Vitamin Close-Up: ZINC

Although Zinc is always last on your standard vitamin and minerals list, it seems to be on top of a lot of people’s drug store to-buy list these days. Why do you need to take Zinc supplements if it is the most abundant trace mineral found in your body?

Let’s break it down.

Zinc is classified as an essential mineral, and with good reason. It is essential to over 180 biologic functions such as stabilizing cell and organ structures, immune function, wound healing, cell division, growth, blood clotting, thyroid function, vision, taste, and smell. Despite its critical role in humans, Zinc is not stored in the body and must be gotten through our diet, making supplementation all that more important. Good dietary sources of zinc include red meats, seafood, dairy products, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.

While zinc is generally considered to be a safe mineral, there is still the possibility of taking too much which could lead to toxicity. Too much zinc could also lead to issues such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and copper deficiency which may also lead to subsequent issues. Those who use zinc in excessive amounts may find additional risks through constant use. While rare, side effects from zinc are still possible. Therefore, you should always consult your doctor before beginning a supplementation regimen. 

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