Zinc is an essential micronutrient found in every cell of the human body.
While the body cannot produce zinc on its own, zinc plays a vital role in many essential processes, including:
Zinc supports the immune system by helping in the production of white blood cells and T-cells used to fight infection and disease. A meta-analysis on the role of zinc in combating the common cold examining 575 participants found that duration of the common cold was decreased by 33% among those taking zinc supplements.
When it comes to wound healing, zinc is often used in hospitals in the treatment of burns and skin injuries as it can accelerate the healing process. This is because zinc plays an active role in collagen synthesis for the repair of damaged skin.
In another study looking at the health effects of zinc on people with diabetes and pre-diabetes, it was found that zinc had a positive effect on blood sugar response, lowered blood pressure, and reduced LDL cholesterol levels—the “bad” cholesterol associated with increased risk of heart disease.
Most healthy individuals will have some zinc in their diet already. Common food sources rich in zinc include:
While zinc deficiencies are rare, they can occur. Those at the highest risk include:
Zinc deficiencies can lead to a host of problems including a poorly functioning immune system, hair thinning, loss of appetite, dry skin, impaired wound healing, and loss of sense of taste and smell.
In addition to zinc supplements in pill form, zinc can also be added to IV Vitamin Therapies to provide additional health benefits.