By Edna Schur-Rubinstein
Re-Source Institute, Zurich
Zinc – a forgotten trace element
Zinc is a trace element which supports the body, not just for proper growth and maintenance of the body. It is found in several bodily systems and supports biological reactions. Furthermore, Zinc is needed for immune function, wound healing, (Zinc in creams is a long-known home remedy), blood clotting, thyroid function, which means neurological and reproduction functions.
Zinc plays an important role in the carbohydrate and glucose/insulin breakdown, which makes this trace element particularly important for people with diabetes. Besides that, Zinc also improves your sense of smell and taste.
Zinc, as a vital trace element, performs countless functions within the human body. This almost forgotten trace element plays an important role in the metabolism of vitamin A and is required for the synthesis of the retinol-binding protein in the liver. The size and functioning of your thymus gland give evidence whether you are Zinc deficient. The thymus gland itself plays a major role in the body’s defence system.
You might have heard that when you have a cold or flu, to take Zinc and vitamin C. Any lack of Zinc weakens the immune response and you become more susceptible to any kind of illness.
How does Zinc function
Not even enzymes can do without Zinc. There are over 300 enzymes in the human body which depend on Zinc for their metabolic reaction. As a part of the gene expression regulation Zinc binds DNA and influences the transcription in the specific gene. Zinc itself is much more of an enzyme itself or one of its cofactors for the greater part.
Modern science has shown that the body interconnects and thrives upon vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Zinc works particularly well with iron and chromium, however, affects other elements of the body just as well.
Signs and symptoms of Zinc deficiency:
Signs that you might need a Zinc supplement are brittle nails as well as lines or dots on the nails. Wounds heal only slowly, or you might have more colds. Sometimes you might feel numbness in your face.
Note: A Zinc deficiency can easily be tested with a Hair Follicle Test.
Foods rich in Zinc
Fish, chicken, seeds, shellfish, turkey, nuts, legumes, red meat
When to supplement Zinc
If you are not able to balance your Zinc intake with food, then you should think of a supplement. Note: Pregnant women, HIV patients and the elderly will benefit from a Zinc supplement.
Individuals at risk of Zinc deficiency:
People with a weakened defence system
People with heart disease and cancer to strengthen the immune system
in depression and other mental illnesses (additionally often manganese deficiency)
People with skin diseases, e.g. Acne, atopic dermatitis, and disorders in wound healing
Infants and children
Pregnant and lactating (breastfeeding) women, especially teenagers and pregnant women who’ve been instructed to supplement with iron during the pregnancy.
Patients receiving intravenous feedings
Malnourished individuals, including those on low-calorie diets and those with anorexia.
Individuals with severe or persistent diarrhoea or digestive disorders such as celiac disease, short bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Older adults (65 years and older)
Vegetarians: for those people, the daily Zinc requirement is 50 % greater than in non-vegetarians.
If you think you belong to one of the groups of people mentioned above or detect signs of a Zinc deficiency, take action now!
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Re-Source Expert Team
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Looking forward to meeting you soon
Edna Schur & the Re-Source Team