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Health Benefits of Zinc

What is it?
Zinc is a chemical element that is essential, in small amounts, to maintaining a healthy body. Zinc is used by the body in a number of ways including maintaining your immune system, supporting growth and development, regulating cellular metabolism, wound healing, and regulating proper senses of taste and smell. Zinc is a considered an “essential trace element” in human growth and development. If you are not getting enough zinc in your diet, zinc supplements can be a key alternative in maintaining proper zinc levels.

Health Benefits
Zinc is important in nearly every aspect of your life. It is required in the catalyzing close to 100 different chemical reactions at the cellular level so getting the right amount of zinc in your system daily is key. Managing daily zinc intake is also key because the human body does not have any specialized zinc storage system.Zinc and Health
If you are trying to lose or gain weight through strenuous excercise, zinc supplements can be very important as athletes are at higher risk of zinc deficiency. Zinc is fundamental in catalyzing the chemical reactions that occur during physical activity and exercise. The recommended daily allowance, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements is 11 milligrams (mg) for men 14 years and older and 8-9 mg for women 14 and older. If your daily zinc intake is low or you are spending a lot of time in the gym losing or gaining weight, it is extremely important to take zinc supplements to avoid zinc deficiency. The symptoms of zinc deficiency include growth retardation, loss of appetite, impaired immune function, hair loss, taste and smell abnormality, and improper wound healing. Zinc deficiency has very serious consequences and symptoms and can be easily avoided.

Where can I get it?
Zinc is present in nearly everything you eat. Oysters are a great source of zinc, yielding, on average, over 10 mg of zinc per oyster. While oysters are an anomaly, beef, poultry, pork, cereal, and dairy products are all good sources of zinc. Zinc supplements can also be bought over the counter at any nutritional or supplement retailer or online.
If you are planning to spend a lot of time in the gym or plan to maintain a healthy lifestyle with lots of strenuous exercise it is highly recommended that you supplement your normal diet with zinc tablets. As noted before, zinc is vital to the processes involved in physical activity and without the proper zinc intake, your body will suffer from zinc deficiency.

Warnings and Side effects
Zinc is safe to take as long as you do not exceed over 40 mg a day. Taking more than 100 mg of supplemental zinc is extremely unhealthy and dangerous for both your short term and long term health as it nearly doubles the risk of getting prostate cancer.

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