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MINERALS - Zinc - Health Benefits, Obtaining from Food and Supplements

Zinc

Zinc has a number of health-beneficial functions:

Accelerates the activity of approximately 100 different body enzymes

Promotes immune function

Supports healthy cell growth and development

Ensures proper sense of taste and smell

Prostate health

Body can not store zinc but it is easily obtained from diet

–    Top Zinc Foods - meat and poultry. Oysters contain more zinc than any other food. Other good sources for zinc include beans, nuts, crab, lobster, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products. This author does not advocate eating shell fish, which do a great job of cleaning up the planet and can be toxic.

Food

Serving size

Zinc (mg)

Roasted pumpkin seeds

¼ cup

4.2

Toasted sesame seeds

¼ cup

3.3

Brazil nuts

½ cup

2.7

Soybeans

(only eat organic beans)

½ cup

4.5

Wheatgerm cereal

(toasted, ready to eat)

½ cup

9.4

Yogurt (low fat, plain)

8 oz

2.2

Baked beans

½ cup

6.9

Sirloin, broiled

3 oz

5.5

Zinc content of more common foods

 

Conditions or persons with special zinc needs

Vegetarians - legumes and whole grains contain phytates that bind zinc and inhibit its absorption in the body. They may require 50% more zinc than non-vegetarians.

Pregnant/Nursing women - high fetal requirements and breast feeding can deplete their body's zinc.

Older men need a zinc sufficiency to protect against formation of abnormal prostate cells and impotence:

–    The human prostate has the highest accumulation of zinc of any soft tissue in the body

–    Cancerous prostates seem to have less zinc than normal prostates

–    Severe zinc deficiency can lead to impotence - by affecting Testosterone

Allergies which are hard on the immune system;

“Teeth-grinders”- Zinc (also niacin) deficiency can cause involuntary grinding of teeth, especially when sleeping or stressed; To relieve pressure on the jaw, move your lower jaw all the way left and then all the way right. You may hear your jaw joint crack.

White spots on fingernails a symptom of zinc deficiency

Wilson's Disease – a problem of copper build-up in the liver

Digestive disorders / gastrointestinal surgery - E.g.ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, partial removal of intestines, weight-loss surgery decrease amount of zinc absorbed, increasing loss in urine.

Older infants who are breastfed - breast milk does not have enough zinc for infants over 6 months of age. Non-formula-fed older infants should be given foods that have zinc such as pureed meats

Alcoholics - alcoholic beverages decrease the amount of zinc that the body absorbs and increase the amount lost in the urine. Also, many alcoholics have a poor diet

Sickle cell disease creates a need for more zinc.

Supplementing Zinc

Supplemental forms - include zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, and zinc acetate .

Normal daily recommended intakes (not RDA) for zinc are as follows:

Persons

Zinc (mg)

Infants and children birth to
3 years of age

5–10

Children 4 to 6 years of age

10

Children 7 to 10 years of age

10

Adolescent /Adult males

15

Adolescent /Adult females

12

Pregnant females

15

Breast-feeding females

16–19

Upper limit is 40 mg/day - excessive zinc intake can lead to nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches.

DISCLAIMER: The content on this website is intended for informational, and educational purposes only and not as a substitute for the medical advice, treatment or diagnosis of a licensed health professional. The author of this website is a researcher, not a health professional, and shall in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, punitive or other damages arising from any use of the content of this website. Any references to health benefits of specifically named products on this site are this website author's sole opinion and are not approved or supported by their manufacturers or distributors. COPYRIGHT 2009-2017