Zinc uses benefits and side effects

What is Zinc

I believe you have heard of a lot of so called miracle products designed to provide you with awesome benefits in a nick-of-time, right? All of us did, but the fact that they are actually not that great is also a proven fact. Aside from this, there are a lot of unwanted side effects when it comes to consuming these products, because most of them contain many other potentially harmful substances. If your body needs a certain mineral, why waste your money on an expensive product that is not even designed to tackle your deficiency? We are going to talk about Zinc. Zinc is an essential metal for our organism and the best part is that we only need a small amount to function properly. There are a lot of reasons why people start taking Zinc, but very few of them actually know what its role is in our health. As a matter of fact, this precious metal can provide you with a wide range of benefits, starting with eye diseases and skin condition, as well as improving the efficiency of your immune system and enhancing your physical performances. Despite being found in small quantities in our bodies, this precious metal can play a major role in our health.

Sources of Zinc

There are a lot of foods containing this metal and many of them can actually deliver more than the necessary dose. This means that your body will use whatever amount it needs, then will reject the rest. All in all, here are the best foods to choose when aiming to enrich your diet with supplementary Zinc:

  • Beef – 175 calories – 37% Zinc
  • Lamb – 310 calories – 35% Zinc
  • Sesame Seeds – 206 calories – 25% Zinc
  • Pumpkin Seeds – 180 calories – 23% Zinc
  • Lentils – 230 calories – 23% Zinc
  • Garbanzo Beans – 269 calories – 23% Zinc
  • Cashews – 221 calories – 21% Zinc
  • Turkey – 167 calories – 18% Zinc
  • Quinoa 222 calories – 18% Zinc
  • Shrimp 135 calories – 17% Zinc

As you can imagine, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but only the tip of the iceberg really. There are actually a lot more aliments containing this mineral and the best thing to do is to alternate them in your diet.

Deficiency of Zinc

There is some good news in this regard and some bad news to be aware of. The good news is that there are not many cases of Zinc deficiency in the US, because most of the Americans consume large amounts of beef. Not only beef but all sorts of meats actually and meat is the best Zinc provider of all sources. Some are better than others, sure, but the fact remains. Now the problem is that when talking about adults, Zinc deficiencies can also install, mostly in vegetarians who avoid eating meat altogether. Their diet will be less healthy because they will also lack other important nutrients, this metal included.

Now the bad part. Zinc assimilation problems more often occur in children rather than in adults. This is because they have an imbalanced diet mostly based on processed cereals. The problem here is that these types of cereals leave kids with an imbalanced Zinc assimilation when this could be easily corrected by taking that metal from the natural foods alongside other minerals, like copper, that could also provide certain benefits. This way, this metal will prevail and they risk getting too much of it and too little out of everything else.

Benefits of Zinc

There is a lot to talk about in this aspect and there are plenty of things to mention, but we will analyze the most important ones first.

  1. Zinc will strengthen your immune system

There are studies who have determined that the lower the Zinc level is in your body, the poorer your immune system will perform. The good news is that this process is reversible and will come back to normal as soon as you will regulate your Zinc consumptions. It seems like especially the elderly are prone to this problem, because their immune system is not in top shape as it is. We start losing some of our immune system’s functionality as we age and every small issue will stack with another ending up by giving us real health problems.

  1. Improved skin condition

Fun fact – some researchers were able to provoke acne in some individuals by feeding them low Zinc diets and it seemed like the effect was quite fast. After nearly two weeks the subjects started experiencing skin problems and acne appeared pretty fast. Of course, these studies don’t actually claim that acne is exclusively caused by Zinc deficiency, but rather that the lack of Zinc in your diet can certainly help various affections to manifest.

  1. A weakness in your sensory organs

When dealing with severe Zinc deficiencies, you can actually experience a loss of taste and appetite, because this metal is essential in these two processes. There is another aspect that we need to mention here and that is the fact that taste loss is also associated with more severe diseases such as cancer and anorexia, which is why you need to consult a specialists in the case that you start manifesting these symptoms. When referring to the Zinc deficiency, these specific symptoms are also easily reversible as soon as your diet goes back to a Zinc enriched one.

  1. Reproductive health

This is only a thing that concerns male subjects, because a lack of Zinc in your diet seems to have a major impact on your sperm’s quality. Studies have been conducted and ended up showing that lacking this metal in your daily diet can actually reduce the number and quality of your sperm. This is an important thing to remember, because it can cause a decrease in fertility in most men.

Side Effects of Zinc

There is a real danger that, by using Zinc you will impair the absorption of other important nutrients, such as copper. This is a particularly important issue, because copper comes very scarce and our body actually struggles to take it from the foods we eat. As a direct effect, poor copper absorptions can lead to anemia. However, it seems like most of Zinc related toxic behaviors almost exclusively occur when taking into consideration supplementary diets consisting in this element, because this almost never happens just from eating your regular diets. All in all, there are several affections that we need to mention, almost strictly related to Zinc consumptions:

  • Acne
  • Down Syndrome
  • Canker sores
  • Liver disease
  • Common cold
  • Depression
  • Ulcer
  • Diabetes
  • Macular degeneration
  • Male infertility

These are health problems that will occur either when excessive consumptions are involved or when you confront with a lack of necessary Zinc in your diets.

Other Application of Zinc

There are particularities about Zinc that makes it an extremely malleable metal. It is resistant to abrasiveness, to corrosion, to castability and can be easily cast into various alloys. It can also be used in the fabrication of the batteries, due to its electro-magnetic properties can be successfully used as a component in the radio constructions and it also provides nutritional power, for which reason it is often used as a fertilizer.

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