Zinc – an essential trace element

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Zinc – an essential trace element


Zinc is essential for our health. The trace element plays in a variety of metabolic reactions: It is involved in the function of approximately 300 enzymes in the cellular metabolism and in 50 enzymes. Zinc is important for growth, the skin, the storage of Insulin and protein synthesis, sperm production and the immune system. Zinc is a trace element essential for numerous processes in our body are essential. So the immune function of our body’s zinc household is dependent.

Zinc: function and effect

Especially important is a sufficient supply of Zinc during the growth period, i.e. in childhood and adolescence zinc deficiency can lead to growth and developmental delays. Zinc is needed for cell division. Thus, it is tissue, it is also an important trace element for the skin and the connective and for wound healing after injury or surgery is essential.

Also, the immune cells in the body need zinc; a high enough zinc intake strengthens the immune system. It is a anti-also has a viral effect and at the same time improves mucosal structure, so that the attachment and Penetration of viruses is difficult. Therefore, its ability to shorten the duration of colds stirred. Also, zinc anti counteracts oxidation, i.e. free Radicals.

The anti-inflammatory property of zinc not only helps in numerous skin diseases such as acne, psoriasis and eczema, but also for inflammations of the gastric and intestinal mucosa, such as Gastritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease. Zinc gave also in the case of cirrhosis of the liver and Diabetes mellitus positive, since in both cases, often a zinc deficiency. Zinc is of course not a panacea, but a result of the therapy.

Zinc deficiency: a typical follow

Too little zinc in the body can have – according to its various functions – a number of impacts, mainly:

  • Hair loss, chapped and dry skin, inflammation of the skin, brittle hair and nails, decreased wound healing and skin inflammation
  • in children, growth failure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night blindness
  • in men, impotence
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • limited performance ability

Formation of zinc deficiency

A zinc deficiency can be caused either by an increased need (for example, Pregnant and Breastfeeding women), increased loss (for example, athletes zinc through sweat), or a reduced intake lose. So older people often do not take enough zinc through food, because you suffer from loss of appetite and as a result of dental problems, feed is unbalanced.

Even vegetarians and Vegans are at risk because they absorb the plant-based diet a lot of phytic acid. These forms with zinc insoluble Compounds, so the body is zinc can’t take any more. In addition, while a reduction in the supply of Zinc diet be critical, especially if less than 1500 calories to be taken daily over a longer period of time.

Zinc in food

Zinc on a daily basis with the food supply necessary, because the body has no memory. The society for nutritional medicine and dietetics e. V. recommends a daily intake of about 15 mg zinc, for Lactating and Pregnant women 25 mg. Also physical burden and Stress to increase the zinc requirement, so that in such a Situation, an increased intake can be useful. In addition, athletes, seniors, diabetics, women who take estrogen supplements and people who regularly drink alcohol should pay attention to a sufficient intake of Zinc.

The zinc-richest foods, the oyster is by a large margin. After that, beef, fish and sea fruits, milk products (especially cheese), eggs, and whole grain products. Zinc from animal foods is better recyclable – more than half of the average daily intake of zinc is covered from food of animal origin. Also, the processing has an influence on the zinc content of the food so the grinding grade of grain is crucial for the zinc content of the flour.

Zinc and Vitamin C

The inclusion of zinc in the small intestine is reduced by phytic acid (found in plant foods), tannins (in tea and coffee) and high-iron-, calcium-, copper – or cadmium supply. The simultaneous intake of protein (for example, the amino acids histidine and cysteine) or citric acid increases the absorption.

The diverse and health-protective metabolic effects of zinc have to be supplemented and supported by Vitamin C – it is considered to be a cofactor for zinc and increases its effectiveness. Therefore, preparations from the pharmacy or drugstore are included in ready-to-often both substances together.