Zinc - Critical to Immune Health and so Much More!
The mineral, zinc has been highly touted in the news lately. Much of this interest stems from the critical role zinc plays in supporting a healthy immune system. There are a multitude of studies supporting this benefit, but did you know this mineral also helps those who are not sick, and who don’t have compromised immune function? In a perfect world, this essential mineral would be consumed daily, and in small amounts. In this way, zinc helps us maintain overall health and perform hundreds of important functions. Unfortunately, we live in a not-so-perfect world, and eating all the right foods all the time can be challenging – and not always fun. So, let’s break it down. What is zinc? Why do we need it, and how do we get it?
What Is Zinc?
Zinc, the 24th most abundant element in earth’s crust, is a mineral. It is called an "essential trace element" because very small amounts of zinc are necessary for human health. Since the human body does not store excess zinc, it must be consumed regularly as part of the diet. Common dietary sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, fish, certain nuts, and grains.
The Top 5 Benefits of Zinc and then some
- Immune Function - According to the National Institutes of Health, “Severe zinc deficiency depresses immune function, and even mild to moderate degrees of zinc deficiency can impair macrophage and neutrophil functions, natural killer cell activity, and complement activity.” Zinc is an essential component of pathogen-eliminating signal transduction pathways. It helps control inflammation and prevent elevated inflammatory responses, including release of cytokines, as well as damage to tissues. This mineral is intricate during immune response by helping the body return to homeostasis. This is why zinc is a popular natural over-the-counter remedy for fighting common colds.
- Acts as a Powerful Antioxidant- Zinc has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, helping fight oxidative stress and decrease the chance for disease development.
- Can Help Balance Hormones - Benefits of zinc for hormonal health and fertility are due to this mineral playing an important role in hormone production, including increasing testosterone naturally, which has very widespread roles in both men and women. Zinc also supports the production of estrogen and progesterone in women, which both support reproductive health.
- Helps Fight Diabetes- This essential mineral is needed to balance most hormones, including insulin, the main hormone involved in the regulation of blood sugar, and as a diabetes natural treatment. Zinc benefits blood sugar levels because it binds to insulin, so insulin is adequately stored in the pancreas and released when glucose enters the bloodstream.
- Helps Maintain Heart Health by Supporting Blood Vessels - Zinc is needed to maintain the health of cells within the cardiovascular system, while also lowering inflammation and oxidative stress. The endothelium, the thin layer of cells that lines the blood vessels, partially relies on adequate levels of the mineral. Zinc benefits heart health by supporting healthy circulation, since it helps as a natural remedy for high blood pressure and cholesterol levels from clogged or damaged arteries.
Other benefits include supporting fertility, aiding the absorption of other nutrients, supporting liver health, supports muscle growth and repair, aiding vision and eye health along with decreasing acne and support with wound healing. Yes, you can say that zinc is vital to many components of health!
Ways to insure you’re getting enough Zinc
These days we don’t always get everything we need from our diet alone. Whether it’s a busy life, food allergies, or that you just don’t like always feel like eating what is best for us, a simple zinc supplement can help cover that nutrient gap. Zinc supplements are popular and can be found in many deliverable forms from pills and capsules to lozenges and effervescent.
Navigating through life is hard………. vitamins should be easy. To cut through all the noise and figure out what immune supporting supplements are right for you, just take our quick 30-second survey and get your list of personalized vitamin and nutrient recommendations. Click Here