list Acrodermatitis enteropathica, Alopecia, atrophy of the testes, bone loss and osteoporosis, decreased sperm count, decreased sperm motility, delayed puberty, nerve cell problems in Alzheimer’s disease and Down’s syndrome, and ringing in the ears.
Among the benefits of zinc supplement is improved immune function. Other benefits of zinc supplements are adding calcium to bones and teeth, lowering blood sugars, helping interferon work in treating hepatitis C, clearing up bacterial prostatitis, and recharging the male sex drive. They can help recovery in brain injury, improve brain function, restore night vision, increase sperm count, and stimulate the libido.
Extra zinc can help bring out weight gain in anorexia nervosa and help children with sickle cell disease. It can even cure bad breath.
Who needs the benefits of zinc supplements? You might be surprised. The United Nations University found that 20% of people worldwide are deficient in zinc. Zinc in supplements is needed to prevent childhood infections and diarrhea and to support normal growth and development.
Think you’re safe if you eat a good diet? Think again. Scores of modern medications deplete the body’s stores of zinc. Any women who takes the Pill or hormone replacement therapy or medication to prevent osteoporosis is at risk for nutritional deficiency and may need zinc supplements. Heart patients, diabetics, and epileptics also need zinc supplements.
Even some supplements increase the body’s need for zinc. Calcium supplements, magnesium supplements, and whey all can interfere with the absorption of zinc. Never take zinc at the same time you take these supplements, and always be sure you are getting enough of the benefits of zinc supplements if you take any supplements for bone health or muscle health.
What about side effects of zinc supplements?
If you take too much zinc, your body will have difficulty absorbing copper. It’s OK to take up to 20 mg every 2 hours for as long as 2 weeks to fight a cold, but for everyday nutrition limit your intake to 15 mg a day. Zinc supplements can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but only if you take about a gram-over 60 times the recommended dose.
How can you tell if you are taking too much zinc?
Here is a simple test. Overdoses of zinc numb your taste buds to bitter flavor and metallic aftertastes. Zinc has a metallic taste. If you can’t taste zinc, you don’t need to take it! The benefits of zinc supplements are yours with just a small, regular dose.