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Zinc


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Zinc is a component of more than 300 enzymes needed to repair wounds, maintain fertility in adults and growth in children, synthesize protein, help cells reproduce, preserve vision, boost immunity, and protect against free radicals, among other functions.

In double-blind trials, zinc lozenges have reduced the duration of colds in adults, but have been ineffective in children. The ability of zinc to shorten colds may be due to a direct, localized anti-viral action in the throat. For the alleviation of cold symptoms, lozenges providing 13–25 mg of zinc, in the form of zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate, are used, typically every two hours while awake, but only for several days. The best effect is obtained when lozenges are used at the first sign of a cold.

Zinc reduces the body’s ability to utilize the essential mineral copper. (For healthy people, this interference is circumvented by supplementing with copper, along with zinc.) The ability to interfere with copper makes zinc an important therapeutic tool for people with Wilson’s disease—a genetic condition that causes copper overload.

Zinc supplementation in children in developing countries is associated with improvements in stunted growth, increased weight gain in underweight children, and substantial reductions in the rates of diarrhea and pneumonia, the two leading causes of death in these settings. Whether such supplementation would help people in better nourished populations remains unclear.

Who may need extra zinc?
Medical doctors who suspect a zinc deficiency will consider risk factors such as inadequate caloric intake, alcoholism, digestive diseases, and symptoms such as impaired growth in infants and children when determining a need for zinc supplementation. Vegetarians may need as much as 50% more zinc than non-vegetarians because of the lower absorption of zinc from plant foods, so it is very important for vegetarians to include good sources of zinc in their diet.

Maternal zinc deficiency can slow fetal growth. Zinc supplementation has improved growth rate in some children who demonstrate mild to moderate growth failure and who also have a zinc deficiency. Breastfeeding also may deplete maternal zinc stores because of the greater need for zinc during lactation. It is important for mothers who breast-feed to include good sources of zinc in their daily diet and for pregnant women to follow their doctor’s advice about taking vitamin and mineral supplements.

Low zinc status has been observed in 30% to 50% of alcoholics. Alcohol decreases the absorption of zinc and increases loss of zinc in urine. In addition, many alcoholics do not eat an acceptable variety or amount of food, so their dietary intake of zinc may be inadequate.

Diarrhea results in a loss of zinc. Individuals who have had gastrointestinal surgery or who have digestive disorders that result in malabsorption, including sprue, Crohn’s disease and short bowel syndrome, are at greater risk of a zinc deficiency. Individuals who experience chronic diarrhea should make sure they include sources of zinc in their daily diet and may benefit from zinc supplementation.

What foods provide zinc?
Zinc is found in a wide variety of foods. Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain seafood, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products. Zinc absorption is greater from a diet high in animal protein than a diet rich in plant proteins.

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Dietary supplements are not to be used to prevent or treat any disease. The Statements on this web page have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any information provided on this website is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individuals are advised not to self-medicate in the presence of significant illness. Ingredients in supplements are not drugs and may not be foods.
Ellagic Acid Plus is marketed internationally by J. Wood & Associates.  To order Ellagic Acid Plus for your store please call 405-285-7052 or email us at info@myfreenewsletter.com



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