You have probably heard a lot about zinc, and how it may improve your health. Some people swear by zinc for their colds, and others use it for the effects it has on healing. If you have been researching womens health vitamins, here is some information about how adding zinc can benefit your health.
What Is Zinc?
Zinc is classified as an essential trace element. Essential trace elements are required by your body, but only in very tiny amounts. Your body uses zinc to assist in cell replication and DNA creation. It is very important for periods of growth, so children and pregnant women should make sure they get the proper amounts of zinc. There is also evidence that shows zinc can help maintain eye health and vision. In older adults, taking zinc can prevent eye degeneration associated with the aging process.
How Can Zinc Improve My Health?
There are many over-the-counter immune treatments that include zinc. Zinc deficiency has been associated with lowered immune responses. Usually, zinc deficiency occurs in populations where access to nutritious food is limited. Children and older people in these areas are most at risk of zinc deficiency.
Zinc often comes up in discussions about treating the common cold. Lots of research has been done in this area, especially on lozenges and some other kinds of zinc supplements. While zinc may not fully relieve symptoms, there is evidence to show that zinc can reduce the length of the common cold.
Zinc is required in the healing process. It plays a role in cell reproduction and collagen creation for your skin. It also helps maintain your mucus membranes. People with skin ulcers may be prescribed zinc by their doctors to help their skin heal. It can be prescribed as an oral supplement or topical treatment.
Preventative Eye Health
As our eyes age, our vision can slowly degenerate. Zinc cannot improve vision already lost to age-related degeneration, but it can prevent further vision loss. Older adults may benefit from including zinc in their diet to keep their eyes healthy.
Do I Have a Zinc Deficiency?
Before making major changes to your diet or vitamin routine, you should talk to a doctor or nutritionist. Zinc deficiency can be hard to measure because of the way zinc is distributed in your body. Some people may have symptoms of zinc deficiency even if their lab results come back normal. Your doctor will need to give you an exam to rule out any other reasons for your symptoms before diagnosing you with zinc deficiency.
Being low in zinc can cause general feelings of unwellness and fatigue. This is because your body needs zinc to maintain immune health and normal cell production. Some people may also have digestive upset and a poor appetite. Interestingly, another symptom of zinc deficiency can be a loss of taste and smell.
People at Risk of Zinc Deficiency
Zinc is usually obtained in our diet through meat, so vegetarians may have lower levels of zinc. Additionally, whole grains and beans can lower your body's ability to absorb zinc. Many vegetarians base a lot of their diet on these food groups, which can lower zinc levels further.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also at risk of having low levels of zinc. Developing babies require lots of zinc to grow, which can deplete the amount in the mother's body. This is why the recommended amount of zinc for pregnant and breastfeeding women is more than for other groups of people.
People who have digestive problems may also have a zinc deficiency. Zinc is absorbed in your digestive tract, and so people with GI issues usually have lower levels. People with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis should make sure that they are addressing their nutritional needs with their doctor.
How Much Zinc Do I Need?
Everyone needs zinc, from newborn babies to elderly adults. The amount you need will change over your lifetime and is based on your life stage and gender. Children and teens generally need more zinc as they age because of the role zinc plays in healthy growth. The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) sets daily recommended amounts for different vitamins and minerals.
Men and women have slightly different requirements for zinc. Women need 8 mg per day, and men need 11 mg per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more zinc than others. Pregnant women need to work with their doctor to make sure they are meeting their nutritional needs but should plan to up their daily zinc.
Zinc in Your Diet
Many foods are great natural sources of zinc. Red meat and shellfish offer high levels of zinc. Fortified foods can also offer additional zinc when it is not found naturally. Breakfast cereals are commonly fortified with zinc.
It is possible to take too much zinc. There is both a chronic form of zinc toxicity and an acute form. If you have taken too much zinc in a single serving, you may suffer the effects of acute zinc toxicity. You may feel sick to your stomach, vomit, or have a headache.
Too much zinc can also affect how your body absorbs other minerals. Copper and iron are two other essential elements that can be impacted by high zinc levels. Chronic zinc toxicity can actually diminish your immune system and can have negative effects on your gastrointestinal tract.
Womens Health Vitamins With Zinc
The health industry is booming and it can be hard to separate quality vitamins and supplements from those filled with fillers and added ingredients. Always look for a vitamin that includes only what you need, and nothing that you don't. NAH! Liquid Vitamins are gluten and GMO-free, made from fresh fruits and vegetables, and formulated specifically for women. Check out a few available options like our Super Multivitamin and Minerals and our Zinc Complex supplement. Are you looking to add supplements to your diet? Contact our team today. We are ready to help you learn more about liquid vitamins and zinc.