Zinc is one of the trace elements which are required by the body. It is helpful in boosting the immune system. Individuals who have a deficiency of zinc are more susceptible to illness and disease. In addition to this, this element has other numerous health benefits such as stimulating the activity of different enzymes. It is also vital for correctly synthesizing DNA, healing wounds and promoting healthy growth, especially during childhood. You can take zinc in the form of a dietary supplement or from foods containing zinc sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, garlic, squash seeds, dark chocolate and chichpeas. Outlined here below are the main functions of zinc:
Regulating Immune Function
The body needs zinc for activating T lymphocytes. These cells are responsible for attacking cancerous or infected cells. They are also useful in regulating and controlling the regulating the immune system. Deficiency of this element is known for severely affecting the functioning of the immune system.
Improving Learning and Memory
This element is helpful in regulating the way neurons communicate. This, in turn, affects how you learn and how your memory is formed. Individuals suffering from memory loss should take zinc containing foods or its supplements.
Zinc and Fertility
Poor zinc status is known for lowering the sperm quality. A study that was conducted in the Netherlands found that people who take folic acid and zinc sulphate supplementation had a high sperm count. Another study concluded that people who have a poor zinc intake are at high risk of developing male infertility.
Enhances Wound Healing
It plays an essential role in maintaining the structure and integrity of the skin. Patients who have a deficiency of this element are likely to experience ulcers and chronic wounds. This is the main reason why you find zinc being used in skin care products and creams. It is effective in treating skin irritations and diaper rashes. A study that was conducted in Sweden revealed that topical zinc is helpful in enhancing ulcer healing. It does this by decreasing inflammation, enhancing re-epithelialization and decreasing bacterial growth.
Zinc plays a crucial role in balancing the body hormones including insulin. This is the hormone responsible for regulating the blood sugar levels in the body. Zinc is also helpful in allowing proper utilization of enzymes.
Symptoms and Signs Associated With Deficiency of Zinc
- Hair loss
- Low Immunity
- Weight gain or loss
- Changes in appetite
- Hormonal problems
- Nerve dysfunction
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Digestive problems
- Poor memory and concentration