Zinc is a trace mineral that plays a role in maintaining many systems within the body. The body needs only small amounts of zinc, but it is essential for more than 100 enzymes to properly perform.
The body utilises zinc for many physiological functions including:
reduce the duration of the common cold
support a healthy immune system
assist in the management of mild acne
play an important role in both female & male reproductive health, supporting ovulation, fertilisation, pregnancy, healthy sperm, testes & prostate gland
maintain the structural integrity of proteins
aid minor wound healing
enable growth and multiplication of cells, especially important in childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, and while breastfeeding
Foods that are derived from animals are generally a good source of zinc, including seafood, red meat & dairy. Other forms of zinc can be found in leafy green vegetables, cereals, garlic, ginger, legumes & nuts.
The incidence of inadequate zinc intake occurs in more than a third of males, which is much higher than for their female counterparts at just one in ten1. Over the age of 14 years, males require twice as much zinc as females in their age group. After age 70, more than 60% of males are deficient in this mineral.
Various things can influence the way zinc is absorbed in the human body, including the presence of iron (high levels of which diminish zinc absorption) and protein (which improves zinc absorption) in the food we consume. Conversely, excess zinc can interfere with copper and iron absorption. Maintaining the right balance is very important.
Zinc tablets may be beneficial for people with low levels of the mineral or during times of illness. It’s important to take zinc tablets according to dosage instructions on the bottle or based on your doctor’s advice. This mineral is absorbed most efficiently in small doses and by people who are deficient in zinc.
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