What Does The Vitamin Zinc Do For Your Body

What Does The Vitamin Zinc Do For Your Body – Medically Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, R.D., L.D., ACSM EP-C — By Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA — Updated July 18, 2023

Although the body does not require large amounts of zinc, it is possible to be zinc deficient. Possible causes of zinc deficiency include chronic conditions, not getting enough zinc in the diet, and more.

What Does The Vitamin Zinc Do For Your Body

What Does The Vitamin Zinc Do For Your Body

The body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to function optimally. An essential mineral is zinc, which is found in small amounts in foods.

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If the body does not have the zinc it needs, a person may experience symptoms associated with zinc deficiency.

Zinc supports cellular function by helping about 100 enzymes—molecules that make chemical reactions happen—do their jobs.

Zinc also supports a person’s growth and development. As such, it is an essential mineral for pregnant women as well as growing children.

A person’s body does not store zinc, which means that getting enough of the mineral from food is important to prevent a deficiency.

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Symptoms of zinc deficiency tend to be related to the roles that zinc plays in the body. Some of the more common symptoms of zinc deficiency include:

Men and boys can also experience impotence and hypogonadism, which is when a man’s body does not produce enough testosterone.

Worldwide, about 1.1 billion people are zinc deficient due to inadequate dietary intake, according to a journal article.

What Does The Vitamin Zinc Do For Your Body

Vegetarians tend to eat higher levels of legumes, soy, beans, nuts, and whole grain foods. Although they are healthy food choices, they can affect the body’s ability to absorb zinc due to the presence of phytates. These substances bind to zinc so that the body cannot absorb it.

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Older adults are at risk for zinc deficiency because they may not eat or have access to a wide variety of foods. Taking certain medications can also increase the body’s release of zinc.

There is also a rare medical disorder called acrodermatitis enteropathica, which affects the body’s ability to absorb zinc.

Although a doctor may order a blood test or a urine test to check zinc levels, these may not give a definitive result. This is because zinc is only present in small amounts in the cells of the body.

To diagnose a zinc deficiency, a doctor will need to take a complete health history. They will ask questions about a person’s dietary intake. If a person isn’t getting enough calories on a daily basis or isn’t eating enough of a variety of foods, a zinc deficiency may be an underlying cause.

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Supplements are available at most pharmacies and health stores. Supplements can contain varying amounts of elemental zinc (the weight of the actual zinc molecule) and are labeled as zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, or zinc acetate.

Each supplement should have information on how much elemental zinc is available in each type. Zinc is also a common component of throat lozenges, as zinc is believed to help treat the common cold.

A person who eats a wide variety of foods is more likely to get enough zinc in their daily diet. This includes lean meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy products.

What Does The Vitamin Zinc Do For Your Body

There are ways a person can prepare and eat foods to make zinc more available in their daily diet.

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For example, a person can soak beans in water before cooking them. This reduces the presence of phytates, making it easier for the body to process zinc.

Choosing fermented grain products can also help reduce phytates, increasing the amount of zinc your body can use.

Just as there are problems with zinc deficiency, a person can take too much zinc. This usually occurs when a person takes an excess of zinc supplements to boost their immune system.

Consuming too much zinc can cause symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to impaired immune system function. For this reason, adults over the age of 19 should not take more than

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If a person thinks they may have a zinc deficiency, they should talk to their doctor about supplements or other treatments.

Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using third-party references. We link to primary sources – including studies, scientific references and statistics – within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. Zinc is an essential mineral found naturally in some foods and added to others. Zinc plays a role in the body’s daily functions and is essential during pregnancy. For mothers-to-be, it is important to understand the effects that zinc and healthy prenatal nutrition have on positive pregnancy outcomes.

Zinc also plays a role in the development of the placenta, making it an essential micronutrient during pregnancy. A zinc deficiency can affect the function and formation of the placenta, which can lead to negative pregnancy outcomes.

What Does The Vitamin Zinc Do For Your Body

Because of the increased need for zinc during pregnancy and breastfeeding, pregnant and lactating women are at increased risk of zinc deficiency.

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Our body does not have a specialized zinc storage system.1 Therefore, it is important to consume zinc daily. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should get 15 mg of zinc per day.

A balanced diet and healthy nutrition can help ensure you are providing your body and your baby with the vitamins and minerals they need. To help fill nutritional gaps,

Vitamin Family offers a line of prenatal vitamins that is designed to take mothers and their babies from preconception through pregnancy and into the weeks and months after birth. While

Products do not contain zinc, they may help meet other nutritional goals. Talk to your doctor to see if a

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REFERENCES: 1. Food supplement sheet: Zinc. Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH website. https:// ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/. Revised March 2, 2018. Accessed April 2, 2018. 2. Wilson RL, Leemaqz SY, et. al. Zinc is a critical regulator of placental morphogenesis and maternal hemodynamics during pregnancy in mice.

. 7: 15137 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-15085-2. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://www.-nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15085-2.pdf. 3. US Food and Drug Administration. Dietary Supplement Labeling Guidelines: Appendix C. Daily Values ​​for Infants, Children Under 4 Years of Age, and Pregnant and Lactating Women. April 2005. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/dietarysupplements/ucm070620.htm on April 6, 2018. When it comes to vitamins and minerals in your diet, you need it all. gamers love vitamins A, B12, C and D, but what about your Zs – or zinc?

What Does The Vitamin Zinc Do For Your Body

Unless you’ve been battling a cold or flu or lathered yourself in zinc oxide cream before going out in the sun, you might not have given it much thought.

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After iron, zinc is the most abundant trace mineral in your body, which means it’s a mineral we can’t live without, but we only need in small amounts to be healthy. Men and women age 19 and older need 11 milligrams and eight milligrams, respectively.

“You don’t need a lot of zinc, but it has so many benefits and can really affect how your body works,” said Rachel Harrison, a registered dietitian and board certified nutrition support clinician at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix . “It plays an important role in several zinc-dependent enzyme systems, such as those involved in digestion, wound healing, and the production of DNA and RNA.”

The good news is that zinc is found in our foods, from meat, fish and poultry to whole grains, nuts, legumes and vegetables.

“When I think of great sources of zinc, I also think of protein-rich foods,” Harrison said. “Animal products provide the most zinc, with seafood (oysters, shrimp, crab) and red meat and poultry (chicken, ground beef, pork) providing the highest amounts. Foods like eggs and dairy products like milk and cheese are also excellent sources of zinc.”

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Although research is inconclusive on whether supplementation (including zinc lozenges and nasal sprays) can help treat common cold symptoms or shorten the duration of the illness, it can help fend off toxins and foreign substances that threaten your health.

“Zinc intake can stimulate the production of T cells, which are an important component of the immune system responsible for fighting infection,” Harrison said. “Low zinc levels are linked to reduced T-cell function, which explains why those who are zinc deficient are more prone to disease.”

“Among zinc’s many roles, this mineral also aids in wound repair and tissue repair,” Harrison said. “People with skin ulcers and low zinc levels may benefit from zinc supplements.”

What Does The Vitamin Zinc Do For Your Body

As long as you don’t overdo it with zinc supplementation, zinc is known as a soothing mineral for the digestive system. It helps repair the cells that line the intestinal tract, keeping them strong and in tip-top shape so they can properly absorb nutrients.

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Zinc is also important for eye health. Zinc is found naturally in high levels in the macula, part of the retina, and helps vitamin A produce melanin, a pigment that protects your eyes.

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