Minerals and why we need them
Zinc RDA 15mg.
The mineral zinc is present in every part of the body and has a wide range of functions. It helps with the healing of wounds and is a vital component of many enzyme reactions. Zinc is vital for the healthy working of many of the body's systems. It is particularly important for healthy skin, healthy immune system and digestive system. It is also essential for healthy tissue regeneration, controlling blood sugar and resistance to infection.
It plays a crucial role in growth and cell division where it is required for protein and DNA synthesis, in insulin activity, in the metabolism of the ovaries and testes, and in liver function. As a component of many enzymes, zinc is involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and energy.
Our body contains about 2-3g of zinc. There are no specific storage sites known for zinc and so a regular supply in the diet is required. Particularly high concentrations are in the prostate gland and semen. Men need more zinc than women because male semen contains 100 times more zinc than is found in the blood. The more sexually active a man is, the more zinc he will require. The recommended amounts of zinc for adult men are 1/3 higher than those for women.
Zinc is an essential component of over 200 different enzymes and works together in the body with vitamin B6 (zinc increases B6 absorption) and vitamin E. Zinc deficiency may intensify vitamin E deficiency and thereby increase the requirement for vitamin E. Zinc can be considered the traffic policeman of the body, if zinc is missing, things don't move where and when they should.Zinc's Role within the nervous system
Zinc is widely distributed in the central nervous system and is also present in the synapses of the auditory system. Studies undertaken to investigate the effectiveness of zinc as a treatment for tinnitus have shown promising results; however, at the time of writing the results are not conclusive.
In the brain, zinc released into the synaptic cleft acts on glutamate and GABA neurons. A study suggests that zinc enhances GABA release through the receptors of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a horseshoe shaped sheet of neurons located within the temporal lobes of the brain. It is responsible for the consolidation of new memories, emotions, navigation, and spatial orientation. Zinc seems to be an inhibitory neuromodulator of glutamate release.Symptoms associated with zinc deficiency
Acne - boils - poor wound healing - psoriasis - stretch marks - brittle coarse hair - dandruff - white spots on nails - night blindness - lost sense of taste and smell - canker sores - sexual problems - enlarged prostate - irregular menstruation - sterility - poor growth - body and breath odour - nausea poor circulation - cold extremities - diabetes - tendency to develop gastric and duodenal ulcers - inflammation of the intestines - joint pains - hyperactivity - learning disorder - schizophrenia - loss of appetite - multiple allergies.Best food sources
Shellfish - fish - meats - brewer's yeast - liver - hard cheese - eggs.