Zinc is an essential trace element that plays a vital role in many biochemical reactions in the body. Many enzyme systems and hormones depend on Zinc for their function. However, when the dietary intake of zinc is not sufficient it may make the individual more susceptible to illness and infections. Zinc has many health benefits that include the following:
Zinc promotes the maturity of the immune system and helps boost the growth of defense mechanisms. Studies have shown 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. When zinc deficiency occurs, the individual becomes susceptible to many virus infections including the common cold virus.
Zinc plays a vital role in the gut as it strengthens the cell lining in the intestine and prevents the entry of toxins and other organisms into the body. For this reason, zinc is often used for the treatment of several types of infectious diarrhea. Travelers diarrhea kills nearly 2 million children under the age of 5 each year. Today zinc supplements are now being used to treat epidemics of diarrhea in developing countries as it can decrease mortality.
Zinc plays a crucial role in the development of memory and learning. Animals studies show that mice treated with zinc tend to form long-term memory and have markedly improved cognition.
For many years it has been reported that zinc lozenges can shorten the duration of the common cold. Now several clinical studies show that the benefits of zinc are more significant if taken within the first 24 hours after developing the common cold.
It has been known for many years that zinc deficiency leads to poor wound healing. Today, many wound closure products contain zinc to help with wound closure and maintain skin integrity. Zinc has been shown to stimulate re-epithelialization, decrease inflammation, and inhibit bacterial growth.
Zinc deficiency has been associated with anemia, short stature and delayed sexual maturation. This was very common in the past when the diet was not supplemented with zinc or 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.
There is new evidence indicating that zinc may be able to prevent some chronic inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and psoriasis.
Zinc in experimental studies has been shown to delay the onset of acute macular degeneration.
There are some studies showing that low levels of zinc are associated with low sperm counts and sperm quality. When zinc is supplemented in the diet, these problems are reversed.
Other disorders where reports suggest zinc may be beneficial include Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, acne, prevention of osteoporosis and viral pneumonia.
As a doctor, I find that many people are low in Zinc. I have an in-office test - called the Zinc Taste Test - that can quickly determine your Zinc level. The supplement I recommend for Zinc deficiency is Standard Process Zinc Liver Chelate. Having personally taken many different Zinc products, I find that this food-grade supplement is easy on the stomach and easy to assimilate - other products have made me queasy or nauseous.
Liver - which Standard Process uses to make their Zinc Chelate supplements - is a number one superfood. Like other organ meats, it is high in essential minerals and vitamins.
For more information on the Zinc Taste Test follow this link: http://www.drcraig-chiropractor.com/blog/89940-the-zinc-taste-test-from-standard-process