As important as it is for scores of chemical reactions and day-to-day functions, the element zinc isn’t naturally produced in the body. The body absorbs zinc from the food we eat or the supplements we take. Here are the many ways zinc helps us:
Zinc for muscle growth and repair: Zinc is closely associated with muscle growth. That’s because it induces the release of Growth Hormone, Testosterone, and Insulin-like Growth Factor-1. These three hormones are indispensable for healthy metabolism and muscle development.
Supplementation of zinc also promotes the conversion of androstenedione to testosterone after intense training; this leads to increased muscle mass.
In addition, zinc is also involved in cell division and growth. The increased presence of zinc is believed to promote muscle cell division, growth, and repair, which increases the size and strength of the muscles.
Zinc to increase libido and fertility: Studies show that low intake of zinc and zinc deficiency in men leads to low testosterone levels. The decrease in the male hormone impacts sex drive (libido) and fertility.
Zinc not only helps men, but it also has a vital role in women’s fertility. Zinc is one of the substances that’s needed for the normal growth of the egg in women. Inadequate amount of zinc could affect ovulation, thereby impacting fertility.
Zinc to treat chronic fatigue syndrome: Chronic fatigue syndrome or adrenal fatigue can be effectively treated with zinc. Experts believe that zinc is needed for the proper functioning of the adrenal gland and the element helps inhibit the secretion of adrenal cortisol (the stress hormone).
Zinc for digestion and nutrient absorption: The element is also required to break down carbohydrates into simpler forms and proteins into amino acids. Low zinc levels could affect both these functions, resulting in low energy production, again leading to chronic fatigue.
Zinc to balance hormones: We have already seen how zinc helps muscle growth, libido, and fertility. All three functions need the active participation of a number of hormones. Zinc not only stimulates the production of the hormones; it also regulates their levels and functioning.
For example, zinc helps balance the powerful female hormone estrogen. Too little or too much of this hormone could affect the reproductive health of women.
Other Benefits of Zinc: The trace element is involved in scores of chemical reactions in the body. Supplementing zinc could prevent several ailments, regulate certain reactions, and boost many functions. Other than the functions mentioned above, zinc is known to fight the cold by boosting immunity, treat diabetes by regulating insulin, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, and improve heart and liver health.
Dosage: In the case of zinc, less is more. The standard recommended dosage for zinc is 8mg for women and 11mg for men per day. The maximum daily dosage that a person can take is 40mg.
Some forms of zinc are better absorbed than others. Zinc gluconate and zinc citrate are absorbed well, while zinc oxide is not so well liked by the body.
Side Effects: The undesirable reactions that some experience after taking a zinc supplement could be either due to allergy, increased sensitivity, or zinc toxicity. Taking a higher daily dosage than what’s recommended by an expert or doctor could lead to zinc toxicity. The common symptoms of zinc toxicity are decreased HDL levels, low immunity, headache, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
|What Zinc Does
|Stimulates the release of Growth Hormone, Testosterone, and IGF-1
|Aids androstenedione to testosterone conversion
|Helps in carbohydrate metabolism and protein synthesis
|Essential for the ovulation process
|Vital for cell division and growth
|Boosts muscle mass and strength
|Improves sex drive and fertility
|Fights chronic fatigue syndrome