This Is What Zinc Does For Your Body

Zinc is a mineral that plays a vital role in your body. Here's why it's important.

According to WebMD, zinc is considered an "essential trace element" because our bodies do not need large amounts to survive. Our bodies also don't create zinc naturally, so it must be consumed through food. Zinc can be found in poultry, fish, and red meat. It can also be found in supplements.

This nutrient is essential for many functions in the body. Zinc is necessary for "proper growth and maintenance of the human body" and is found in multiple systems. It helps with immune system function, blood clotting, healing wounds, thyroid function, and more. It is also important for vision. Low zinc levels can lead to many health issues, including male infertility, HIV, depression, and type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of a zinc deficiency can include loss of appetite, reduced sense of taste and smell, hair loss, irritability, diarrhea, and nausea.

The benefits of zinc are still being explored

Scientists are still studying the many effects of zinc. According to Healthline, zinc may reduce the risk of developing certain diseases like pneumonia and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It can also help reduce inflammation in the body, which may reduce the effects of acne on the face and body. Reducing inflammation can also reduce the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and mental decline.

Even though zinc is very important for the body, it can cause negative side effects when taken in excess. Symptoms of ingesting too much zinc can include vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, cramps, headaches, poor immune health, and decreased levels of good cholesterol.

Adult men should not take more than 11 mg of zinc per day and adult women should not take more than 8 mg per day. Pregnant women should take about 11 mg per day and breastfeeding women should take 12 mg per day. Talk to your doctor before taking a zinc supplement to make sure you don't begin taking more than you need.