You don’t eat whole grains, nuts, red meat, or other poultry? You could be deficient in the all-so-important zinc mineral.
But why is it important, and does it matter if you don’t get enough zinc through diet?
While the spotlight often shines on macro and micro nutrients and vitamins, minerals such as zinc are often overlooked.
Zinc is an essential mineral (required in small amounts). It contributes to over 100 enzymes and many essential functions in the body. A zinc deficiency could lead to eye problems, a loss of appetite, hair loss, infections, and other nasty side effects.
So, to answer the question: a zinc deficiency can cause several problems.
The remainder of this article will discuss how zinc works, the five benefits of the popular mineral, and more.
What is the purpose of zinc?
Zinc is an essential mineral that the body can’t produce - it must be obtained through diet.
It’s a trace element that carries antioxidant properties (we need small amounts of it, but without enough zinc, you’re likely to experience adverse health effects).
Zinc is involved in the catalytic activity of approximately 100 enzymes, playing key roles in immune function, creating DNA molecules, wound healing, and general growth and development, among many other purposes, as stated by the National Institutes of Health.
Not getting enough zinc in your diet may result in several adverse side effects, but more on that shortly.
5 health benefits of zinc supplements
As zinc is required to support catalytic activity in numerous enzymes, it’s no surprise that the mineral contains several notable health benefits, including:
1) Improved immune system function
2) Better blood sugar regulation
3) Better skin
4) Decreased inflammation
5) Zinc might slow down eye deterioration
Below you will find an explanation for each benefit, helping you understand the importance of zinc supplements.
1. Improved immune system function
Immune cells need zinc for the healthy development and function of the cell. If you don’t get enough zinc, then you’re more likely to become sick and less likely to get well as quickly, as mentioned by WedMD and Insider Reviews.
It is also thought that increasing your intake of zinc before getting sick (and when you’re sick) may help decrease recovery time or stop you from getting sick entirely.
2. Better blood sugar regulation
If you have diabetes, you may also be deficient in zinc - these often go hand in hand.
As suggested by a 2014 preliminary study by John Hopkins Medicine, it is thought that a slight increase in zinc supplementation may help stimulate the production of insulin (helping to regulate blood sugar levels).
Although current studies on zinc and diabetes are far and few between, increasing zinc intake could help better regulate insulin, keeping blood sugar levels more controlled and within a suitable range.
3. Better skin
It’s no secret that zinc contains anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it also does a great job of fighting acne, perhaps relieving some redness of the skin and maybe even reducing the appearance of previous acne scarring, as supported by a 2012 study in the journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology.
4. Decreased inflammation
As previously stated, zinc is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, capable of reducing inflammation in the body.
For example, one study found zinc supplementation to be very effective in decreasing reactive oxygen species and even decreased infections by approximately 68% in a group of elderly test participants.
5. Zinc might slow down eye deterioration
Zinc helps maintain the health of the retina, cell membranes, and protein structure of the eye. A deficiency, on the other hand, may cause blurred vision and even changes in the retina.
Daily zinc supplementation ensures you receive the required amount of the essential mineral to not only protect your eyes but your whole body.
What are the signs of zinc deficiency?
Zinc deficiency is much rarer than certain vitamin deficiencies, such as vitamin B12. However, if you do not get enough zinc, you could experience severe side effects such as hair loss, a loss of taste and smell, and reduced alertness.
The essential mineral is needed by the body to produce cells, heal injuries, and even create DNA. To say it’s an “essential mineral” is almost an understatement.
Anyways, signs of zinc deficiency include:
- A loss of appetite
- Wounds that take a long time to heal (or don’t heal)
- Loss of taste and smell
- Weight loss (unexplained)
While most people aren’t deficient in zinc, many people choose to supplement a daily zinc bisglycinate supplement (this is the supplement version of zinc) to ensure they receive the right amount for optimal bodily functioning.
According to the National Institutes of Health, groups most at risk of a zinc deficiency include:
- People with gastrointestinal diseases
- Pregnant and lactating women
- People with sickle cell
- Infants who are exclusively breastfed
This blog post has explained what zinc is, why it’s important, and the many benefits it provides.
But to summarise:
- Zinc is an essential mineral required for over 100 enzymes and other bodily functions
- Taking a zinc supplement may help improve immune function, blood sugar regulation, and might even help fight acne
- Deficiency is rare, but can cause severe side effects
Boost your zinc intake with the DESEJR® Zinc Bisglycinate daily supplement.
Frequently asked questions
Keep reading to discover a mix of frequently asked questions about zinc supplements:
What happens if you take zinc daily?
Supplementing zinc daily is a great way to ensure you receive enough of the mineral. You may benefit from improved blood sugar levels, better eye and skin health, and more.
What are the benefits of zinc?
Zinc supplements provide many benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved immune system function, and better blood sugar regulation.
What is zinc bisglycinate?
Zinc bisglycinate is the supplemental version of regular zinc, commonly found in animal products.