Here’s why Zinc is one of the most crucial trace elements for your health

Here’s why Zinc is one of the most crucial trace elements for your health

Trace elements refer to minerals that are present in your tissues in small amounts. Also known as microminerals, trace elements make up less than 0.01% of your body mass. [1] Nevertheless, they are considered important nutrients that need to be regularly supplied to the body because they are required for many biological processes. [2]

For instance, trace elements like copper and zinc serve as catalysts for many enzymatic reactions. These trace elements also take part in complex reactions that drive vital bodily functions, such as energy metabolism and the growth and repair of various tissues. Because your body cannot synthesize these elements, they are classified as essential nutrients, which means you need to obtain a certain amount of each from your diet daily. [3]

There are at least 21 trace elements in the human body, but not all of them are nutritionally essential. Only 8 have a significant impact on your health, and these are chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. As active centers of many enzymes, their presence is required to ensure optimal enzyme activity, which is why getting adequate amounts of these trace elements from food is crucial to your overall well-being. [4]

But recent reports suggest that meeting one’s nutritional requirements, particularly for essential trace elements, has become quite a challenge for many. In many places around the world, children younger than 5 years of age are being diagnosed with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. [5] A deficiency in zinc, in particular, has become a major health problem worldwide. In the United States alone, an estimated 12% of the population are believed to be at risk of zinc deficiency. [6]

Although zinc has plenty of dietary sources, such as meat, poultry, seafood, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains, many people still suffer from zinc deficiency due to unhealthy diets and low levels of zinc in modern crops. [7] Zinc deficiency can cause diarrhea, slow growth and loss of appetite in infants and children. It can also cause reproductive problems, hair loss, frequent infections, loss of taste and smell, delayed normal wound healing and problems with thinking, reasoning and memory. [8] Fortunately, people who don’t get enough zinc from their diets can opt to take zinc supplements to help them meet their daily zinc requirements. 

The biological functions and health benefits of Zinc* 

The trace element zinc is the second most abundant trace metal in the human body after iron. [9] One of its well-documented functions is as a cofactor, or a non-protein molecule that empowers enzymes during important biochemical reactions. [10] Examples of enzymes that are highly dependent on zinc are the enzyme that synthesizes heme, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol and the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. [11][12]

Another interesting enzyme that needs the presence of zinc is carbonic anhydrase, whose function is critical to your sense of smell and taste. [13] According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, zinc is a crucial component of this protein and the removal of zinc completely deactivates this enzyme. [14] Insufficient zinc intake also reduces carbonic anhydrase activity, which could lead to impaired taste and smell and affect respiratory function.

Aside from being a cofactor for over 200 different enzymes, zinc also plays an important role in your body’s natural production of RNA, DNA and proteins. Your cells need zinc to grow, multiply and repair damaged tissues. [15] Zinc also interacts with various hormones and is required for the synthesis, storage and release of many important ones, such as the sex hormones testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, and your thyroid hormones. [16]

Because of the many wide-ranging functions of zinc, being deficient in this trace element could have serious consequences. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency are non-specific and often mimic those of other nutrient deficiencies, hence it is difficult to diagnose. [17] But you can ensure adequate intake by incorporating nutritious foods into your diet and consulting with your healthcare provider about proper zinc supplementation.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for zinc is 5 milligrams (mg) for children 4-8 years old and 8 mg for those 9-13 years. For males 14-18 years old, the RDA for zinc is 11 mg and 9 mg for females of the same age. The RDA for zinc remains the same for males 19 years old and above but is lower (8 mg) for females of the same age. [18]

Because zinc levels naturally decline with age, zinc deficiency is very common among the elderly. [19][20] This is why a healthy lifestyle and dietary supplementation are necessary for older adults to maintain optimal physical and mental health. Supplementing with zinc not only ensures adequate levels of this important trace element, but it also offers plenty of health benefits.

