Zinc supplements for immunity, skin and hair
Zinc is found in all of our body cells and plays a key role as a coenzyme in our bodies. The mineral is involved in strengthening the immune system, hair growth and wound healing. After eating, zinc lowers the blood sugar level by producing insulin, and it activates proteins that are responsible for muscle growth. In addition, together with the trace element selenium, zinc protects our nerve cells from damage caused by heavy metals.
How can I receive enough zinc daily?
In a healthy person, two to three grammes of zinc are stored in the body. The daily zinc requirement for men and pregnant women is ten grammes, but normally, seven grammes a day is sufficient for an adult woman. If a woman is breastfeeding, she should consume eleven grammes of zinc.
You can meet your daily zinc requirement by eating foods that contain zinc. Various cheeses such as Edam, Emmental and Gouda are good sources of zinc, as are eggs, wheat, lentils and Brazil nuts. However, animal products contain more zinc on average, which is also easier for the body to utilise.
Tip: Combine plant-based and animal sources of zinc – both components form a complex that promotes zinc absorption.
What causes zinc deficiency?
Up to 50 per cent of the world’s population is affected by zinc deficiency. Athletes are particularly affected, as they lose a lot of the coenzyme through sweat – so they should make sure they receive a sufficient amount of zinc. Vegetarians and vegans may also have too little zinc because they do not absorb enough of the vital mineral from animal products. If you are stressed, this can also have a negative effect on your zinc levels.
What are common symptoms of zinc deficiency?
Zinc deficiency can affect the whole body. Children suffer from diarrhoea and severe pneumonia. The following symptoms also indicate a deficiency:
- Brittle nails and hair loss
- Weakness of smell and night blindness
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Weight loss
- Muscle cramps
- Erection problems
Zinc supplements: which form of zinc is best?
Before you buy zinc supplements, you should determine your zinc levels. You can do this by ordering a Mineral Deficiency Test from cerascreen® – this test works in a similar way to a blood test you would take at your doctor’s. If you have a zinc deficiency, you can choose between zinc tablets, zinc capsules and zinc powder – it’s up to you. In order for the zinc supplement to be well absorbed by your body, you should double-check the zinc compound used in the supplement.
According to studies, the following zinc compounds boast great bioavailability, meaning your body can absorb it more easily:
- Zinc histidine (without side effects)
- Zinc picolinate
- Zinc bisglycinate
- Zinc glutonate
- Zinc sulphate
At what time should I take my zinc supplement?
In order to avoid interactions and ensure absorption in the body, it is often also important at what time you take zinc supplements. The compound zinc sulphate, for example, is most effective when taken on an empty stomach. At the same time, large amounts of zinc inhibit the absorption of iron. Zinc supplements can also inhibit the effect of antibiotics, rheumatism medication and other drugs. It is therefore best to take zinc supplements two to three hours after other food supplements, meals and medicines.