Zinc (ZN) is an essential nutrient that many people lack, but it is an important nutrient that can help fight sickness, promote cell growth, help support a healthy immune system and more.
What’s the Deal With Zinc?
Zinc has become increasingly more common in diets and supplement regimens in recent years. It is an essential nutrient, which means your body can’t produce or store it naturally. That’s why it’s important to get zinc through your diet. It is required for the following body processes:
- Gene expression
- Enzymatic reactions
- Immune functions
- Protein synthesis
- Wound healing
- Growth and development
- How the cell reads genetic code
It can be found in plant and animal foods. Foods that don’t normally contain zinc such as cereals, snack bars, and baking flours are often fortified with it. It’s also added to nasal sprays, lozenges, and other cold treatments. Unfortunately, many foods that should contain it do not since soil has become more zinc deficient.
What Role Does Zinc Play in the Body?
Your body uses it in countless ways. That’s why it is the second most common mineral in the body behind iron. It can be found in every cell, and is necessary for the activity of over 300 enzymes that aid in metabolism, digestion, nerve function, and many other processes. It’s also critical for the development of immune cells.
Zinc is also fundamental to skin health, DNA synthesis, and protein production. Body growth and development rely on it because of its role in cell growth and division. The enzymes that contribute to the proper taste and smell are dependent on zinc, meaning it is needed for your senses of taste and smell.
Benefits of Zinc
Understanding the specific benefits of zinc can help you better understand why your body is in need of it. Here are some of the specific benefits of zinc:
- Boosting your immune system: It is needed for immune cell function and cell signaling.
- Wound healing: Hospitals use it as a treatment for burns, ulcers, and other skin injuries.
- Decreasing inflammation: It can decrease oxidative stress and reduce levels of certain inflammatory proteins in your body.
- Reducing the risk of age-related diseases: Experts believe it can reduce your risk of age-related diseases such as pneumonia, infection, and age-related macular degeneration.
- Treating acne: Zinc treatments impact acne by reducing inflammation.
Remember, your body can’t produce or store it naturally. Therefore, if you want to see the benefits of zinc, it’s important that you get it through your diet or supplements.
Zinc deficiencies are rare, but they are possible. Poor dietary intake, as well as genetic mutations, can lead to zinc deficiency. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include impaired growth and development, delayed sexual maturity, skin rashes, chronic diarrhoea, and impaired wound healing. Here are some of the people at risk for zinc deficiencies:
- People with Crohn’s disease
- Vegetarians and vegans
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Older infants who are breastfed
- People with sickle cell anemia
- People who abuse alcohol
Zinc deficiencies can be difficult to detect. Your body has tight control over Zinc levels, therefore, you may still be deficient even if laboratory tests indicate normal levels.
Are You Looking for Integrative Health Services?
If you are looking for integrative health services in the Rockville, Maryland area, our team at Today’s Integrative Health is here to help. We offer a wide range of both traditional and complementary health treatments, including nutritional services. Our offices are located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive. Reach out to us today by email of call us to find out how we can help you!
About Dr. Leo
Dr. L.J. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement. Dr. L.J. Leo then relocated to Chesterfield, Missouri to attend Logan College of Chiropractic. Upon completion of his chiropractic doctorate, he returned home to Rockville, Maryland to open a private practice. He now practices at the office of Today’s Integrative Health in Rockville, Maryland. Dr. L.J. Leo takes a strong interest in education and personal development and has pursued many advanced degrees and specialty training over the years.
He holds a master’s degree in business administration and a second master’s degree in metabolic medicine and nutrition from the University of South Florida Medical School in Tampa, Florida. Dr. L.J. Leo has also completed his Board Certification through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Fellowships in Integrative Cancer Therapy and Functional Medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Fellowship in Ozone Therapy through the American Academy of Ozone Therapy. He holds diplomates in clinical nutrition and herbal medicine. Through his training, he is a qualified (certified) applied-functional-medicine practitioner.
Dr. L.J. Leo has additional certifications in herbal therapies, functional medicine, chiropractic internal medicine, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, neuro-emotional technique, and applied kinesiology. He has obtained level-two certifications in Active Release Technique® and Total Body Modification.