Highlights

  • Zinc is an essential nutrient that plays many vital roles in the human body
  • Zinc is necessary for the functioning of over 300 enzymes in the body
  • Zinc is naturally found in a wide variety of both plant and animal foods

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Zinc: The lesser known nutrient that has an array of benefits

Zinc is an essential nutrient that is not produced within the human body. Zinc is consumed through food or medical supplements and it provides a wide range of benefits.

An essential nutrient that plays many vital roles in the human body, zinc is not produced within the body. Rather, it must be consumed through food or medical supplements to ensure its amply present in the system.

Zinc is necessary for the functioning of over 300 enzymes in the body that aid in metabolism, digestion, nerve function and many other processes. It is also critical for the development and function of immune cells. Zinc is naturally found in a wide variety of both plant and animal foods like red meat, legumes, almonds, dairy products, eggs and whole grains.

Also watch: Food for thought: What to eat for stronger bones and teeth?

Health Benefits of Zinc

Zinc has an array of potential health benefits as suggested by the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the USA. 

Zinc boosts the immune system

Zinc supplements stimulate particular immune cells in the human body. A review of seven studies demonstrated that 80–92 mg per day of zinc may reduce the length of the common cold by up to 33%. In older adults, zinc supplements significantly reduce the risk of infections and promote an immune response.

Zinc decreases inflammation

Zinc decreases oxidative stress and reduces the levels of certain inflammatory proteins in the human body. Oxidative stress is a contributing factor in a wide array of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and mental decline.

Zinc may help treat acne

Acne is driven by obstruction of oil-producing glands, bacteria and inflammation. Zinc can effectively treat acne by inhibiting the growth of P. acnes bacteria and suppressing oily gland activity. 

Also watch: Taking vitamin D supplements for muscle health? You might want to think again

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