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About Zinc

Por Lic. Isabel C. Rodríguez R.* -

Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in almost every cell.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements, zinc stimulates the activity of approximately 100 enzymes, which are substances that promote biochemical reactions in your body. Zinc supports a healthy immune system, is needed for healing wounds, 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.

What is the truth about zinc?

With all of the speculation on what zinc can do, there is a great demand by consumers to buy zinc. At any drugstore, you’ll find bottles of zinc on the shelves. People are purchasing zinc for a variety of reasons, from preventing the common cold to controlling hair loss.

As mentioned earlier, zinc plays an important role in many of our bodily functions. However, it is not a magic bullet or miraculous solution for everything. The effect of zinc treatments on the severity or duration of cold symptoms is controversial. Additional research is needed to determine whether zinc compounds have any effect on the common cold.

How can I get zinc in its natural form?

Meat, beans, dairy products, wheat germ, and fortified cereals are good sources of zinc. Oysters provide the highest amount of zinc. The body absorbs zinc more readily from animal sources than from vegetable sources.

How much zinc should we consume?

The amount of zinc that should be consumed varies according to age and sex: from 2 mg for children up to 6 months of age, up to 14 mg for nursing mothers.

Do I need to take supplements?

A balanced and varied diet will provide your body with the amount of zinc it requires. Some groups of people, such as alcoholics, vegetarians, and pregnant or nursing women, may suffer from zinc deficiencies. Consult your doctor for your particular supplement and dosage needs.
Remember, one single item by itself cannot keep your body in optimum condition. Zinc, like other minerals, is important for our bodies. But, taking zinc supplements will not do anything for us if we don’t also lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a well-balanced diet.


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