Almost every cell contains zinc and it is essential for the body to function well. Zinc can be found in different food sources and can likewise be drawn from supplements as multi-vitamins or as a single ingredient.
The Benefits of Zinc
Zinc helps in the biochemical processes in the body by stimulating around 100 enzymes. The immune system needs zinc to be healthy. On one hand, zinc is essential in DNA synthesis, aids normal growth as well as development, helps maintain your sense of taste as well as smell and helps in healing wounds. On the other hand, zinc salts aid in fighting pathogens when applied directly.
Taking in zinc salts likewise aid gastrointestinal infections by stimulating antimicrobial activity in the gastrointestinal tract. Moreover, zinc salt also help kill viruses as well as bacteria by acting as lozenges. However, you need to take note that the application of zinc to fight pathogens without harming tissues is still under study.
Foods Rich in Zinc
Oysters pack in a lot of zinc. Other foods which have zinc though in lesser amounts include beans, whole grains, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds as well as majority of animal proteins. Take note however that the absorption of zinc can be decreased by phytates which a compound present in grain breads, cereals as well as legumes.
Recommended Dosage of Zinc
The recommended dosage for fit individuals differs according to age groups as stated in the RDA or Recommended Dietary Allowance. Infants who are 6 months old and below should get 2 milligrams of zinc daily. Babies and toddlers who are 7 months to 3 years of age should get 3 milligrams of zinc a day; children who are 4 to 8 years old should get 5 milligrams and those who are 9 to 13 years should have 8 milligrams.
Males who are 14 years and older, should get 11 milligrams of zinc while females should have 9 milligrams a day. Pregnant as well as lactating women may need higher dosages of zinc. The Recommended Dietary allowance for pregnant women who are 14 to 18 years old is 13 milligrams and those who are 19 and up should get 11 milligrams. Lactating women who are ages 14 to 18 should get 14 milligrams and lactating women ages 19 and up should have 12 milligrams daily.
Deficiency in zinc can lead to wasting of body tissues, eye malfunction, poor eyesight, smell as well as taste, diarrhea, hair loss, skin lesions and can even lead to death. Congenital conditions may likewise result in Acrodermatitis enteropathica.