From Extraordinary Health Magazine Vol 16
You need zinc for immunity, bone strength, eye health, wound recovery, healthy cell growth and reproductive health—but over 70 percent of Americans don’t get enough.
It may not be the first nutrient you think of for your health, but it’s time that zinc—an essential mineral that is second only to iron in its concentration in the body—gets the attention it deserves. In short, zinc does a lot, and you need a daily intake of it because the body can’t store it.
Some of the areas zinc directly affects include:
You must have zinc for healthy immune system function. Coming up short depresses the immune system and can leave you open to unwanted invaders. Even a mild zinc shortfall can impair cells that mediate immunity—the macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, T cells and B cells. When these immune cells don’t function fully, then your defenses are down, leaving you more vulnerable to whatever comes your way.
HEALTHY CELL GROWTH
Zinc is the most abundant trace element of our cells and supports cellular processes as well as genetic function and stability. Zinc is a part of something called chromatin, the stable complex of DNA and proteins in the cell’s nucleus that supports DNA replication and repair. In short, zinc supports your cells at the DNA level.
Make no bones about it . . . zinc supports bone strength and bone-building cells. Likewise, zinc positively affects bone metabolism in ways similar to growth hormone or insulin-like growth factor 1—and that’s a good thing. Furthermore, zinc stimulates osteoblasts—bone-building cells—while inhibiting osteoclasts, cells which break bone down.
Zinc can also pep up your peepers, including preserving the cells in the area on the back of your eyes called the macula—which is essential for central vision. Additionally, adequate levels of zinc slow protein breakdown in the eyes’ lenses that can lead to impaired vision. Interestingly, zinc is highly concentrated in the eyes—mostly the retina and vascular tissue under the retina—and makes sure vitamin A reaches the retina and produces melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes.
Essential to maintaining the integrity of skin and mucosal membranes, zinc plays an important role in the growth and development of healthy skin tissue.
For men, zinc supports healthy prostate cells and overall prostate health. Zinc also positively affects male reproductive health in the development, metabolism and release of sex hormones. For women, zinc increases the conversion of the fatty acid gamma linolenic acid into prostaglandin E1, which helps to balance the effects of prolactin, a hormone that helps regulate the menstrual cycle. In short, zinc supports balanced female hormones.
So, think ZINC! You need it, and you may not be getting nearly enough of it.
Some estimates show that up to 70 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended daily amount of zinc through their daily diet. Particularly vulnerable to zinc deficiencies are:
Vegetarians—since the bioavailability of zinc from vegetarian diets is lower than non-vegetarian diets.
Pregnant and lactating women—due to high fetal requirements for zinc and because lactation can deplete zinc from the mother’s body.
content from gardenoflife.com used with permission
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