Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Zinc Facts

Let’s talk about zinc facts. Over half of the body’s zinc supply is found in muscle tissue. It is also found in bone, eyes, prostate gland, skin and kidneys. It is an essential mineral for over 100 enzymes. It is necessary for strong cell membranes and wound healing. Even though there is a normal requirement for zinc, if you have surgery, your requirements are going to go up. It is also needed in tissue growth and repair. It is needed for protein synthesis, DNA and RNA maintenance, blood clotting and taste perception. One of the first signs of zinc deficiency is that food doesn’t taste like anything. It is needed in bone mineralization, healthy thyroid function, normal cognition, fetal development and pubertal growth. This is one of these minerals that has a wide variety of functions. Deficiencies can be a real problem.

Zinc Facts: Benefits

There are conflicting results regarding the effectiveness of zinc lozenges used for colds. A recent review showed no significant benefit from the use of lozenges. Now, there may be a mild protective effect against age related macular degeneration. Researchers showed that 80 milligrams of zinc, which is a significant dose, plus antioxidants and copper, slowed the progression of AMD. In this case, more than what is needed might be beneficial if you’re in a high risk category.

Supplemental zinc may also prove beneficial to the elderly, as zinc deficiency is more common in this population. If you have someone in your family who is complaining that food doesn’t taste great, you may want to check with his doctor.

Zinc Facts: Bioavailability

The body absorbs anywhere between 15% and 40% of dietary zinc. Excess intake of iron or copper can interfere with zinc absorption. Two studies have shown that a high-calcium diet (with supplements) decreases the absorption in post-menopausal women. Medications can also have an impact on zinc status. Many of the high blood pressure medications can interfere with your body’s abilities to absorb an utilize zinc. Any time you decide to take a supplement, your healthcare provider must know.

Zinc from meat sources, just as with iron, is about 4 times more bioavailable than zinc from plants. Vegetarians may need up to 50% more zinc, given the issues with bioavailability. Zinc and iron often share food sources. If you’re deficient in iron, you may also be deficient in zinc.

Zinc Facts: Deficiencies and Excess

Dietary deficiency of zinc in the United States is rare. However, the elderly, lower income children and alcoholics are more at risk. The symptoms of a deficiency are not so unique: anemia, delayed growth in children, slow wound healing, glucose intolerance, poor appetite and taste. Skin problems can develop around the eyes, nose and mouth. You can have a dermatitis around your eyes, the opening of your nose and mouth.

The upper limit for zinc in adults is 40 milligrams per day. In some of the research studies they are using a larger dose than this, because they are trying to correct the deficiency. An intake of 80 milligrams per day can result in a lower level of HDL cholesterol, reduction of white blood cells and an interference with the mineral copper. It can also result in defective cholesterol metabolism. As with all mineral excess, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Daily Recommended Values

Infant, 0–6 months2 milligrams
Infant, 7–12 months3 milligrams
Child, 1–3 years3 milligrams
Child, 4–8 years5 milligrams
Male, 9–13 years8 milligrams
Male, 14–18 years11 milligrams
Male, 19–70 years11 milligrams
Female, 9–13 years8 milligrams
Female, 14–18 years9 milligrams
Male, 19–70 years8 milligrams

Foods High in Zinc

1 cup baked bean, canned5.79 milligrams
8 oz yogurt, plain, low-fat2.02 milligrams
1 cup spinach, boiled1.37 milligrams
1 oz peanuts0.94 milligrams
1/4 cup sunflower seeds1.69 milligrams
3 oz beef chuck roast, cooked7 milligrams

No comments:

Post a Comment

Template by bloggertheme