For a responsible Vitamin and Food Supplement retailer there are often well known health benefits to the supplements that we sell, however, we are often unable to state what they are due to tight regulations (not all UK retailers abide by these!).
There are however times when we can give you approved information on what a supplement is good for/used for. Zinc has a role to play in a large number of processes in the body, these benefits and roles are approved with the EU Register on nutrition and health claims.
- Normal DNA synthesis and cell division
Our body must make new cells all the time, the first process of this is to copy the DNA from a host cell. Zinc plays an important part in the smooth operation of this process.
- Normal acid-base metabolism
The body is very sensitive to its pH level, so strong mechanisms exist to maintain it - acid-base metabolism is the process in the body concerning maintaining the proper balance between acids and chemicals to stabilise our pH levels.
- Normal carbohydrate metabolism
Carbohydrate metabolism is the biochemical process responsible for the formation, breakdown and interconversion of carbohydrates in the body. A prime example is the breakdown of glucose in the body so that it can be used for energy.
- Normal cognitive function
The highest concentrations of brain zinc are found among the neurons of the hippocampus that control the high functions of learning and memory.
- Normal fertility and reproduction
Without Zinc, your cells can not divide properly and your estrogen and progesterone levels can get out of balance. A woman’s body needs a certain amount of Zinc to produce mature eggs that are ripe for fertilisation.
- Normal macronutrient metabolism
Macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein and fat. They are needed by our body as energy sources, Zinc helps to break macronutrients down to be processed and utilised by the body.
- Normal metabolism of fatty acids
Essential Fatty Acids are important in Zinc absorption and Zinc is also necessary for at least two stages in Essential Fatty Acid metabolism.
- Normal metabolism of Vitamin A
Zinc influences several aspects of Vitamin A metabolism, including its absorption, transport, and utilisation by the body.
- Normal testosterone concentrations
Having ample Zinc available in the body allows for a more robust release of the three most important anabolic hormones, testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1.
- Maintenance of normal bones
Zinc does approximately the same thing Calcium does, but it creates a stronger bond than Calcium which helps produce hard bones.
- Maintenance of normal hair
Insufficient zinc levels may result in loss of hair, hair that looks thin and dull and that goes grey early. There are also a number of shampoos which contain zinc to help prevent dandruff.
- Maintenance of normal nails
Zinc is essential to collagen production which contributes to healthy nails.
- Maintenance of normal skin
Zinc accelerates the renewal of the skin cells. Zinc creams are used for babies to soothe diaper rash and to heal cuts and wounds.
- Maintenance of normal testosterone levels in the blood
Zinc deficiency has been shown to lower testosterone levels in the blood.
- Maintenance of normal vision
High concentrations of zinc are found in the retina. With age the retinal zinc declines which seems to play a role in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
- Zinc contributes to the normal function of the immune system
Zinc helps to slow down the body's normal immune response and limits the amount of inflammation stopping the process of infection from getting out of hand.
- Zinc contributes to the protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage
It has antioxidant properties and protects tissue from oxidative damage from free-radicals.
- Zinc has a role in the process of DNA synthesis, protein synthesis and cell division
Protein synthesis is one of the most fundamental biological processes by which individual cells build their specific proteins. DNA synthesis is the natural creation of DNA molecules. When a cell divides, both daughter cells need identical DNA to function properly. In order to get two indentical sets of DNA the parent cell makes an extra copy before splitting.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.