Zinc is an essential trace mineral (only small amounts are required) which performs a number of vital biological functions within our body. It stimulates the activity of over 300 different enzymes. If you fail to get enough zinc into your body, then you open the door to illness and disease.
An essential trace mineral with many vital health benefits. Plays a vital role in cell division, important for proper functioning of the endocrine and maintains correct hormone levels. Also important for male and female fertility, aids peak physical performance, cardiovascular health and energy levels.
Zinc and the Immune System
Zinc is used by the body to activate B and T cells (T Lymphocytes), which means it plays a role in regulating our immune function and for fighting bacteria and viruses. T cells are of great importance as they will control and regulate the immune response and they will attack cancerous or infected cells. The bodies first line of defense is the mucous membranes inside our body and our skin. You will find zinc in these areas of defense, such as in mucus secretions, and on the surface of our throat and lungs. Zinc also has powerful antimicrobial properties and will kill any inhaled viruses or bacteria prior to causing any harm. Zinc will also kill ingested invaders due to being present in our saliva and the membranes of our digestive system. If you do become ill, you may be able to speed up your recovery with the help of zinc.
Zinc the Antioxidant
An antioxidant is a molecule which will neutralise the oxidative damage caused by a free radical. Zinc can protect cell membranes from oxidative damage. It is also linked with an important antioxidant used by the body called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase is utilized by the liver to bind harmful toxins so they can be eliminated from our body.
Zinc and the Brain
Zinc has been shown to regulate the way neurons communicate with each other. This means that it can have an effect on our ability to learn things and how our memories are formed. Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s disease are linked to oxidative damage to the brain so by reducing this oxidative damage you may be able to inhibit or slow the onset of these debilitating diseases. Zinc has also been shown to induce a calming effect on the brain so it may be beneficial to helping one’s mood and for controlling depression.
Zinc and wounds
Zinc may potentially offer protection to mucosal membranes and the skin. Studies found that when applied topically, a leg ulcer was stimulated to heal from re-epithelialisation, reduced bacterial growth and inflammation.
Zinc and Eyesight
Macular degeneration (caused by oxidative damage) can affect vision and cause vision loss. Zinc has the ability to prevent cellular damage (due to its antioxidant action) in our retinas which will help delay the progress of age related macular degeneration. Furthermore, it may play a part in preventing the formation of cataracts.
Zinc, the Skin and Hair
Zincs antioxidant properties are very effective at protecting the skin from UV damage. Many acne treatments benefit from the addition of zinc due to its ability to regulate oil glands as well as an anti-inflammatory action. Its role in collagen production also makes it important for allowing wounds to heal. It will also accelerate skin cell renewal. Zinc is an important factor in healthy hair. It may help reduce hair loss as well as preventing dull and thin looking hair.
Zinc and Bones
Zinc is involved in the manufacture of collagen and ALP (alkaline phosphatase). Both of these are important in the formation of bone. Additionally, it is used to make calcitonin, which is a hormone that will inhibit the breakdown of our bones.