Health Benefits of Zinc Supplements
Health Benefits of Zinc Supplements
You may have heard health experts talk about eating right. Healthy eating means that you are taking all essential nutrients to ensure that your body functions properly. Among such micronutrients is zinc that is quite important for keeping your heart, skin, and eyes healthy.
In addition to this, zinc is also beneficial for boosting your immune system. These days, the entire world is struggling to break free from the grip of the novel coronavirus. To fight against this serious virus, you need to have a good immune system, and the regular consumption of zinc is a great way to strengthen your defense.
Food items such as shellfish and meat are good sources of zinc. However, many people fail to get the right amount of zinc through their diets. These people should always take supplements to make up for the micronutrient deficiency in their bodies.
Types of Zinc Supplements
Here is a short list of the types of zinc supplements that you can easily get in the market. Have a look:
- Zinc sulfate: Zinc sulfate doesn’t only help reduce zinc deficiency, but also reduces the severity of acne.
- Zinc gluconate: Zinc gluconate is often added to nasal sprays or other cold remedies such as lozenges to speed up the rate of recovery. It is one of the most common forms of over-the-counter zinc. Another such supplement that helps speed up the rate of recovery is zinc acetate.
- Zinc orotate: This is bound to orotic acid and is easily available in the market.
- Zinc citrate: Another zinc supplement that has similar properties as zinc gluconate is zinc citrate. The difference is that this supplement has a more appealing and less bitter taste.
- Zinc picolinate: This form of zinc is easily absorbed in the body as compared to the other forms such as zinc gluconate or zinc citrate.
Why Should You Take Zinc Supplements
Zinc supplements are beneficial for your overall health. Here are some of the potential benefits that the regular intake of zinc supplements may bring into your life:
Blood Sugar Management
Zinc is great for blood sugar control and insulin secretion. Insulin is an important hormone that transports sugar from the bloodstream into your tissues. The proper intake of zinc will help your blood sugar levels to remain under control and improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Zinc supplements have also proven to play an effective role in both short- and long-term blood sugar management in people with diabetes (several studies are still being done to back the claim with stronger evidence).
Heart disease is the main cause of around 33% of deaths worldwide. This is a shocking fact. Heart diseases are also quite common around the world. Studies have found out that the proper intake of zinc supplements can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels that may reduce the chance of a heart attack (higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels may improve the risk of a heart attack). Several still-evolving studies have shown that in women, intakes of zinc can also lead to lower levels of systolic blood pressure.
Slows Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a common eye disease that causes loss of vision. Zinc supplements are often used around the word to reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration. The supplements are also quite effective in reducing the progression of advanced macular degeneration. However, studies also suggest that the supplement alone will not result in improved vision and to achieve that it should be paired with other treatment options.
Improve Immune Function
The reason why zinc supplements are the most common over-the-counter supplement is that it has the ability to fight inflammation and boost immune function. The supplements are also quite effective in reducing common cold duration by up to 33%. The micronutrient also acts as an antioxidant, which protects against chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and helps reduce inflammation. The proper intake of the supplement also results in the lower frequency of infection among people using it.
Zinc is also quite effective in keeping your skin healthy. It is also quite effective in treating inflammatory acne. The proper and regular intake of zinc sulfate is beneficial for decreasing symptoms of severe acne.
Side Effects and Safety
No medicine or supplement should be taken without consulting your pharmacist or doctor. Self-medication can be quite dangerous to your health. Even though zinc supplements are fairly harmless, here are some of the side effects of zinc:
- Stomach pain
Not following the recommended dose of the supplement can also cause flu-like symptoms that include:
Zinc also comes in the way of your body’s ability to absorb copper. This may lead to a possible deficiency of this important nutrient from your body.
In case your symptoms deteriorate or persist, you should consult your healthcare provider and talk about reducing the dosage.
- Achyut Sahasrabudhe