Health + Wellness

What is Zinc Good For in The Body?

what does zinc do for the body

Your overall health is heavily influenced by what you eat. It takes a combination of different nutrients to ensure that the body’s systems operate efficiently. One of these essential nutrients is zinc and there are many reasons to make sure that you get enough of it. Let’s look at what it is and how you can get the benefits of zinc in your diet.

What Is Zinc?

Zinc is what is known as an essential trace element. That basically means that you need it in your diet but only in relatively small amounts when compared to other nutrients. It also means that it’s not likely to be found naturally in large amounts either. 

What Does Zinc Do For The Body?

Your body needs zinc for several of its functions. This includes maintaining the immune system, healing wounds, managing thyroid function, encouraging blood clotting, healthy development, manufacturing proteins, and guiding enzymatic reactions that aid in metabolism, digestion, as well as nerve function. Interestingly, zinc is also required for the proper functioning of your sense of taste and smell. Since the body doesn’t store zinc, it’s vital for you to get enough of it in your diet. 

RELATED: Zinc: The Boost Your Immune System Needs!

What Is Zinc Good For?

Given how important zinc is to the body’s systems, it’s not surprising that it has several health applications. For example, those with colds might be encouraged to take zinc supplements or zinc lozenges to boost their immune system. If you have a cut or diarrhea, taking zinc supplements can help with that as well. Zinc can also be used topically in the form of zinc oxide. Creams that contain zinc oxide can be used to treat rashes, sunburn, and other skin irritations. 

5 Health Benefits Of Zinc

Though this trace mineral has numerous benefits, these are 5 of the main ones that you should know. 

1. It Builds A Strong Immune System

Zinc has been shown to stimulate specific immune cells while reducing oxidative stress. The overall effect is a stronger immune system where you’re less likely to contract respiratory illnesses and can recover quickly if you get sick.

2. It Can Slow Vision Loss

Studies show that zinc can be effective in slowing vision loss in older adults. This is most likely for people who are dealing with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 

3. It Reduces Inflammation In The Body

Chronic inflammation in the body can cause illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and degenerative disorders. According to recent research, zinc can be effective in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. 

4. It Helps To Heal Wounds

Zinc is essential to collagen synthesis in the body. When combined with its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, this mineral can have a positive impact on healing your wounds. 

5. It Can Help With Skin Conditions

Apart from helping to heal wounds, zinc can help with skin conditions like acne. Studies show that consuming it is more effective than simply applying it to the skin so it’s best to have it in your diet.

How Much Zinc Should I Take?

It can vary but generally, women should consume 8 milligrams of zinc per day and men should consume 11 milligrams daily. Ideally, you should be able to get all the zinc you need from your diet but your doctor can

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