In order for you to enhance all aspects of your health and overall well-being, it’s important to have a healthy zinc intake, preferably through your diet.
It is common knowledge that zinc is packed with immune enhancing properties, but its benefits extend well beyond just boosting your immune system. According to medical professionals, a zinc deficiency can sometimes spell disaster for some people.
Remember, zinc is so important that every tissue inside your body needs it, and it plays a direct role in cell division. Moreover, its antioxidant properties are highly regarded, and it is suspected of helping to prevent certain cancers. Zinc also plays a vital role in maintaining your hormone levels.
If you happen to work out, it’s important to bear in mind that zinc is fundamental if you want to put on an optimal performance. Zinc has a direct link to energy levels and overall body composition. This mineral is also directly linked to protein synthesis, where it is called upon to allow for the proper functioning of both red and white blood cells. Zinc is also present in the bones, the retina, liver, kidneys, and the pancreas.
Medical experts claim that zinc deficiencies can cause infertility and low libido in both sexes. Low levels of zinc also magnify stress on the body.
What Can Cause A Zinc Deficiency?
A zinc deficiency can normally occur when a person doesn’t eat enough to zinc rich food. Zinc can typically be found in red meats and certain seafood, including oysters. Whole grains and legumes are also extremely rich in zinc. Vegetarians seem to be at the biggest risk of developing zinc deficiencies as well as alcoholics.
Certain medications are also known to suppress zinc levels in the body.
Symptoms of a Zinc Deficiency
• Cravings for salty food
• Cravings for sweets food
• An altered sense of taste
• Chronic fatigue
• Low energy levels
• Memory deterioration
• For immune system
• Inability to focus
• Slow healing wounds
• Ringing in the ears
• Nerve dysfunction
• ADD symptoms
The Benefits of Zinc Uptake
• Improved Strength & Athletic Performance
Getting in enough zinc will enhance athletic performance as well as strength levels during training, because as stated earlier, zinc plays a direct role in hormone production and maintenance. According to research, having the right levels of zinc allows for better testosterone production and increase in the growth hormone.
According to one study in particular, by increasing zinc levels, testosterone production also followed when coupled with exercise. It involved supplementing trained athletes with zinc over the period of four weeks and noted phenomenal performance enhancement as well as testosterone levels.
Moreover, the researchers found that zinc managed to enhance the conversion of androstenedione to testosterone, and when coupled with cardiovascular exercise, the body managed to produce even more testosterone. The same study also found a recovery times were greatly reduced.
• Improved Fertility in Men
As noted in the previous paragraph, zinc is crucial for maintaining healthy testosterone levels. Moreover, the prostate uses zinc to function properly. When zinc levels fall, this increases the chances of prostate cancer creeping in, ultimately leading to infertility.
According to studies, men between the ages of 40 and 60 usually displayed normal testosterone levels when they had healthy zinc intakes, when compared to men with low zinc intakes. This seems to indicate that low levels of zinc have a direct connection to low testosterone levels, and this could expose men to the male menopause, commonly known as hypogonadism.
As mentioned earlier, zinc plays a vital role in the cell division process. The male prostate alone needs more than 10 times the zinc compared with other cells inside your body just to remain functioning. By maintaining healthy zinc levels, the prostate is in prime position to protect cells from being damaged or inflamed.
• Improved Fertility in Women
Zinc also plays a central role in the growth process of the female egg. Typically, women with zinc deficiencies hinder their eggs from maturing properly and in effect, impeding ovulation leading to infertility.
By maintaining healthy zinc levels, women’s bodies utilize progesterone and estrogen in just the right amounts, and this directly supports the reproductive health.
• Enhanced Immune System
According to doctors, a lot of the time zinc levels dictate a person’s health. By simply making sure you’re getting enough zinc you can stave off a number of serious health problems including cancer and a depleted immune system.
Low zinc levels directly affect the immune system by hindering T-cell function. T cells help to elevate the body’s immune system when viruses take hold. This is why older people are usually at the greatest risk of developing zinc deficiencies.
• Enhanced Cardiovascular System
Zinc is also important in maintaining cardiovascular well-being. The blood vessels are lined by a thin layer called the endothelial. When zinc levels are low, this layer deteriorates, leading to inflammation and the buildup of cholesterol. And both of these can increase the risk of developing heart disease.
• Zinc Provides Powerful Antioxidant Effects
There is widespread consensus that zinc is a formidable antioxidant. The benefit of using a strong antioxidant is to help get rid of free radicals that work to damage cells throughout the body. Zinc is a great counter agent against the effects of iron.
• Zinc Promotes Brain Health
Zinc works to promote brain health by helping the body to rid of heavy metals from inside the brain. It also helps to stabilize cellular homeostasis of cells inside the brain. And this could ultimately lead to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and general neurodegeneration.
• Zinc Enhances a Few Other Things Too!
Zinc is a strong neurotransmitter that helps overall cognition. This mineral is needed to help metabolize melatonin, the key hormone we all need to get a good night’s sleep.
Additionally, zinc is also acts as a regulator for dopamine, the all-important neurotransmitter responsible for giving you focus and drive.
• Improves Mood and Keeps Depression at Bay
Although the direct correlation between zinc deficiencies and depression is not clear, there is some interaction between the zinc and hormone and neurotransmitter production. Remember that the production of dopamine is regulated by zinc, ultimately dictating mood, energy levels, and the ability to learn.
People suffering from poor insulin and low testosterone usually find themselves trapped in depressive states and low energy levels. As zinc is a formidable antioxidant that works to alleviate inflammatory biomarkers, it appears to be the perfect solution for people suffering from depression.
James McDuffy has been an avid fitness fanatic for most of his life. His interest health and fitness has meant that not only is he a fully qualified nutritionist and personal trainer, he is currently undertaking a masters degree in Health Science at a leading UK university. After experiencing many hurdles in his personal health and fitness journey, it took a life threatening car crash forced him to take stock of his life. Although he was always a keen fitness enthusiast, he had to re-evaluate certain things in his life, to allow him to make a full recovery. He realized that even though it was healthier than the average person, he was still doing things wrong. Since then, James has made it his life’s mission to educate people on the importance of good living through the right nutrition and physical activity. James enjoys travelling and the Far East is his regular haunt at least twice a year.