The zinc link to human health

zincearthbackgroundadLike all essential vitamins and minerals the zinc link to human health is more important than most of us realize.

Zinc is a crucial mineral with over 300 enzymes reliant on it to help with various functions.

This long list includes: healing wounds, promoting healthy growth in children, helping cells reproduce, synthesizing proteins and boosting immunity.

In adults, it is also crucial for preserving vision and maintaining fertility.

Zinc deficiency is common today, due to poor soils and industrial farming methods— and a standard diet of nutrient-barren, heavily processed food.

A broken down zinc link can cause growth retardation and brain disorders in developing children, resulting in such afflictions as dyslexia, ADHD, depression, mental lethargy and other problems.

The bones require a large amount of zinc, especially when a child is growing, and proper development in inhibited if there is an insufficiency of zinc and other essential minerals.

In adults, a zinc deficiency can contribute to painful hip and knee joints (adult bones require zinc, too), as well as bad circulation, cold hands and/or feet, eating disorders, high blood pressure, poor hair, skin and nails and lack of zinc can even affect male and female reproduction functions.

Low blood sugar and poor immunity in all ages are also linked to zinc deficiency.

The prostate gland has the highest concentration of zinc in the body, and insufficient amounts of the mineral is linked to the common inflammatory condition known as prostatitis in older men.

Good stomach acid and adequate amounts of vitamin A, E, B6, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus all help the body’s absorption of zinc.

Alcohol depletes the body’s zinc supply and creates craving for more alcohol. And the more alcohol is craved and consumed—the more depletion occurs.

The zinc link is particularly broken or damaged in several populations of people, including alcoholics, vegetarians, people with liver cirrhosis, Downs Syndrome patients, low-income pregnant women, pregnant teenagers and those with chronic kidney disease.

Foods most rich in the mineral zinc include shrimp, oysters, lamb, pecans, peanuts, almonds and Brazil nuts, green peas, egg yolks, oats and pumpkin seeds.

A good high quality supplement will fill the bill for those who do not or cannot consume a regular diet of zinc-rich foods. The best kind of zinc to look for in your supplement is the chelated form.

Regardless of your income bracket and location, a good diet rule of thumb is to avoid packaged and processed foods as much as possible and stick to good whole foods.