Zinc health

Zinc has been recognized as an essential trace mineral for plants, animals and humans since the 1930s. The average adult body contains between 1.5 and 3 g of zinc with approximately 60 percent of this in the muscles, 30 per cent in the bones and 6 per cent in the skin.

The highest concentrations of zinc are in the prostate gland and sperm in men, and in red and white blood cells. The retina of the eye, liver and kidneys also have high concentrations and there is some zinc in hair.

Benefits

Zinc healthMetabolism

Zinc functions in over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body. It plays a key role in the synthesis and stabilization of genetic material. It is necessary for cell division and the synthesis and degradation of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, and is therefore essential for the growth and repair of tissue.

Antioxidant function

As part of the enzyme copper-zinc superoxide dismutase, zinc helps to protect cells and other compounds against the effects of free radicals.

Cells and tissues

Zinc is vital for the normal structure and function of cell membranes. It is vital for the formation of connective tissue, teeth, bone, nails, hair and skin. Zinc may play a role in calcium uptake in bone and modulate the effects of growth hormones.

Immunity

Zinc is considered one of the most important nutrients for the immune system as it is necessary for healthy antibody, white blood cell, thymus gland and hormone function. It is therefore vital in maintaining resistance to infection and in wound- healing.

Hormones

Zinc is necessary for the secretion, synthesis and utilization of insulin. It also protects the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells against destruction. Zinc is also involved in the metabolism of the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands, the ovaries and the testes. It is vital for healthy male sex hormone and prostate function.

Skin

Normal skin function requires zinc. It is involved in oil gland function, local hormone activation, vitamin A binding protein formation, wound-healing, inflammation control and tissue regeneration.

Pregnancy

Zinc is essential for normal fetal growth and development, and for milk production during lactation. Maternal zinc levels are linked to proper formation of the palate and lip, brain, eyes, heart, bones, lungs and urogenital system of the baby. Adequate zinc is necessary for normal growth, birth weight and completion of full term pregnancy.

Other functions

Zinc is necessary for the production of brain neurotransmitters. Healthy liver function and release of vitamin A from the liver both require zinc. Zinc is also necessary for maintenance of vision, taste and smell and is the most abundant trace mineral in the eye. It is involved in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and in the conversion of fatty acids to prostaglandins, which regulate body processes such as heart rate and blood pressure. Zinc is necessary for muscle contraction and maintaining acid-alkali balance. It also helps detoxify alcohol.

 
 
Search over 10,000 Natural Remedies and Alternative Medicine Articles

Zinc
Zinc health
Zinc absorption
Zinc sources
Zinc deficiency
Zinc overdose
Zinc supplements
Zinc interactions

 


 

Other Minerals:

Boron
Calcium
Chromium
Cobalt
Copper
Electrolytes
Potassium
Sodium
Chloride
Fluoride
Iodine
Magnesium
Manganese
Molybdenum
Nickel
Phosphorus
Selenium
Silicon
Sulfur
Vanadium
Zinc