Zinc is a micronutrient that is the second most abundantly distributed trace element in the body after iron. Zinc is involved in numerous metabolic and signaling pathways in the body, it is important for maintaining good integrity of body homeostatic mechanisms, it is crucial for cell-mediated immunity, tissue growth, taste acuity, bone formation, skin health, brain function, and fertility. Owing to its requirement for biological activity, zinc is important for a large number of structural proteins, DNA synthesis, prostaglandin production, and wound healing.
Supplemental zinc is available in the form of zinc gluconate, zinc glycinate, zinc acetate, zinc sulfate, zinc citrate, zinc picolinate. The amount/percentage of elemental zinc varies by form and will be listed on the supplemental label.
WHAT ARE THE FOOD SOURCES OF ZINC?
Zinc is found in a variety of foods, such as beef, poultry, red meat, oysters, seafood, whole grains, legumes, lentils, nuts (cashews, almonds), peas, seeds, and chickpeas.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF ZINC DEFICIENCY?
1. Decreased sense of taste and smell
2. Unexplained weight loss
3. Skin sores
4. Weakened immune system
5. Mental lethargy
6. Impaired wound healing
7. Loss of appetite
9. Hair loss
10. Hypogonadism in males
WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR ZINC DEFICIENCY?
1. Consuming diets based on cereals, legumes and poor in animal products
2. Reliance on food with poorly absorbable zinc
3. Inadequate caloric intake
4. Complementary feeding is delayed
5. Utilization of zinc is impaired in the presence of infection
6. Zinc intake may decrease with age
WHAT IS THE NEED FOR SUPPLEMENTING WITH ZINC?
Supplementation of zinc is recommended because the nutritional dietary intake of zinc frequently falls outside the recommended intake due to miscellaneous reasons. Zinc is an essential mineral that cannot be made by the body and is involved in the critical function of many enzymes.
The bioavailability of zinc from plant foods and grains is lower than that from animal foods (high in bioavailable zinc) because the phytate content in whole grains and legumes bind with zinc and inhibit its absorption.
ZENITH NUTRITION ZINC GLYCINATE
Zenith Nutrition Zinc Glycinate is a chelated form of zinc mineral that is attached to the amino acid glycine. It is one of the best forms of zinc the body absorbs the best, it is easily absorbed across the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. The 60mg serving of zinc glycinate offers 12mg of elemental zinc. The vegetarian dietary supplement is manufactured in a GMP-certified unit and has gone through stringent testing for assurance of purity and potency.
The supplement does not contain sugar, preservatives, corn, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE OF ZINC?
The recommended dietary allowance of zinc is the average daily level of its intake that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of healthy people. There is not enough research evidence to develop an RDA for zinc, however, the adequate intake for adults has been established which is 10-11mg.
IS THERE A DRUG INTERACTION OF ZINC?
Consuming too much zinc is associated with copper deficiency.
Zinc is known to interact with quinone, penicillamine, and tetracycline antibiotics in the gastrointestinal tract, which may inhibit the absorption of both zinc and antibiotic.
It is advised to take antibiotics 2 hours before or 4-6 hours after taking a zinc supplement to minimize this interaction.
ZINC BOOSTS IMMUNITY
Zinc deficiency is known to increase reactive oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines. Zinc deficiency adversely affects macrophages, T and B lymphocytes, and interleukin production.
Zinc is crucial for the normal development and function of cells mediating innate immunity, it is needed to activate T lymphocytes that regulate immune responses.
Zinc up-regulates the T-cell response, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and function of neutrophils and NK cells.
Zinc has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help eliminate the reactive oxygen species and reduce the risk of infections.
Zinc supplementation has been shown by studies to increase ciliary beat frequency. Improved ciliary clearance does not only improve the removal of the virus particle but also reduces the risk of secondary bacterial infections.
ZINC SLOWS THE PROGRESSION OF MACULAR DEGENERATION
Zinc plays a key role in maintaining the health of the retina, it is a constituent of many enzymes needed for optimal metabolism of the eye.
Zinc ions are present in the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which plays an important role in suppressing oxidative stress.
Several studies suggest that ocular zinc concentration decreases with age, loss of zinc from biological membranes increases their susceptibility to oxidative damage and impairs their function.
Zinc supplementation is found to be effective in preventing age-related macular degeneration which affects the macula which is responsible for high-acuity daylight vision in the central area of the retina.
ZINC IS ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTHY HEART FUNCTION
Intracellular zinc concentration appears to play a critical role in the redox signaling pathway, thereby appears to have protective effects in coronary artery disease.
Zinc regulates the way calcium moves to heart cells and helps to maintain myocardial structure.
Zinc works as a cofactor for nitric oxide synthase, a key component of vasodilation.
Zinc mediates gene expression of interleukin-2, it is a crucial part of superoxide dismutase which reduces superoxide anions and oxidative stress that cause myocardial damage.
ZINC IS ESSENTIAL FOR SKIN HEALTH
Zinc is needed for building keratin, for the formation of the skin’s structural protein, collagen.
Zinc works as an antioxidant, helps lessen the formation of free radicals, protects skin’s lipids and fibroblasts that make collagen.
Zinc regulates inflammatory response, cell production, turnover, helps reduce the amount of oil your skin produces, it may prevent clogging and acne flare-ups.
Zinc is known to reduce keratinocyte activity, fight free radical damage and modulate action on neutrophils, macrophages, and inflammatory cytokines.
Zinc deficiency may lead to rough, dry skin, acne formation, and slow wound healing.
ZINC IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION
Zinc has a vital role in enzymatic activity, cell signaling, and modulation of neurotransmitter activity.
Alterations in brain zinc status can lead to the development of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Zinc deficiency has been shown to induce anxiety-like behaviour.
Zinc plays a crucial role in regulating neurotransmission, cell signaling, and plays a role in both physiological and pathophysiological processes.
Zinc is essential in regulating cell proliferation, and hormonal regulation of cell division. Zinc is well known for its antioxidant properties, it acts as an antioxidant through the catalysis of zinc/copper superoxide dismutase.
Zinc supplementation decreases C-reactive protein whose increased level is associated with depression. Disruption of zinc homeostasis has been implicated in disturbances in cognition, behavioural and emotional regulation.
Zinc deficiency has been found to increase the vulnerability to physiological stress by maintaining electrophysiological balance in brain regions.
ZINC SUPPORTS FERTILITY IN MEN
Zinc supplementation has been proven to improve seminal antioxidant quality in men.
Zinc has a multifaceted role in the sperm’s functional properties. Poor zinc levels in the body may be a risk factor for the low quality of sperm and male infertility. Zinc deficiency impedes spermatogenesis and has a negative impact on serum testosterone levels.
Zinc deficiency is correlated with a reduction in testis volume, hypogonadism, and in preserving testosterone hormone levels.
Low levels of zinc have been indicated to disturb the fatty acid composition of the testis and interfere with the endocrine regulation of the testis.
Seminal zinc is higher than in other tissues and has an important role in the physiological function of the sperm, its reduced levels result in low seminal quality and subsequent chances of fertilization.
Several studies have demonstrated that oral supplementation of zinc improves sperm quality, sperm motility in sub fertile men.