All about Zinc!

When I say zinc, I am sure the first thing that comes to mind is “cold treatment”. While that is true, zinc is an important and often overlooked mineral; having a role in many functions in our bodies. With the onset of cold and flu season, we should be reminded of the importance of maintaining adequate stores of zinc. It is the tenth most common trace mineral, and is becoming increasingly deficient in our diet.
Zinc is vital for growth and development, sexual maturation and reproduction, night vision adaption, taste and smell, insulin storage and release, as well as in the development of neutrophils and natural killer cells, the components of our immune system.
Mild zinc deficiency is common. Older adults are more prone, but it can occur in everyone. Deficiency signs include decreased growth, immune system dysfunction, hair loss, infertility, and fatigue. We know that the best way to get zinc is from our diet. Those that have diets lacking in red meat and high in fiber, have a double risk of becoming zinc deficient. Red meat and oysters have the highest concentration of zinc. While the fiber from nuts, grains, and seeds interfere with zinc absorption. Chronic caffeine and coffee consumption decrease absorption within the body. Even things not related to our diet affect zinc. Medications like antacids, birth control, diuretics, and antibiotics all deplete zinc. High stress, alcohol use and smoking continually deplete the reserves of zinc in our body. Zinc must be replenished on a daily basis. Even if you take a multivitamin/mineral complex, extra supplementation is usually necessary.
There is a quick and easy way to figure out if you are deficient in zinc. Stop in and take our Zinc Challenge today. Feel free to contact me with any questions at brandig@keystonepharm.com.

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