Zinc is one of the most crucial elements found in the human body. It is a micronutrient that is required for the body’s healthy functioning. For example, Zinc gets absorbed in the small intestine and is essential for a variety of metabolic processes, including DNA and protein synthesis. It is necessary for cell growth as well as for supporting the body's immune system. And is found in several meals, including cereals, chicken, meat and seafood 1.
Zinc deficiency has no distinct symptoms; however, it can cause growth retardation, diarrhoea, baldness, glossitis, nail dystrophy (thin and brittle nails), impaired immunity, and hypogonadism in males. Zinc deficiency is more common in people who suffer from malabsorption, malnutrition, alcoholism, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Supplements are often used to treat zinc deficiency. These supplements are also prescribed to help treat diarrhoea, age-related macular degeneration, upper respiratory infection (URI), wound healing, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) 2.
Loss of appetite, and reduced immunological function are symptoms of zinc deficiency. Hair loss, diarrhoea, delayed sexual maturation, impotence, hypogonadism in men, and eye and skin diseases are also symptoms of zinc deficiency in more severe cases. Lack of zinc can also result in loss of immunity, poor sense of smell and taste, increased stress reactions, reduction in protein synthesis, incomplete digestion, leaky gut, impaired fertility, stressed adrenal glands and also low thyroid function 9.
Thus it is recommended to supplement Zinc on a daily basis.
Benefits of Zinc Supplements:
To understand the nature of zinc and how it helps, a number of studies have been undertaken. These studies also tried to answer the question of whether zinc supplementation can actually aid with diseases. Here are the conclusions of myriad studies undertaken:
Randomized controlled trials using zinc supplementation in children with diarrhoea reported an 18% reduction in diarrhoea symptoms as compared to individuals who did not take the supplement 3.
2. Respiratory Illness:
Zinc supplementation significantly reduced the severity of respiratory illnesses 4.
3. Skin Issues:
Zinc is a common element in skin care treatments that cure ulcers, diaper rash, and haemorrhoids. Vitamins A and E, as well as carotenes and zinc, are deficient in patients with chronic leg ulcers. In these patients, increased dietary intake may have an effect on the time required for wound healing 5. Zinc supplementation has also been shown to aid in wound healing in a few trials.
4. Oxidative stress disorders:
Having antioxidant properties, Zinc has also been known to work effectively against oxidative-stress disorders 6. Both zinc and antioxidants may help to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and vision loss, presumably by reducing cellular damage in the retina, according to research 7. Zinc may lower the severity and length of cold symptoms by directly reducing rhinovirus growth in the nasal mucosa and suppressing inflammation 8.
Why are Zinc Supplements Necessary?
While food sources of zinc abound, sometimes the gut can’t properly digest or break down the mineral and absorb it. This is why someone who eats a zinc-rich diet might still show signs of deficiency and need additional supplementation. In this case, improving digestive function & supplementing with Zinc may be needed. Additional support for Zinc can be beneficial to correct & prevent its deficiency.
Typical doses range from 10 to 15 mg of Zinc daily with Copper to balance it 10. Zinc reduces the amount of copper your body absorbs, for that reason it is recommended to have copper along with zinc supplements 11.
iThrive Essentials Zinc Defense makes it easy to get your daily dose of zinc. It provides 15 mg of Zinc Methionine Sulfate with copper to balance it. It is unnecessary to take an additional supplement to maintain copper levels in the body because iThrive Essentials Zinc Defense is already fortified with copper. Our supplement is bioavailable and hence can be absorbed easily. This is a gentle, chelated, and well-tolerated form of zinc.