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Zinc Supplements

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About Zinc Supplements

Zinc is a mineral that was discovered to be essential in plants nearly 100 years before it was found to be required for humans. This mineral offers a range of crucial benefits for the human body, impacting a range of systems including hormonal, the immune system, tissue healing, growth and development.


Zinc is commonly used as a supplement throughout the winter months to support white blood cells synthesis and activity, thus protecting against infection. Evidence is pointing towards specific protection against viruses when a high quality supplementy is used. This antiviral effect may be direct, slowing replication of the virus once this mineral is taken up, and also by enhancing antiviral immunity.


It has been suggested that one-quarter of the population in developing nations are zinc deficient. In Australia, low serum zinc levels have been detected in 15% of men and 7% of women. Groups particularly at risk of low zinc levels are elderly men, diabetics, toddlers and Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal Australians. It is important to understant that there is quite a difference between a frank zinc deficiency, an insufficiency and an optimal level. A serum zinc level above that required for a diagnosis of a zinc deficiency does not necessarily mean that the individual has enough of this essential mineral.


Zinc has an indirect antioxidant effect in the body, by supporting an antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. It is therefore essential in “fighting off” free radicals and maintaining cellular health. Zinc is exceptional for the healing of wounds and for preventing active stretch marks (recent purple-coloured ones) from becoming permanent. This is likely due to the fact that zinc is an essential cofactor for proteins that are involved in collagen synthesis.


Zinc is also required for hormone synthesis, including testosterone, progesterone and oestrogen. Low zinc levels have been associated with low testosterone levels in young and otherwise healthy men. In addition, zinc has been shown to be helpful for the treatment of diarrhoea. Some of the best dietary sources include pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sesame seeds (tahini is nice), cocoa and of course, the well-known aphrodisiac oysters. Zinc supplements are a great way to restore levels back to normal quickly, in the case of deficiency or insufficiency, or for use for a specific biological effect.