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Zinc: The lesser known nutrient that has an array of benefits

Sep 18, 2021 16:07 IST | By Editorji News Desk

An essential nutrient that plays many vital roles in the human body, zinc is not produced within the body. Rather, it must be consumed through food or medical supplements to ensure its amply present in the system.

Zinc is necessary for the functioning of over 300 enzymes in the body that aid in metabolism, digestion, nerve function and many other processes. It is also critical for the development and function of immune cells. Zinc is naturally found in a wide variety of both plant and animal foods like red meat, legumes, almonds, dairy products, eggs and whole grains.

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Health Benefits of Zinc

Zinc has an array of potential health benefits as suggested by the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the USA. 

Zinc boosts the immune system

Zinc supplements stimulate particular immune cells in the human body. A review of seven studies demonstrated that 80–92 mg per day of zinc may reduce the length of the common cold by up to 33%. In older adults, zinc supplements significantly reduce the risk of infections and promote an immune response.

Zinc decreases inflammation

Zinc decreases oxidative stress and reduces the levels of certain inflammatory proteins in the human body. Oxidative stress is a contributing factor in a wide array of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and mental decline.

Zinc may help treat acne

Acne is driven by obstruction of oil-producing glands, bacteria and inflammation. Zinc can effectively treat acne by inhibiting the growth of P. acnes bacteria and suppressing oily gland activity. 

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