Zinc is an essential mineral that your body does not make on its own. It aids growth, DNA synthesis, immune function and more. Because your body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, you must obtain it through food or supplements.
What Is Zinc's Role in The Body?
Zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in your body, after iron, and is present in every single cell. It is necessary for the activity of over 300 enzymes that aid in metabolism, digestion, nerve function and many other processes.
Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiast listen up zinc is fundamental to skin health, DNA synthesis and protein production. What’s more, is that body growth and development relies on zinc because of its role in cell growth and division.
Top Benefits of Zinc?
1. Immunity boosting: Zinc supplements stimulate particular immune cells and reduce oxidative stress. For example, a review of seven studies demonstrated that 80–92 mg per day of zinc may reduce the length of the common cold by up to 33%
2. Healing potential: Zinc is commonly used in hospitals as a treatment for burns, certain ulcers and other skin injuries. Because this mineral plays critical roles in collagen synthesis, immune function and inflammatory response, it is necessary for proper healing. In fact, your skin holds a relatively high amount, about 5% of your body’s zinc content.
3. Reduces the risk of age related diseases: Zinc may significantly reduce your risk of age-related diseases, such as pneumonia, infection and age-related macular degeneration. Zinc may relieve oxidative stress and improve immune response by boosting the activity of T-cells and natural killer cells, which help protect your body from infection. In fact, one study determined that 45 mg per day of zinc may decrease infection rates in older adults by nearly 66%
4. May help treat acne: Acne is a common skin disease that is estimated to affect up to 9.4% of the global population. Acne is driven by obstruction of oil-producing glands, bacteria and inflammation. Studies suggest that both topical and oral zinc treatments can effectively treat acne by reducing inflammation, inhibiting the growth of P. acnes bacteria and suppressing oily gland activity.
5. Inflammation decrease: Zinc decreases oxidative stress and reduces levels of certain inflammatory proteins in your body. Oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, a contributing factor in a wide array of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and mental decline. In a study in 40 older adults, those who took 45 mg of zinc per day experienced greater reductions in inflammatory markers than a placebo group.
Vegan Zinc Sources
Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.
Nuts and seeds: Pumpkin seeds, cashews, hemp seeds, etc.
Whole grains: Oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.
Certain vegetables: Mushrooms, kale, peas, asparagus and beet greens
Recommended Supplement Dosage
In order to avoid overconsumption, stay away from high-dose zinc supplements unless recommended by a doctor. The recommended daily intake (RDI) is 11 mg for adult men and 8 mg for adult women. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume 11 and 12 mg per day, respectively.
Unless a medical condition is hindering absorption, you should easily reach the RDI for zinc through diet alone. The tolerable upper level for zinc is 40 mg per day. However, this does not apply to people with zinc deficiencies, who may need to take high-dose supplements.
If you take supplements, choose absorbable forms such as zinc citrate or zinc gluconate. Stay away from zinc oxide, which is poorly absorbed, as it is a heavy metal and not assimilated by the human body.