Supplement Sunday: Zinc
Did you know zinc is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in our body? That was more than enough to convince me of it's importance!
Let's take a look at some of it's more specific roles in our body.
Growth and Development
we need zinc to grow and develop
zinc deficiency leads to stunting and delayed growth in children
as we learned above, zinc is crucial to growth and development – including that of our brain
zinc deficiency leads to cognitive impairment including poor learning and memory impairment whereas healthy levels of zinc have been shown to lead to improved cognitive health
zinc is even being studied in its possible role in Alzheimer’s disease
boosts our immune system
low levels of zinc result in a sub optimal immune system
immune cells depend on zinc - it promotes the formation and function of our immune cells which allows us to fight infections and heal faster
more simply put: more zinc = more immune cells, less zinc = less immune cells
caution: too much zinc is also not a good thing! It can lead to dysregulation of our immune system and immunosuppression
Skin Health & Acne
out of all areas in the body, our skin has the 3rd highest level of zinc.. this must make it pretty important!
it is located in highest concentration in our epidermis which is our outermost layer of skin. This part of our skin does a whole lot of proliferation and differentiation to create new skin cells. The creation of new skin cells is what allows our skin to heal and regrow
this allows it to be helpful in skin conditions such as acne, delayed skin healing, psoriasis and alopecia
Blood sugar control
zinc is important in regulating insulin secretion and its effects on our body. Insulin is the molecule that uptakes sugar from the blood and stores it for energy. For our blood sugar to be stable and under control, insulin also needs to be under control.
it can also increase insulin sensitivity, a common problem in metabolic syndrome and Type II Diabetes
zinc plays a role in our cholesterol levels
some studies are finding that higher levels of zinc are related to lower cholesterol levels
it also serves as an antioxidant in our blood vessels which helps keep our arteries healthy
zinc plays a role in eye health and protecting vision loss
low levels of zinc may predispose us to various diseases of the eye
studies have shown that zinc and other antioxidants can slow the progression of AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration)
zinc ultimately helps protect against vision loss
zinc serves as an anti-oxidant and as a hormone balancer
In men: zinc has been shown to support testosterone, prostate and sexual health markers. It may also improve the quantity and quality of sperm
In women: zinc is an essential part of our eggs - it is involved in growth, maturation and protection
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