Zinc

We recommend:

Nature’s Sunshine Zinc

What is it?

Zinc is a mineral mainly found in the liver, muscles, kidneys and eyes. Zinc is needed for over 200 biochemical reactions in the body.

Function How it helps
Enzyme function & metabolism

One of the primary catalytic nutrients in the body, zinc is an essential coenzyme (non-protein portion of an enzyme) in over 200 enzymes. Included among the countless functions of zinc-dependent enzymes are energy production; metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates; protein synthesis and digestion; amino acid synthesis; detoxification of alcohols; and bone metabolism.

Antioxidant Zinc is an essential component of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase which protects cells from free radical damage.
Immune function Zinc is needed for the funtion of the thymus gland which is the master gland of the immune system. It is needed for white blood cell production and activity. It also possesses anti-viral properties.
Skin health Encourages skin tissue regeneration and is often deficient in people with acne, psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
Reproductive health Zinc helps to regulate androgens and lower levels of prolactin. This function helps prevent PCOS, infertility, hair loss.
Prostate health Zinc helps regulate the androgen DHT which can over stimulate tissue growth in the prostate.
Male fertility Zinc is critical to the production of testosterone, and the production and motility of sperm.
Blood sugar balance Zinc is needed in order for insulin to be manufactured and secreted by the pancreas, it also works with chromium to help the body utilise insulin.
Eye health As zinc is an important component of superoxide dismutase it helps with the protection of delicate eye tissues from free radical damage.
Mental health Zinc deficiency is implicated in learning disorders, Attention Deficit Disorder, hyperactivity, mental retardation, depression, dementia including Alzheimer’s Disease and schizophrenia.
Growth and development Zinc is necessary for proper growth and development of the foetus, depleted maternal zinc levels are implicated in several pregnancy-related and developmental problems such as premature birth; low birth weights; neural tube defects and other neurological problems; labour problems and abnormalities; and spontaneous abortion.

 

What is it used for?
Immune support

Excessive facial and body hair (women)

Male hormonal health (general)

Prostate enlargement

Foetal growth and development

Male fertility (general)

Low sperm count

Wilson’s Disease

Common cold

Polycystic ovaries

Female infertility

Skin health (general)

Acne Psoriasis Eczema

Wound healing

Diabetes
Eye health Mental health Learning disorder

 

Best food sources
Oysters Clams Beef
Liver Pumpkin seeds Whole grains
Nuts Peas Cheese
Eggs Shellfish Poultry

 

Deficiency Symptoms

white spots on nails,

loss of sense of taste/smell

weak immunity, chronic infections

defects in male reproductive maturation

male infertility/low sperm count

hair loss (general and male pattern)

polycystic ovaries

female infertility

skin disorders, acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis

learning disorders

ADD/ADHD

copper excess

diabetes/poor glucose tolerance

eye problems mental health problems

Supplementation dosage range

15mg per day long term. 50mg per day short term.

Other information

Although severe deficiency is rare, mild to moderate deficiency is common.

 

Cautions

  • Long-term intake of more than 100-150mg of zinc per day may suppress immune function, lead to irritation or even damage of the stomach lining and reduce levels of HDL (good) cholesterol (potentially increasing the risk of certain cardiovascular problems).

  • Intake of more than 200mg per day may cause nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and digestive pain or irritation.

  • If you have stomach or duodenal ulcers you should only use zinc supplements with the consent and under the strict monitoring of a doctor.
  • High doses of zinc can cause copper deficiency and an impaired immune response. Look for formulas that have copper added.
  • Zinc supplements should be avoided if taking the drugs amiloride, penicillamine, tetracycline, warfarin or fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
  • Do not take zinc on an empty stomach as it can cause nausea.

 

Factors which deplete levels, impair absorption and/or inhibit activity:
Alcohol Coffee Sugar
Phytates Soy High copper intake
High iron intake Aspirin Oral contraceptives
Warfarin Antacids H2 antagonists
Proton pump inhibitors ACE inhibitors Diuretics

 

 

 

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