Here are the most notable ones:*

  • Protects cells from oxidative stress – Despite being needed only in trace amounts, zinc has the distinction of being one of the only three minerals that have known antioxidant activities. [21] According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, zinc is a natural inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, an enzyme involved in the generation of free radicals called reactive oxygen species (ROS). [22] Zinc also helps protect cells from oxidative stress by serving as a cofactor of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme known for dealing with superoxide radicals. [23] In addition, zinc has been found to support healthy levels of metallothionein, a potent metal chelator that also scavenges ROS. [24][25] Thanks to these activities, zinc can help combat oxidative stress and help you maintain a healthy antioxidant defense system.
  • Supports a healthy immune system – It is a well-known fact that one of the greatest benefits of maintaining healthy zinc levels is having a strong immune system. According to studies, zinc is crucial for the normal functioning and development of all cells, including your immune cells. [26] Hence it is not surprising that even a mild or moderate deficiency in zinc could slow down the activity of white blood cells, which serve as your body’s first line of defense against threats. [27] This is why zinc supplementation is important particularly for the elderly, for whom zinc deficiency is very common. [28] Supporting healthy zinc levels can help older adults maintain optimal immune health and function.
  • Supports a healthy cardiovascular system – Your cardiovascular system is another organ system that benefits from adequate zinc intake. According to a study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism, supplementing with zinc is a great way to support healthy blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels that are already within the normal range. [29] A study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition also reported that zinc can help you maintain already healthy cardiac stem cells. [30] In addition, the same study reported that zinc can support healthy heart rhythm.
  • Supports healthy brain function – Multiple studies have linked zinc deficiency to cognitive decline. [31] This decline in cognitive function usually manifests as learning and memory impairments. On the other hand, research shows that zinc plays an important role in supporting healthy neurogenesis, or the process by which new neurons are formed in the brain. Neurogenesis is crucial to your ability to learn and form memories. [32] Therefore, supporting healthy zinc levels via supplementation can help you maintain optimal brain performance.
  • Supports healthy eye function – We all know that vitamin A is an essential nutrient for eye health – arguably the most important one. But it’s not the only nutrient that your eyes need. Zinc also performs a vital function that can help you maintain healthy vision. According to research, zinc is involved in bringing vitamin A from the liver to your retina, where the protective pigment called melanin is formed. [33] Melanin not only gives your eyes color, but it also protects your eyes from damaging light rays by scattering UV light and scavenging light-induced free radicals. [34] A deficiency in zinc is linked to impaired vision as well as poor night vision.
  • Supports healthy metabolism – According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Sciences, one of zinc’s vital roles is to support the healthy metabolism of lipids and glucose. [35] It does this by acting as a cofactor to enzymes involved in these processes. At the same time, zinc is involved in your body’s production, storage and release of insulin, the hormone that allows your cells to use glucose as energy. Because of its involvement in these processes, zinc can support healthy blood sugar levels that are already within the normal range. [36]
  • Supports healthy energy levels – According to a study published in the journal Health Science Reports, being deficient in zinc can make you feel tired and listless. [37] This is because zinc plays a huge role in the regulation of energy metabolism, so having low levels of this trace element can deprive you of energy. Fatigue is a common issue among older adults precisely because they are often deficient in zinc. To maintain healthy levels despite your age, make sure you get enough zinc from your diet and from supplements.
  • Supports healthy, glowing skin – Collagen is a structural protein whose tough fibers form the scaffold that supports your tissues and holds your cells together. [38] Because of this function, collagen can also keep your skin naturally firm. Zinc happens to be a cofactor of enzymes involved in collagen synthesis, so maintaining healthy zinc levels is an excellent way to support your body’s natural collagen production and younger-looking skin.
  • Supports strong and healthy bones – Here’s another benefit of zinc supplementation for older adults: It’s an excellent way to support strong and healthy bones. According to a study published in the journal Materials, zinc can support healthy bone formation/regeneration by supporting the activity of bone-forming cells called osteoblasts. [39] Older adults can take advantage of this since aging inevitably disrupts the balance between the removal of old bone and the formation of new. [40] By supplementing with zinc and ensuring adequate zinc intake, you can support strong and healthy bones.
  • Supports optimal muscle performance and recovery after exercise – Like your bones, your skeletal muscles could also do with a boost in zinc, especially if you’re in your golden years. As part of your body’s antioxidant response to exercise, studies show that zinc naturally supports healthy muscle performance by protecting against free radicals and oxidative stress. [41] This is important because oxidative stress can cause muscle weakness and fatigue. [42] What’s more, having sufficient zinc in your body can also help with healthy muscle recovery after exercise because your muscles naturally release zinc when damaged.
  • Supports your body’s natural healing process – Zinc is one of the most important nutrients your body needs when it is in healing mode. As explained by a study published in the journal Nutrients, zinc serves as a cofactor of certain metalloenzymes that are required for cell membrane repair and cell proliferation. These are crucial steps in natural wound healing. [43] To support your body’s natural ability to heal, make sure you supply your body with the right amount of zinc daily.
  • Supports sensible weight management plans – Aside from helping various bodily processes run smoothly, zinc can also help you achieve your weight management goals. [44] 

Where to get lab-verified, highly bioavailable Zinc supplements 

The trace element zinc gets plenty of things done inside your body despite being present in small amounts. And because of its involvement in several bodily processes, you wouldn’t want to take this micromineral for granted.

If you’re looking to increase your intake of zinc, the Health Ranger Store has the right product for you. Groovy Bee® Liposomal Zinc is a high-quality, lab-verified dietary supplement specially formulated for superior absorption. Made only with natural ingredients, this premium liposomal supplement is encapsulated within phospholipid-based liposomes derived from non-GMO sunflower lecithin.

Groovy Bee® Liposomal Zinc provides a highly bioavailable form of zinc that your body can easily absorb so you can maintain healthy levels of this essential trace element. Because liposomes are versatile carriers that can protect their cargoes as they travel through your digestive system, we chose them as a delivery system for zinc. Take liposomal zinc every day to ensure sufficient zinc intake and to support the healthy functions of your eyes, skin, brain, bones, immune system, cardiovascular system and more!

Groovy Bee® Liposomal Zinc is made in the USA and contains no gluten or any ingredients derived from GMOs. It is also vegan and lab verified for cleanliness and purity. As with all the products offered by the Health Ranger Store, you can be sure that our premium liposomal zinc supplement is meticulously lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology. 

Support healthy zinc levels and enjoy the many health benefits of zinc with highly bioavailable liposomal zinc supplements! 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.