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zinc supplementZinc Fast Facts

Foods: Oysters, wheat germ, red meat, poultry, liver, eggs, dairy products, nuts & seeds

Nutritional & health benefits: boosts immune & reproductive systems, helps liver function & aids in skin wound healing


Among the many trace elements that your body uses to stay in top shape, zinc is a star.

It aids wound healing, the immune and reproductive systems, boosts liver function and the sense of smell and taste.

Some research on natural therapies rank it with vitamin C when it comes to fighting off a cold or the flu. Children with adequate zinc intake also seem to be less likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses.

Zinc, which is known as Zn on the periodic table, is a trace mineral essential for all forms of life, human beings included. Zinc is found throughout the body, but it plays an especially important role in the prostate gland and reproductive organs, both of which require zinc to develop and function properly.

Oysters and other shellfish are an excellent source of zinc.

One of the most researched health benefits that zinc provides is that it helps treat the common cold. Of the many studies done on the relationship between the common cold and zinc, roughly half have shown that zinc helps reduce the duration of the common cold, while the other half have shown no effect. The inconclusive results are further muddied by the fact that there are two different kinds of zinc supplements, acetate and gluconate, as well as three different ways to apply zinc supplements: nasal spray, nasal gel, and lozenge.

Having a healthy zinc intake is also important for maintaining healthy skin. Several research studies have shown that zinc is effective for helping to treat acne, pimples, and even more serious skin disorders like eczema.

As previously mentioned, zinc is important for maintaining a healthy prostate. In fact, zinc is often part of the treatment when any sort of prostate disorder is encountered, and getting healthy amounts of zinc can prevent prostate damage before it starts - damage which can, if left unchecked, lead to a variety of illnesses including prostate cancer.

Those looking to supplement their zinc intake should consider oysters, which are known to be rich in zinc. Most meat products also have healthy amounts of the mineral, and beans, nuts, whole grains, and many seeds are also excellent sources of zinc.

More information about zinc around the Web:

Zinc Fact Sheet - A graph showing the average intake of zinc in the American population, the importance of zinc in daily diet, and list of food sources by serving size and corresponding U.S. RDA., related references.

Zinc - Ask the Dietitian - Q&A on zinc and fertility, the difference between chelated zinc and zinc Picolinate, zinc deficiency, and good food sources.


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