A variety of different supplements can be highly beneficial to your health, and one of these is zinc. We will look at the many benefits of zinc and how you can get the right amount in your body. Our functional medicine experts in Tulsa, OK, can look at the root of any health concerns you have and create your very own personalized supplement plan.
What is zinc?
Zinc is an essential trace mineral. The term “trace” means that the body only needs a small amount to function correctly. “Essential” means that it is a mineral that our body cannot synthesize itself. We need to consume zinc daily to get the necessary amount. It is a unique element with antioxidant properties required for the activity of over 100 enzymes and various critical functions in the body. These include the creation of DNA, immune function, cellular metabolism, protein synthesis, vision and sense of taste and smell, and so much more.
Many people don’t have enough zinc in their diet to reap its many benefits, which is why a daily zinc supplement may be beneficial. Later we will look at some great sources of zinc you can add to your diet.
What are the functional medicine benefits of zinc?
It supports/boosts immune function
Zinc is essential for the function of our immune system, which is our body’s first line of defense that targets infection and abnormal cells. It is right up there with vitamin C when it comes to boosting your immunity. Research has found that increasing your zinc intake when you are ill or just before you get ill can shorten the length of your illness or even stop you from getting sick altogether.
It may promote skin health
Some forms of zinc help clear skin, tackle acne, and even help with wound healing. Zinc decreases oil production, which can benefit acne sufferers. Although the root cause of acne is multifunctional, research suggests that zinc’s anti-inflammatory properties can help people suffering from it. Zinc has also been shown to help people with rosacea. Speak to your functional medicine practitioner before taking zinc supplements if you are on other medications.
It can help decrease inflammation
Zinc is vital for helping your body deal with inflammation. If you don’t have enough zinc in your body, it can heighten the inflammatory response and slowly begin to cause damage to your body. Zinc deficiency has been found to cause systemic inflammation over time and is linked to a weakened immune function often seen in older adults. Trialing zinc supplements on elderly adults found that zinc decreased the production of inflammatory cytokines, reduced oxidative stress, and decreased the amount and severity of infections.
Protect the eyes
Macular degeneration, which tends to get worse as we age, can be treated with some essential vitamins and minerals, which include zinc. It plays a crucial role in retinal health, and because macular degeneration is prevalent in older people, they may also be lacking in zinc. A zinc supplement could be beneficial if you suffer from age-related macular degeneration.
Manages blood sugar
Those with diabetes may have a higher zinc deficiency than those who do not have diabetes. A zinc supplement has been shown to contribute to blood sugar control and promote healthy lipid parameters in people with diabetes. Zinc also plays a valuable role in the storage and secretion of insulin. The hormone will allow cells to use sugars from the food we eat so that it doesn’t build up in the blood. Although a zinc supplement may not be a part of your diabetes medication, it may be worth talking to our functional medicine experts in Tulsa, OK, for more information.
Promotes a healthy heart and blood vessels
Studies have shown that zinc helps with several factors related to your heart health. This includes lowering your cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides. Although research and studies are ongoing, zinc is highly likely beneficial to your heart health.
Which foods are rich in zinc?
The best way to get zinc in your body is through zinc-rich food items, but if you are a non-meat eater, it will be more challenging to get zinc from your diet. This is where zinc supplements come into play.
Foods high in zinc include:
- Red meat
- Pumpkin seeds
Contact our functional medicine experts in Tulsa
If you think zinc would benefit your health and well-being, contact our functional health experts today in Tulsa, OK, for more information and to get you back on your journey to better health.