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Zinc Supplement: role, benefits, dosage, foods.

Zinc is a trace element, present in small amounts in the body. It plays an important role in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. What are its health benefits? In what foods can you find it? When to supplement ?

zinc supplement

What is zinc exactly ?

Zinc is a trace element present in the body in very small quantities: in total, the body contains 2 to 4 grams, 60% of which is in the muscles and 20% in the bones. ” nevertheless it plays an important role in many vital enzymatic processes such as DNA synthesis, blood coagulation, immune defenses or growth”.

Its role : it’s most commonly known for its action on the skin, nails and hair, and for its antioxidant properties against oxidative stress. But its virtues do not end there. It also intervenes in the following processes :

♦  In immune system by increasing the number of T lymphocytes

  Wound healing

  DNA and protein synthesis

♦  Insulin metabolis

♦  Bone maintenance

♦  Development and proper functioning of the nervous system

♦  Preservation of taste and smell

♦  Prevention of prostate problems

♦  Production of sperm

Health benefits of zinc

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, it helps fight skin problems such as acne, psoriasis or dermatitis. It is also an essential element in the synthesis of keratin and collagen, proteins that make up our hair at 95%. Associated with vitamin B6, it gives them resistance, suppleness and shine. And as an antioxidant, it helps neutralize free radicals and thus slow down aging of the eyes and skin.

Dosage, normal rate: zincemia

Zincemia is a measure of the level of zinc in the blood. Normally, the levels in the blood should be 11 mg for an adult (check your daily needs on the enclosed dashboard bellow ). However, it is quite difficult to measure the real level since its level varies significantly depending on the food consumed. Hypozincemia (abnormally low levels) is rarely seen except with cirrhosis. Note that a deficiency can cause growth disorders and immune and skin problems, especially with healing defects.

zinc needs dashboard

Foods rich in zinc

“The absorption of zinc is very variable (8 to 85%) depending on the food ingested. It is generally higher from products of animal origin than from plant origin”.

The main animal sources  are: liver, cheese, meat, eggs, fish, cow’s milk.

The main plant sources  are: whole grains, pulses, oil seeds, fresh vegetables and potatoes.

What kinds of zinc dietary supplements are available?

It is present in almost all multivitamin/mineral dietary supplements. It is also available alone or combined with calcium, magnesium or other ingredients in dietary supplements. Dietary supplements can have several different forms of zinc including gluconate, zinc sulfate and zinc acetate. It is not clear whether one form is better than the others.

Zinc deficiency

Deficiencies can lead to many problems such as fatigue, developmental disorders, skin issues (such as acne and eczema) or difficulty in healing. This is because a deficiency weakens the immune system, which is less effective in fighting infections. In addition, deficiency will also lead to taste and smell disorders as well as sexual disorders with in particular a decrease in fertility in men.

Can zinc be harmful?


Yes, if you get too much. Signs of too much zinc include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and headaches. When people take too much zinc for a long time, they sometimes have problems such as low copper levels, lower immunity, and low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol).

The daily upper limits for zinc include intakes from all sources—food, beverages, and supplements. These levels do not apply to people who are taking zinc for medical reasons under the care of a doctor:

Does Zinc interact with medications and other supplements

Yes. Zinc dietary supplements can interact or interfere with medicines that you take and, in some cases, medicines can lower zinc levels in the body. Here are several examples

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