Zinc is an essential trace mineral that has many important roles in the body.
How it’s used by the body
Zinc assists in maintaining the immune function, reproduction, and healthy skin. It has a significant role in wound healing, DNA synthesis, and normal inflammatory response. In fact, more than 300 enzymes depend on zinc for their normal activities in cellular metabolism. By helping maintain structural integrity of cell membranes, zinc protects our cells from oxidative damage. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood, the body needs zinc for proper growth and development.
Where you’ll find it
Zinc is highly concentrated in the liver, pancreas, bones, muscles, kidneys, eyes, sperm, skin, hair, and nails. The endocrine system depends on zinc for regulation of numerous hormones such as insulin, thyroid, and estrogen/testosterone balance.
The body does not have a very efficient system for storing zinc. So daily intake and absorption are critical to maintain adequate levels in the body.
Zinc is primarily found in meat, dairy and some seafood (oysters are very high in zinc). Some nuts and legumes provide smaller amounts.
Do you need to supplement?
Regardless of one’s diet, zinc supplementation is easy to find, well tolerated, and relatively inexpensive. The Anti-Aging Center provides high-quality zinc supplements for purchase.
By Dr. Joe Upton