What is ZINC used for?
ZINC is the second most abundant trace metal element in the human body after iron. It is a structural component of many proteins and participates in multiple cellular functions.
People at risk?
In the human body, it is mainly concentrated in muscles (60-65%), bones (20%), liver, and skin. Zinc must be supplied to the body daily because unlike iron, the body cannot store it.
Zinc is essential for everyone, but some people are more likely to lack it, especially vegetarians, the elderly, pregnant women or people with intestinal disorders (Crohn’s disease) or alcoholics.
People aged 60 and over have too little zinc intake, about 50% below the daily recommendations. Several factors can explain this deficit: impaired intestinal absorption, a diet that does not meet the needs, drug interactions.
Vegetarians are also more likely to suffer from a deficiency in zinc, which is mostly found in foods of animal origin.
Zinc is one of the powerful antioxidant trace elements
Roles in the body?
Zinc is essential for the activity of over 200 enzymes.
It therefore has multiple roles :
- It is essential for the immune system because it increases the number of T lymphocytes
- It stabilizes various hormones such as thymulin (hormone responsible for the division of cytotoxic T lymphocytes)
- Entering into the structure of superoxide dismutase, it has a powerful antioxidant action
- It is unavailable to taste and smell.
The risks in case of zinc deficiency?
Zinc deficiency results in: immunity disorders, repeated infections, odor or taste disorders …
Zinc and immunity?
Zinc plays an important role in immune function and a deficiency is enough to disrupt the immune response and cause inflammation.
Zinc supplementation helps improve immunity in the elderly.
The results of the studies show that zinc supplementation improved the activity of T cells: they proliferated better in response to the stimulus of an infection. In addition, there was a positive correlation between zinc levels and the proper functioning of T cells.
Zinc supplementation in the elderly reduces the number of infections compared to a control group
The recommended zinc intakes depend on several factors such as age, sex, weight, size and the phytate content of the diet (present in plants in fact inhibit the absorption of classic zinc salt)
Symptoms of zinc deficiency?
The symptoms of a deficit are varied: repeated infections, fatigue, skin problems (dermatitis), loss of appetite, loss of smell and taste …
The foods highest in zinc are seafood, organ meats, meats and cheeses. Then come nuts, unrefined grain foods, eggs and pulses. Zinc of animal origin is the best absorbed.
Recommended daily dose?
Do not exceed 15 mg / day of zinc in supplement form except in specific cases indicated by a doctor (up to a maximum of 50 mg / day)