Zinc is required for many functions within the body. As long as it is consumed by the recommended daily values, it is extremely beneficial for you.
Zinc serves as an important trace element within the human body, however, it is not something that the body naturally produces. Zinc helps to maintain a healthy immune system, therefore preventing many common colds and cases of flu, and other diseases from entering the body. Zinc is also great for assisting in the healing process of cuts and wounds by inhibiting bacterial growth and inflammation. It is commonly used topically on wounds in humans and also animals for this reason. Because of zinc’s unique healing benefits, it has also proved successful in treating those that suffer from acne.
Studies show zinc can also assist in the prevention of many eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, as high levels of zinc are concentrated in the eye. The reason zinc is so beneficial to vision is that it helps to create vitamin A and melanin both of which protect the eyes. It has been found that many who suffer from some form of impaired vision tend to have a deficiency in zinc and it can be prescribed as a treatment. Some common signs of zinc deficiency can be consistent diarrhea, anemia, loss of hair and altered sense of taste. The current recommendation for daily intake of zinc as a supplement is 8mg/day for women and 11mg/day for men.
Taking more than the recommended dose of zinc can lead to zinc toxicity, resulting in side effects such as nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In more extreme cases, when taken in large amounts (50-150mg) on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time, zinc can impair your body's ability to absorb copper. This can, among other things, reduce iron function and lower immunity.
Possible short-term side effects
- zinc toxicity:
- abdominal pain
Possible long-term side effects
- prolonged intake of high amounts of zinc:
- reduced copper absorption
- reduced levels of high-density lipoproteins
- may impair pancreatic enzymes
- improved immune system
- clearer skin
- improved wound healing
- healthy vision
- strong bones
- prevention of colds and flu
- treatment of adhd, alzheimer's and crohn’s disease
- assistance in weight gain for anorexics
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Written by Brendan Quigley | 02-27-2016
Written by Brendan Quigley
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