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Every element that forms the physical structure has its own importance. Zinc is one of those which is needed almost every day. Zinc takes part in the making of hormones, wear and tear of tissues and cells, helping the immune system to get its triggers and protect the body.
How much Zinc we need every day?
The requirement of Zinc raises in fact right from when we are taking shape in our mother's womb. While being in our mother's womb, we get a direct source of Zinc from her blood. When we are born, we need Zinc from the various foods that we consume.
Zinc requirement in infants
In the first 6 months of life, 2 mg of Zinc is required every day. In the following 6 months, until we reach 1 year age, we need 3 mg per day.
Zinc requirement in children
Growth and development increase when we cross the first age of life. The requirement is almost stable to 3 mg/day till the age of 3. Then it increases to 5 mg per day till 8 years of age. It further increases to 8 mg/day till children reach teenage.
Zinc requirement in Adolescents and beyond
Male children requirement about 11 mg per day of Zinc every day. Female children require 9 mg/day till the age of 18. It then reduces to 7 to 8 mg/day.
The top 10 benefits of Zinc are enumerated below:
- Boost immunity and respiratory system: Zinc helps to reduce the build-up of mucus and bacteria in the respiratory system, thus reduced the chances of catching an infection.
- Zinc also boosts the immunity system on its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This creates a healthy environment to reduce mutating cells. Oxidative stress is reduced.
- Zinc helps the hormones to get into balance. The sex hormones are also naturally increased. This leads to better reproductive functions. This also helps in reducing mood swings, infertility. Women also benefit from easy periods, menopause on proper age.
- Zinc also helps to boost the testosterone levels in men. It also helps maintain good libido and better quality of sperms which allow good fertility rats.
- Zinc helps in near to ideal functioning of Insulin. It thus helps indirectly to maintain proper blood sugar levels.
- Zinc helps to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the heart cells. It thus also helps to reduce chances of clogging of arteries with cholesterol.
- Zinc helps to quickly reduce excessive water loss during diarrhea.
- The synthesis of required proteins happens in the Liver. The re-synthesis process can be effectively done only in the presence of an ample amount of Zinc.
- Zinc also acts as a mild antibiotic and helps keep infections at bay. It reduces free radical damage and enables proper waster elimination.
- Last but not least, muscle growth and repair is a complex and long chain of chemical changes in the body. This function needs a lot of Zinc as its catalyst fuel. The presence of Zinc helps release testosterone, Growth hormone, Insulin-like growth factor - 1 (IGF-1).
Natural sources of Zinc
Some of the natural sources of Zinc are mentioned below:
- Cocoa powder
Side effects of excess Zinc to the body
"Haste is waste and Excess is No-Access". True to the phrase, the body stops its absorption process when anything is in excess. Or rather the diffusion of the elements stops when the source quantity becomes very high. The immediate effects are hair loss, reduced digestion, and reduced sexual desire. High doses of Zinc can lead to compromising of the immunity system and chronic diseases. Blood cell formation can also get affected.