What Is Zinc?
Zinc is a nutrient that plays many vital roles in your body. Because your body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, you must obtain it through food or supplements. This article explains what you need to know about zinc, including its functions, and health benefits. Long-term supplementation of zinc should include copper in a 15:1 (Zn:Cu) ratio.
Actions of Zinc
- Co-factor in over 300 metalloenzymes, able to directly affect gene expression, signal transduction, transcription and cellular replication through non-enzymatic pathways.
- Plays a role in the synthesis of fat, protein, and cholesterol.
- Co-factor for superoxide dismutise (SOD), alcohol metabolism, and insulin function.
- Important role in immune system, cell growth & differentiation, taste perception.
- Testosterone metabolism and prostate health.
Clinical Applications Of Zinc
- Diabetes : Most diabetics are low or deficient in zinc, improves/regulates insulin function, enhances the binding of Insulin to liver cells, assists insulin in the synthesis of lipids in adipocytes, helps to lower elevated serum glucose levels, significantly improves peripheral neuropathy in insulin-dependent diabetics.
- Digestive system: Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, hypochlorhydria (production of HCL), Diarrhoea (regenerates intestinal mucosa), pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, Crohn’s disease, impaired taste and thirst, mouth ulcers respond well.
- Eyes/Vision: Macular degeneration (ARMD), cataracts, night-blindness, optimises function of optic nerve.
- Female: prevents cervical dysplasia & PMT, deficiency can cause various birth defects.
- Hair/Scalp: Male pattern baldness, alopecia areata, greying hair, dandruff.
- Immune System: Activates lymphocytes, enhances neutrophil activity, lowers TH1 Helper T-cells & increases TH2 Helper T-cells, inhibits histamine response, helps prevent many viral & bacterial diseases, inhibits viral replication, prevents & treats common cold, inhibits proliferation of roundworms & various parasites. Decreases risk for infection from leprosy, malaria and congenital herpes.
- Male: The prostate contains the highest levels of zinc of any tissue in the body, which makes zinc supplementation especially important for the male. Male infertility, decreases benign prostatic hyperplasia, improves sperm count & male libido, testicular atrophy.
- Respiratory system: Asthma, emphysema, pleurisy, pneumonia, lowers incidence of respiratory tract infections, accelerates recovery from tuberculosis.
- Skin: Recurrent boils, dry skin, accelerates wound healing & skin ulcers, atopic dermatitis (eczema), dermatitis, warts, acne, psoriasis responds occasionally, tinea.