10 Ways Zinc Benefits Your Health

Do you love the pungent aroma and taste of your morning cup of coffee? Or maybe the mouthwatering smell of fresh bread or the fragrance of a rose? If so, you have zinc to thank for that!

That’s because one of the enzymes that’s vital for your senses of taste and smell is dependent on zinc, and that’s just one of ways this hard-working mineral contributes to your daily wellness.

Since zinc is necessary for hundreds of processes in your body, supplementing this key mineral can be beneficial for many people. But the differences in quality, purity, and bioavailability of zinc supplements are substantial, and some may even bring more trouble than they’re worth. Read on to find out more.

What is Zinc?

Present in every cell in the body, zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in your body after iron. It’s an essential nutrient, which means that your body doesn’t produce it and must regularly obtain it from your diet.

The fact that it’s a trace mineral means that you only need small amounts, yet even these tiny quantities are critical for the activity of hundreds of enzymes that facilitate metabolism, digestion, nerve function, and many other processes.

Here are the top ways that zinc contributes to your health.

1. Immune Health

Since zinc supports the growth and normal functioning of immune cells, consuming sufficient zinc is foundational for upholding your daily immune health. Uncontested research supports zinc’s role in maintaining a healthy defense through seasonal changes.

2. Healthy Skin

Six percent of your total body’s zinc is in your skin, where it helps with the healthy repair and rejuvenation of your largest organ. Zinc concentrations in the skin rise in response to our bumps and boo-boo’s, partnering with the enzymes and proteins that patch things up.

Zinc also plays a key role in the formation of collagen, the skin’s structural protein, and contributes to a balanced immune response in the skin. To learn more about how zinc benefits your skin, check out Zinc and Skin Health: What You Need to Know.

3. Women’s Reproductive Health

Zinc is important for supporting women’s reproductive health where it encourages healthy hormone function, ovulation, and fertilization. It’s also a key nutrient that fosters a baby’s normal growth and development during pregnancy.

4. Men’s Reproductive Health

For men, zinc fosters optimal levels of testosterone, the formation of healthy sperm, and helps maintain a healthy prostate. Studies show that zinc plays a role in supporting male fertility by encouraging sperm quality and quantity.

5. Healthy Hair, Skin, & Nails

Keratin is a protein that makes up the hair shaft and is also in your skin and nails. Since zinc is a key contributor to healthy keratin production, insufficient zinc is associated with dryness and brittleness in hair, skin, and nails. So think zinc when you’re looking for a beauty boost!

6. Eye Health

Zinc is concentrated in the retina of your eyes, and it plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Since the absorption of zinc typically declines with age, older adults are often encouraged to add a zinc supplement in order to maintain healthy eyes and vision.

7. Digestive Health

Zinc is also critical for supporting intestinal health through its role in maintaining the integrity of the digestive tract lining. This tightly controlled barrier plays a dual role in allowing nutrients to be absorbed from food without allowing anything unwelcome to pass through.

Zinc also plays a role in the production of digestive enzymes, the compounds in our gut that break down our food and allow our bodies to access the essential nutrients we consume.

8. Thyroid Health

Zinc facilitates healthy thyroid hormone production, including T3, T4, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Interestingly, the reverse is also true: thyroid hormones are essential for the absorption of zinc. Keeping both zinc and thyroid health in balance supports optimal energy and metabolic rhythms.

9. Healthy Mood

Zinc plays a primary role in the production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine — also known as your “happy hormones.” Serotonin helps keep you content, confident and calm, while dopamine is your reward chemical that boosts drive, focus, and concentration. Studies have shown strong correlations between zinc and mood, highlighting the wide-reaching benefits of this mighty mineral.

10. Brain Health

Evidence for zinc’s support for mood points to the fact that zinc is also essential for nourishing healthy brain and cognitive function. The highest levels of zinc are found in the hippocampus, the center of learning and memory, and this is another reason that zinc supplements can be an excellent idea for older adults, or anyone looking to stay sharp as they age.

Food Sources of Zinc

A wide array of foods contain zinc, with oysters providing far and away more zinc per serving than any other food. Red meat and poultry, however, provide the majority of zinc in the US diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, shellfish like crab and lobster, whole grains, and dairy products.

Phytates, which are present in whole-grains, legumes, and other plant foods, bind zinc and limit its absorption. So, the bioavailability of zinc from plant-based foods is lower than that from animal sources. This means that vegetarians and vegans may require up to 50% more zinc in their diet due to potentially less absorption of the mineral.

    Who Needs Extra Zinc?

    The daily recommended intake for zinc is 11 mg, but it’s estimated that about 12 percent of the US population may not be getting enough. And since the aging process can impact mineral absorption, data suggests that up to 40 percent of older adults should add a zinc supplement.

    Other populations that might need extra zinc include:

    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
    • Vegetarians and vegans
    • Individuals with intestinal absorption issues
    • Those in recovery or under high stress

    Zinc Supplements

    Many zinc supplements contain synthetic ingredients that can be harsh on the stomach and digestive tract, sometimes leading to adverse intestinal symptoms. The zinc in our Zinc Complex™, on the other hand, is made using a fermentation process which transforms zinc in a food-form matrix, so it’s more gentle on the stomach and easy to absorb. This fermented zinc is then synergized with an organic food complex of shiitake mushrooms, camu camu berries, collard greens, spinach, parsley, and cruciferous sprouts. Plus, Zinc Complex is made without any artificial fillers, additives or chemical solvents whatsoever.

    With Zinc Complex, you can enjoy the vast health benefits that zinc has to offer from the gentle nourishment of nature, made with organic ingredients, vegan, non-GMO, dairy-free, and gluten free, so it’s good for you and the planet.

    3 Years ago