You may have heard of zinc, but probably in a different platform from health concerning issues. It is one of the metals they teach you in chemistry classes. Surprisingly enough, zinc is actually one of the minerals that keep you healthy, aid in fighting diseases and ensure that you produce mature and healthy sperm.
For the body to function properly, it must be provided with minerals, proteins, vitamins and even carbohydrates. In the case minerals, there are those ones needed in large quantities and others which are only essential in small quantities. Zinc belongs to the latter group.
Foods with zinc supply us with the needed amounts of the same. Just for some additional knowledge, women require about 8 mg of the mineral per day while men require 11 mg of the mineral to function properly. The additional milligrams in men are perhaps due to the key roles that zinc plays to boost testosterone and produce sperm. In its deficiency, a zinc supplement can aid in supplying the needed amounts of the mineral.
People with low zinc are more susceptible to diseases. They also experience slowed body process. This is because the mineral plays a part in the activation of an excess of 100 body enzymes. You can start to see why zinc is so important.
Zinc supplement definition
To get the correct definition for zinc supplement, we must first understand the individual terms.
Zinc is a trace element that takes part in body functions such as enzyme activation, cell production, healing of wounds and food processing. It has been suggested that zinc itself acts as an antioxidant. This is the main reason as to why it is associated with boosted immunity, including treatment of colds and acne.
You may also come about modifications such as zinc acetate and zinc sulfide. Both the acetate and sulfate forms of zinc are mainly used to treat zinc deficiencies in humans. Zinc acetate is also used in treating a liver disorder that causes too much accumulation of copper in the liver.
Moving forward, we need to understand what a supplement is. As you may already know, a supplement is basically a product meant to produce some form of enhancement. In most cases, supplements are taken to address the deficiency of a certain vitamin, mineral or even hormones.
Zinc benefits; acetate and sulfide
In the body, zinc maintains a balance in immunity. This can be seen in its effectiveness in fighting cold virus. It also promotes the creation of new cells. This is actually very important. Cells die in millions every day. If they were to be reproduced at a slowed rate, it would end up causing chaos and opening the body to toxicity as well as reduced output. Most notably, zinc aids in the replication of cells that make up the collagen. This is experienced as faster healed wounds.
The mineral is also used in the activation of enzymes that support vision. In its absence, eye disorders such as macular degeneration, common in old age, would develop uncontrollably.
Another notable of zinc benefits is its use in the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates. As you may already know, these are the two most important food types in the body. Proteins maintain the body structure and also play the largest part in muscle development. Carbohydrates on the other hand provide the body with the required energy for all its activities.
Patients dealing with such conditions like diarrhea, ulcers, sickle cell anemia even acne can benefit a lot from zinc tablets and zinc rich foods. The mineral is directly involved in correcting the above named disorders.
For men, zinc is particularly beneficial in matters concerning ED and sperm production. It is common to find zinc as a main ingredient in enhancement ED pills. For one, the mineral is used in the production of testosterone. This is the male hormone that controls main activities concerned in the production of healthy sperm.
In women, zinc aids in normal development of a healthy fetus.
Uses of zinc tablets
Zinc tablets are the main mode of administration for the mineral. Below are the main uses of zinc supplements and basically the mineral itself:
Used for diarrhea treatment
Diarrhea might be largely tolerable in healthy adults. The reverse is true for children under the age of five years.
Zinc tablets have been advertised as effective curative agents for this deadly disease in children. In fact, international campaigns have been run in the past to urge parents to consider zinc tablets for diarrhea treatment.
Boosts and regulates immunity
Certain cells known as T-cells are responsible for fighting pathogens out of the body. Zinc is needed for the proper functioning of these cells. It controls the response that pathogens will spark in T-cells. It also has been known to fight cancer cells.
Zinc lozenges are notable for their effectiveness in shortening the mildness of cold symptoms and attacks. In one study, it was showed that the syrups and sprays do lessen the duration and severity of cold symptoms. This is both when applied after a cold attack or just after the onset of cold symptoms.
In most cases of low semen volume and unhealthy sperm, it has also happened that the individuals had zinc deficiency symptoms.
One study found that men who took zinc sulfate supplements experienced a higher rate of sperm motility and maturity. Moreover, healthy development of fetus depends on the levels of zinc in the mother. It is the reason as to why some pregnant mothers develop a craving for salty or sweet foods. It is a zinc deficiency symptom.
Some studies have linked zinc plus folic acid with premature ejaculation treatment. It will need additional data of course to support this claim fully.
Wound healing and skin health
Wounds are healed when enough collagen has been made to replace the impaired one. Collagen is also the part of the skin that is affected by free radicals, bringing about face lines and wrinkles.
One of the most important minerals used in the production of collagen is zinc. This also includes promoting a smooth skin and fighting acne.
Together with magnesium and potassium, zinc controls how impulses are sent and received between the nerves and brain cells. This is a very important factor that affects how healthy one is mentally.
Delays the effects of aging
There is a long list of potential diseases that are associated to inflammatory disorders in old age. Zinc can aid in delaying the onset of such diseases.
The mineral also helps in preventing macular degeneration. This is a condition that attacks the cells of the retina and promotes blindness.
