Vitamin supplements guide   Vitamins & health supplements guide

 
Zinc quick review
Biological functions: vital to many biological functions such as immune resistance, wound healing, digestion, reproduction, physical growth, diabetes control, taste and smell.
Health benefits: functions as an antioxidant, protects against fungal infections and various infectious disorders, assists in maintaining the proper concentration of vitamin E in the blood.
Deficiency symptoms: hair loss, skin lesions, diarrhea, poor night vision and wound-healing, wasting of body tissues, cognitive function, and hormonal function.

Sources & dosage: beans and lentils, yeast, nuts, seeds and wholegrain cereals; general intake of zinc, approximately 15 mg daily.

Side efffects: excessive absorption can lead to reduced iron function, and impair the immune system. Zinc lozenges may lead to stomach ache, nausea, mouth irritation, and a bad taste.
 
Zinc by Vitabase
Zinc by Vitabase use OptiZinc, the only premium zinc supplement approved by the FDA for human nutrition. Unlike other zinc supplements, OptiZinc will not cause anemia by removing iron from cells. This formula contains a patented 1:1 complex of zinc and 100% natural methionine, the amino acid that is best absorbed by the body, and serves as an antioxidant. Click here for more information.
 

Zinc supplements


Zinc is a mineral that is vital to many biological functions such as immune resistance, wound healing, digestion, reproduction, physical growth, diabetes control, taste and smell. The main biochemicals in which zinc has been found to be necessary include: enzymes and enzymatic function, carbohydrate metabolism and protein synthesis. More than 300 enzymes in the human body require zinc for proper functioning. It is estimated that 3000 of the 100,000 or so proteins involved in human life contain zinc. Many cells secrete zinc, including the pancreas (which also secretes insulin), the salivary gland, and the prostate gland. Immune cells also secrete zinc. Zinc is an important mineral which is essential for protein synthesis and which helps to regulate the production of cells in the body's immune system. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and male reproductive fluid. Stored primarily in muscle, zinc is also found in high concentrations in red and white blood cells, the retina of the eye, bones, skin, kidneys, liver, and pancreas. In men, the prostate gland stores high amounts of zinc.

 

Biological functions and health benefits of zinc


Zinc has a range of functions. Zinc functions as an antioxidant and is involved in many critical biochemical reactions. Zinc plays an important role as a component of many enzymes and the catalysts of enzyme systems regulating cell growth, DNA and protein synthesis, energy metabolism, regulation of gene transcription, hormone levels, and growth factor metabolism. For many years, zinc has been used as an atringent, an antiseptic and a skin protectant. Zinc is an important mineral which is essential for protein synthesis and which helps to regulate the production of cells in the body's immune system. By boosting the immune system, zinc may also protect against fungal infections and various infectious disorders, such as conjunctivitis and pneumonia. Zinc also has some antioxidant properties, which means that it helps protect cells in the body from the potential damage caused by free radicals. Zinc is especially important in the prostate and may protect it from early damage that could lead to cancer. As a component of many enzymes, zinc is involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and energy. Zinc is important in the metabolism of vitamin A and collagen, cellular immunity, maintenance of taste acuity, and the development of reproductive organs. Zinc assists in maintaining the proper concentration of vitamin E in the blood. Zinc also plays a role in the regulation of appetite, stress level, taste, and smell. It is essential for normal growth and development, and for most aspects of reproduction in both males and females. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.
 

Zinc deficiency


Zinc deficiency most often occurs when zinc intake is inadequate or poorly absorbed, when there are increased losses of zinc from the body, or when the body's requirement for zinc increases. Zinc is lost via the faeces, urine, hair, skin, sweat, semen and also menstruation. Liver and pancreatic disorders, alcoholism, diabetes mellitus, and disorders that impair absorption can cause zinc deficiency. Signs of zinc deficiency include hair loss, skin lesions, diarrhea, wasting of body tissues, and, eventually, death. Eyesight, taste, smell and memory are also connected with zinc and a deficiency in zinc can cause malfunctions of these organs and functions. Lack of zinc may lead to poor night vision and wound-healing, a decrease in sense of taste and smell, a reduced ability to fight infections, and poor development of reproductive organs. Zinc deficiency can lead to immune dysfunction and impairments in growth, cognitive function, and hormonal function. People who are zinc deficient tend to be more susceptible to a variety of infections. Zinc deficiency is common in people with HIV (even before symptoms appear) or AIDS. Zinc levels tend to be low in people with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. People with anorexia and bulimia are often deficient in zinc. Deficiency in this mineral may reduce the sensation of taste and contribute to a loss of appetite. Low levels of zinc can contribute to impaired male fertility. Children with ADHD tend to have lower blood zinc levels than children without ADHD. Because of its role in immune system function, deficiencies in zinc make infants susceptible to acute diarrhea.
 

Dietary sources of zinc


Good sources for vegetarians include dairy products, beans and lentils, yeast, nuts, seeds and wholegrain cereals. Pumpkin seeds provide one of the most concentrated vegetarian food sources of zinc. Dietary fiber, particularly phytates, can interfere with the body's ability to absorb zinc. Zinc is best absorbed when taken with a meal that contains protein. A number of zinc supplements are available, including zinc acetate, zinc gluconate, zinc picolinate, and zinc sulfate. Zinc sulfate is the most frequently used supplement. This is the least expensive form, but it is the least easily absorbed and may cause stomach upset. The more easily absorbed forms of zinc are zinc picolinate, zinc citrate, zinc acetate, zinc glycerate, and zinc monomethionine. Zinc lozenges, used for treating colds, are available in most drugstores.

 

Dosage, intake, recommended daily allowance (RDA)


General intake of zinc, approximately 15 mg daily, is adequate to prevent deficiencies. However, the amount of zinc needed to meet normal daily recommended intakes will be different for different individuals. The following information includes only the average amounts of zinc.

Adult and teenage males: 9 to 12 mg
Adult and teenage females: 9 mg
Pregnant females: 15 mg
Breast-feeding females: 15 mg
Children 7 to 10 years of age: 7 to 9 mg
Children 4 to 6 years of age: 5 mg
Children birth to 3 years of ag: 2 to 4 mg
Children 1 to 3 years: 3 mg
Infants 7 to 12 months: 3 mg
Infants birth to 6 months: 2 mg

 

Side effects, precautions, toxicity, and drug interactions


Even though zinc is almost an essential requirement for a healthy body, too much zinc can be harmful to the human body. Excessive absorption of zinc into the human body can lead to reduced iron function, and impair the immune system. Experiments have also been conducted where the excessive intake of zinc led to nausea and vomiting within 30minutes of ingestion. Zinc toxicity has been seen in both acute and chronic forms. The major consequence of long-term consumption of excessive zinc is copper deficiency. Zinc lozenges may lead to stomach ache, nausea, mouth irritation, and a bad taste. Marginal zinc deficiency may be a contributing factor in some cases of anemia. Zinc may decrease the absorption of oral quinolones, includeing ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, and levofloxacin. Zinc interacts with NSAIDs and could reduce the absorption and effectiveness of these medications. Do not take zinc supplements and copper, iron, or phosphorus supplements at the same time. It is best to space doses of these products 2 hours apart, to get the full benefit from each dietary supplement.