A lot of people are probably familiar with zinc as an essential mineral we all need to fight sore throat and colds. But, what most people don’t know about it is that: it’s one of the most important elements our body needs to maintain great health.
Zinc can be found in all parts of your body. A healthy adult body has 2-3 grams of zinc in organs, fluids, tissues, bones, and cells. And because it plays a major role in strengthening your immune system, deficiency in zinc may lead to some serious problems and various health conditions.
Other Benefits of Zinc
Aside from the fact that it helps boost your immunity, zinc is also responsible in many other functions in your body. Among these functions are:
- Protecting your cells, preventing it to be damaged, and repairing it when it gets damaged; making it responsible in healing your wounds.
- Helps in your neurological function.
- Plays an important role in maintaining your blood glucose level.
- Helps in maintaining your sense of smell and taste.
- Has a vital role in maintaining fertility in adults.
- Responsible in activating normal growth especially during pregnancy and among children.
- Helps fight against macular degeneration (a vision problem).
- Proven to be effective in renewing skin cells and in treating other skin problems such as acne and eczema.
Each one of us needs zinc. For infants, children, and adolescents, zinc is necessary for their growth; for adults, it’s for good health. That only means deficiency may lead to impaired development, more susceptibility to various bacteria causing diseases, and a lot more serious health conditions.
Zinc-deficiency means you’re not getting enough zinc which actually causes some serious health problems. Not enough zinc makes you more prone to not just to infections, but to other illnesses such as the following:
- Prostate disorder that may lead to prostate cancer
- Macular degeneration
- Digestive disorders such as diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome
- Pneumonia that can lead to death
- Stunted growth
- Impaired neurological and cognitive development
- Impaired memory
- Behavioral problems
- Mental disturbances
Mild zinc deficiency may easily be corrected by taking the right amount of zinc each day from major sources like meat, fish, poultry products, dairy products, and seafood. However, severe deficiency may require higher doses of zinc intake from a balanced diet and a multi-vitamin supplement.
Deficiency in zinc is one of the leading causes of some serious diseases in the world. Mild to severe deficiency can be observed through the following most common symptoms:
- Dry and rough skin
- Dull hair/Hair loss
- Chronic diarrhea
- Brittle finger nails/white spots on finger nails
- Loss of Appetite
- Loss of libido
- Mood swings
- Less adaptation to darkness
- Frequent infections
- Eye and skin lesions
- Delayed wound healing
- Acne and dermatitis
Who’s at Risk?
Older people and those who have poor dietary habits, pregnant and lactating women, individuals taking acid-suppressing medications, women taking contraceptive pills, and alcoholics are more at risk of zinc-deficiency.
Zinc, is one of the most important elements in our body. Although not everyone is affected, still, a lot suffer from deficiency from it. To make sure that you’re getting the right amount of zinc, it’s recommended to practice healthy eating (balanced diet) and to consult your doctor regularly.