Zinc is a mineral that is essential for many physiological processes in the human body. It is involved in numerous functions, including the immune system, DNA synthesis, wound healing, cell growth and repair, and the proper functioning of the senses of smell and taste.
Zinc also helps to maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails. And since Zinc is not produced in the body, it must be obtained through diet or supplements. Foods that are rich in zinc include meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
The recommended daily intake of zinc varies depending on age, sex, and other factors, but in general, adult men require about 11 milligrams of zinc per day, while adult women require about 8 milligrams per day.
Zinc is available in supplement form and is commonly used to treat zinc deficiencies.
However, it’s important to note that taking too much zinc can be harmful, and high doses of zinc can interfere with the absorption of other minerals, such as copper and iron. It’s always best to speak with a healthcare professional before taking zinc supplements.
It was a German chemist by the name of Friedrich Wöhler, who first discovered Zinc in the early 1800s. Wöhler initially discovered zinc as a component of zinc carbonate and later identified it as a separate element in 1848.
In recent years, there have been numerous studies investigating the role of zinc in immune function.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2016 found that zinc supplementation can help to reduce inflammation in individuals with metabolic syndrome, a condition that is associated with chronic inflammation.
Another study published in the journal Nutrients in 2017 found that zinc supplementation can improve the production of T cells, which are an important type of immune cell.
The study suggested that zinc may be useful for boosting immune function in individuals who are deficient in zinc.
The journal Nutrients published a review article in 2020, which concluded that zinc plays a crucial role in the immune system and that zinc deficiency can impair immune function.
The article also suggested that zinc supplementation may be beneficial for individuals with immune system disorders.
Zinc can be found in a variety of foods, such as:
• whole grains
• dairy products
It’s also found in smaller amounts in fruits and vegetables, such as:
A deficiency of zinc can lead to a number of health problems, including delayed wound healing, frequent infections, hair loss, and diarrhea. Additionally, a deficiency can also lead to a loss of appetite, and a decrease in taste and smell.
To know if you are deficient in zinc, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional. They may recommend a blood test to check your zinc levels.
If you are found to be deficient, they may recommend zinc supplements or changes to your diet to increase your intake of zinc-rich foods.
However, zinc supplements can have side effects if taken in large doses, so it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.