Aussies Need to Take More Zinc: Here's Why
When it comes to the wide slate of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals we need to take daily, some important ones inevitably get lost in the shuffle. Zinc is among them. This trace mineral is necessary for many of the bodily functions we take for granted, yet we hardly hear anything about it in the press.
It helps fight off free radicals, is needed for the production of many hormones, and assists in proper immune system function. Yet, 67% of men and 85% of women in Australia don't get enough zinc.
It bolsters our resistance to infections
Nothing wrecks our plans quite like coming down with a nasty cold. This infection keeps us from being productive at work and socialising with friends and family, all while making us feel like a miserable mess of mucus.
There are many ways to reduce your chances of developing this inconvenient illness – taking zinc is among the easiest. When you supplement your diet with this mineral, it actively interferes with the cold's ability to attach to cells in your nasal passages.
In short, taking zinc makes it tougher for these viruses to take hold, and supplementing it during a cold can greatly reduce the duration of its worst symptoms.
It helps reduce the risk of developing various cancers
No disease in the world is feared more than cancer. The lifetime risk of contracting it is roughly 50%, and with five-year survival rates being dismally low for some variants, it is easy to understand the dread patients feel when confronted with this disease.
Faced with such scary odds, we must do everything we can to stave off the development of cancer. Quitting smoking, being physically active, and eating clean are all positive steps we can all take in this quest, but the supplementation of zinc can also play a big role.
Zinc helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation – two prominent catalysts in the development of cancer. Were you to suffer the misfortune of contracting this dreaded disease, zinc can also help improve your chances of a long-term positive outcome by disrupting tumor growth, inducing the death of cancer cells, and increasing the production of cytokines, which reduce harmful inflammation.
It helps to maintain a healthy circulatory system
Heart disease is another common cause of premature death among Australians. With over 45,000 deaths attributed to this condition in 2015, there are few families which haven't been hit by this killer.
While poor diet and inactivity are major drivers of the plaque formation which cause high blood pressure and cardiac arrest, failing to consume enough zinc compounds these problems. The endothelial cells lining blood vessels need enough of this mineral to counteract inflammation and oxidative stress caused by certain foods.
Without enough zinc, blood vessels will puff up and narrow over time, increasing the odds you will eventually suffer a heart attack. By embracing an active lifestyle and a clean diet along with the habitual supplementation of zinc, you can keep your blood vessels free of the plaque and inflammation which leads to heart disease.
It helps to improve fertility
Having trouble starting that family you've always wanted? How fertile you are hinges on the consistent production of reproductive hormones, in which zinc plays a key role. The supplementation of zinc in men suffering from low levels of serum testosterone has been shown to increase levels of this hormone, increasing libido and sperm count.
Female reproductive health also benefits from the supplementation of zinc, as consuming enough of this mineral helps to keep estrogen and progesterone production robust. These hormones play a critical part in the creation of eggs and the process of ovulation – by taking enough zinc, you'll ensure your menstrual cycles run smoothly from month-to-month.
Are you part of the above group? Here's why you'll want to get more of this powerhouse mineral.