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Zinc Supplements

What is Zinc?
Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in almost every cell. The body needs zinc for normal growth and health. Zinc plays a variety of biological roles in the body. It stimulates the activity of approximately 100 enzymes, which are substances that promote biochemical reactions in your body. Zinc supports a healthy immune system. This mineral is needed for wound healing, helps maintain your sense of taste and smell, and is needed for DNA synthesis. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.

Food Sources
Food is an important source of zinc and therefore in avoiding zinc deficiency. Meat, eggs and dairy products contain more zinc than plants. Liver is a particularly rich source of zinc. High zinc levels are also found in wheat, nuts, fish, kelp, rye, yeast and oysters.

Zinc Supplements
Zinc deficiency is especially common in adolescents, infants, vegetarians, seniors and women in general. Certain drugs and nutrients can inhibit zinc absorption or increase its excretion. Thus, for many people, increasing the intake of zinc-containing foods or taking a zinc supplement, may be a prudent form of nutritional insurance. Lack of zinc may lead to poor night vision and wound-healing, a decrease in sense of taste and smell, a reduced ability to fight infections, and poor development of reproductive organs.

Supplemental zinc comes in many different types and forms: zinc gluconate, zinc oxide, zinc aspartate, zinc picolinate, zinc citrate, zinc monomethionine, and zinc histidine. Zinc picolinate is considered the best. Zinc supplements are available on a stand-alone basis or in combination with other supplement products.

A normal dose of zinc is about 15 mg per day. Do not take more than 100 mg per day, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. High doses of zinc can depress the immune system and lead to side effects such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness.


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January 27, 2020