Other zinc uses include; treating herpes virus, managing arthritis, controlling the symptoms of HIV, fighting high cholesterol and preventing the progression of ADHD. A doctor is always to be consulted in such cases.
Zinc deficiency symptoms
There are a number of ways you can actually tell that you are suffering from zinc deficiency. Below are the most common zinc deficiency symptoms that you can be on the lookout for:
If for example you have noticed a trend in allergic attacks, frequent colds and several immunity issues that never used to be there, it could be a low zinc warning. This is because without zinc, T-cells will not function correctly. Cell membranes will also become compromised while gene transcription will not take place as expected. This is a leading cause of malignant tumors.
Diarrhea occurring once in a while is acceptable. You never know what you come into contact with during the day.
However, should you continue to produce very loose stools and suffer frequent mild diarrhea attacks, it could be a sign that you are running low on zinc.
So what is leaky gut anyway? It is a condition that causes malfunctions in how proteins are absorbed in the gut. Instead of following the long route into the absorption system, proteins actually leak through the gut. This causes a lot of issues such as thyroid/adrenal malfunctions and body inflammations.
Zinc is involved in the regulation of cell membrane permeability. The right zinc sources can help reverse the condition.
Zinc is actually used a home remedy for treating acne. Such skin inflammations like acne, psoriasis and eczema are good indications of zinc deficiency.
Loss of hair
Thin, scattered and unhealthy hair can be a symptom of low zinc. Low zinc can also hurry the onset of baldness. In fact, you will find the mineral being advertised as a potential home remedy for healthy and more natural looking hair.
Some forms of erectile dysfunctions such as unhealthy sperm and low semen level can result from zinc deficiency. Zinc supplement can be taken to increase libido as well as promote sperm health.
Other symptoms include:
- Rapid weight loss
- Lost focus and increased confusion
- Low appetite
- Slow healing of wounds
- Less sensitivity to taste and smell
- Open sores
Causes of zinc deficiency symptoms
Too strenuous active-ties and training exercises have been known to cause low zinc. It is important that you take zinc rich foods or supplements if you are taking part in such exercises.
Pregnant women and those breastfeeding can cause a deficiency in the mineral. It is important that such mothers maintain healthy diets with zinc rich foods.
Stress and depression have also been known to cause low zinc. There are a lot of cells that are lost during stressing times. In response, the body utilizes a lot of the available zinc in the replication of new cells. With time, this will lead to a deficiency in the mineral.
Another cause of low zinc is poor absorption of the mineral and other food products. This is common in older people especially women. This will be worse if you are not getting enough of the mineral from diets.
Zinc sources; rich foods with zinc
The best way to treat zinc deficiency in the long term is by learning rich foods that act as zinc sources. This will also aid in enhancing sexual health which might prove a little more difficult in later stages of life. Here is the list of common foods with zinc:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Beef (grass fed)
- Wild rice
- Poultry and products
As you can notice, most of the zinc sources mentioned in this list will not be an option for a vegetarian. It is therefore important that such individuals consider taking higher amounts of the few zinc sources available for them. Additionally, they can try legumes such as almonds, peas and baked beans.
Supplements are also a quicker option. It is common to find the mineral in vitamin supplements. It is available over the counter, so you need to worry about access difficulties and challenges.
Zinc supplement dosage; avoiding deficiency symptoms
Zinc is important but its levels should never be in excess in the body. In fact, its benefits such as boosted immunity can be reversed and instead lead to increased risk of anemia and respiratory disorders.
For children younger than 8 years but over 1 year, 3 to 5 mg is recommended. For those older than 9 years but lower than 13 years, dosages should not exceed 8 mg. adult males can take 11 g per day.
For females, lower dosages are always recommended. In fact, it is not appropriate to exceed 8 g of zinc in both young and adult women. This is exception of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who can take up to 13 mg per day.
Side effects of zinc tablets uses
In its excess, zinc will cause headaches, increase aggressiveness and contribute to stomach disorders. It will also lead to reduced immunity and actually predispose you to anemia. Copper also suffers a deficiency in its absorption rate in the presence of excess zinc. In fact, some reviews suggest taking a vitamin supplement with copper to reduce the risk of low copper.
Caffeine intake, alcohol and penicillin can all interfere with the absorption and assimilation of zinc in the body.
Where to buy zinc tablets
Zinc supplements are widely available and over the counter for conveniences. You can for example buy the supplements at Walmart at varying prices.
The prices range from as low as $6 to as high as $50. It will depend on your preference and financial limits. For example, the highest priced of the supplements will come with additional benefits such as free delivery or an additional vitamin.
Of the several minerals that the body needs to function accordingly, zinc is one. It is involved in immunity boosting, minerals absorption, cells replication, mental health and other health benefits including boosted sexual functions even penis enlargement to some extent.
It is important to keep it in the required levels. This is to avoid such disorders like skin inflammations or even cancer attacks.
Zinc supplements are excellent zinc sources. They are most suitable when a deficiency for the mineral has occurred. However, foods with zinc are a more strategic option for treating long term zinc deficiency.
When it comes to treating ED with zinc, other approaches and supplements may be necessary. For example, penis exercises and supplements such as ginseng might prove a great combination.