Zinc is an essential trace element that plays a vital role in many biochemical reactions in the body. Many enzyme and hormones depend on Zinc. When the dietary intake of zinc is not sufficient, the individual is more susceptible to illness , inflammation and infections. 40% of the elderly are zinc deficient due to a deficient diet and poor absorption of zinc.
1. Immune system: Zinc is essential for the functioning of the immune system and wound healing. Zinc promotes maturity of the immune system and helps boost growth of defense mechanisms. Studies show that Zinc enhances and stimulates the action of T cells, which in turn can kill cancer cells and other foreign substances like viruses and bacteria. With zinc deficiency we are susceptible to viral infections including the cold and flu virus.
2. Maintains integrity of the intestine. Zinc strengthens the cell lining in the intestine, preventing entry of toxins and other organisms into the body. Zinc is an essential treatment for diarrhea.
3. Learning & memory: Zinc plays a crucial role in the development of memory and learning. Mice treated with zinc tend to form long-term memory and have markedly improved cognition. Heavy metals disrupt essential neurotransmitters in the brain and zinc helps to dislodge those metals.
4. Common Cold: for many years, it has been reported that zinc lozenges can shorten the duration of the common cold. Clinical studies show the benefits of zinc are significant when taken within the first 24 hours after developing the common cold.
5. Wound healing. Zinc deficiency leads to poor wound healing. Zinc stimulates re-epithelialization, decreases inflammation, and inhibit bacterial growth around the wound
6. Growth & development. Zinc deficiency has been associated with anemia, short stature and=delayed sexual maturation. This was very common when people ate foods that contained phytate, which prevented zinc absorption from the intestine. When zinc is fortified in foods, growth and sexual development occur normally.
7. Chronic disease: Evidence now indicates that zinc may be able to prevent chronic inflammatory disease like inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and psoriasis.
8. Macular degeneration. Zinc can delay the onset of acute macular degeneration.
9. Fertility: Low levels of zinc lead to low poor sperm quality and lower sperm counts, which is shown to be reversed with zinc supplementation.
10. Miscellaneous: Other disorders where reports suggest zinc may be beneficial include Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, acne, prevention of osteoporosis and viral pneumonia.
11. Migraines: in a 2015 study participants with migraines had 20 times less zinc than those without!