What Taking Zinc Does For Your Body, Say Experts — Eat This Not That

Zinc is an essential micronutrient for immune cellular health and support, and one of the most important nutrients for optimal infant growth and fighting inflammation. Says the CDC: “Children need zinc to grow and develop. Zinc is a mineral that is important for immune function, wound healing, and the senses of smell and taste. Zinc foods are especially important for babies who are fed only breast milk. Zinc levels in breast milk are high after birth and decrease during the first 6 months. After 6 months, it is important to introduce foods with zinc to meet nutritional needs.” Here’s what taking zinc does for your body and why you need to make sure you’re getting the right amount. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.


Zinc is a major player when it comes to immune support. “The World Health Organization reports that between 17% and 30% of the world’s population has a zinc deficiency, which could affect health outcomes,” he says. Dr. Heather Moday, board-certified allergist, immunologist, and functional medicine physician. “Zinc is a trace mineral with crucial effects on the efficiency of cells and cytokines in our innate and adaptive immune systems. Zinc helps fight viruses, protects us from free radical damage to our cells, and has been shown to shortens the duration of a cold when given as a supplement Zinc is found in high levels in oysters, beef, and crab, and in lower amounts in legumes, tofu, pumpkin seeds, cashews and other nuts and seeds.

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The RDA for zinc is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for adult men, but research shows taking a little more can have impressive benefits for DNA repair and weight reduction. oxidative stress. “We were pleasantly surprised to see that just a small increase in dietary zinc can have such a significant impact on how metabolism takes place throughout the body.” says Janet King PhD. “These results present a new approach to measuring the health impact of zinc and strengthen the evidence that food-based interventions can improve micronutrient deficiencies worldwide.”

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woman smears her face with sunscreen on the beach to protect herselfwoman smears her face with sunscreen on the beach to protect herself

Zinc is an incredibly effective tool to help protect against sun damage. “Zinc (oxide) is one of two physical sunscreens capable of deflecting UV rays, protecting the skin from sun damage, from erythema to premature aging.” says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN. “Zinc is inert by nature, which makes it an excellent sunscreen for children or anyone with extremely sensitive or reactive skin,” says Ee Ting Ng, hops and cotton founder and formulator. “Zinc is also antibacterial, astringent, and a barrier protector.”

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Zinc plays an important role in every part of the wound healing process, from blood clotting to scar formation. “Zinc’s role in wound healing is multifactorial and is required for collagen and protein synthesis, cell proliferation, and immune function, all of which are essential for tissue regeneration and repair.” says Jennifer Sallit, RD, PhD. “Zinc is necessary for the production of antibodies and the correct functioning of lymphocytes and plays a key role in several steps of the blood coagulation process. Zinc stimulates the activity of more than 100 enzymes and, in the proliferation phases and remodeling of wound healing, is necessary for achieving membrane stability and collagen maturation.”

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According to the National Institutes of Health, adults should not take more than 40 mg of zinc per day. Side effects of excessive zinc intake include loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Be sure to check with your health care provider before taking zinc supplements, as they may interfere with your medication.

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