by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Although it’s not as widely discussed as other vitamins and minerals, zinc is essential for health and well-being. Adequate levels of this trace mineral are necessary for optimal immune function, vision, prostate health, and skin health. Other benefits of zinc include its roles in wound healing, learning and memory, and proper functioning of many hormones, including thymus hormones, insulin,
Unfortunately, marginal zinc deficiencies are quite common, and are reflected by an increased susceptibility to infection, poor wound healing, decreased sense of taste or smell, and skin problems such as acne,
Let’s take a closer look at some of the varied benefits of zinc.
Benefits of Zinc: Optimal Immune FunctionVitamin C is usually the first supplement people reach for when they want to boost their
Zinc is also protective against cancer. Women who supplemented with zinc for a decade or more had half the risk of developing breast cancer as women who did not take supplements. This may be due in part to zinc’s unique ability to ameliorate the carcinogenic effects of cadmium, a heavy metal found in
Zinc for the Common ColdSpeaking of optimal immune function, some studies have found that zinc can reduce a cold’s length and severity, while others have declared it to be ineffective. Fortunately, two recent meta-analyses help confirm that treating the common cold is among the many benefits of zinc.
Finnish researchers analyzed all of the placebo-controlled trials examining the effects of zinc supplements on colds and found that in the trials using daily doses of 75 mg or more, the duration of symptoms was reduced by an average of 42 percent.
Likewise, a Cochrane review of 15 trials found that cold duration and severity were reduced if zinc was taken within the first 24 hours of symptom onset. What’s more, the same review found that daily, 10–15 mg doses of zinc taken for five months or longer actually helped prevent colds in children.
At the first sign of a cold, I suggest you