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Health benefits of Zinc

Zinc contributes to many aspects of your overall health. Over the years studies have proved that small amounts of this necessary ?trace element? are essential either in the form or zinc supplements or foods containing zinc. Perhaps the most widely known benefit of zinc intake is the way it fortifies the immune system and aids in the building of 100 different enzymes to protect the body from sickness and decay, but there is more.

Research suggests that zinc is likely effective in treating and preventing the following cases:

  • Zinc deficiency: Zinc can be used to prevent and treat blood levels of zinc that are too low. This sort of deficiency may occur in cases like severe diarrhoea, conditions that make it difficult for the bowel to absorb food, liver cirrhosis and alcoholism, after major surgery, and during long-term use of tube feeding in the hospital. Taking zinc by mouth or intravenously (by IV) may help to restore zinc levels. But remember as a rule, that routine use of zinc supplements is not advised.
  • Reducing diarrhoea in malnourished children, or those who have low zinc levels.
  • Treating Wilson's disease
  • Decreasing the length of time a common cold will last, when taken by mouth. However, studies suggest that use of zinc as a pill of a nose spray may not help prevent colds.
  • Acne: When taken by mouth or applied to the skin in an ointment, zinc has been known to help clear up acne.
  • Osteoporosis: Studies suggest that a low zinc intake seems to be linked to lower bone mass. Taking zinc supplements in combination with copper, manganese, and calcium might decrease bone loss in women who have passed menopause. Consult your doctor or healthcare expert about which supplements you should be using simultaneously if you have osteoporosis.
  • Eye disease and age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Zinc taken by mouth in combination with antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene) may help slow the worsening of advanced age-related macular degeneration.
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): When taken by mouth in combination with conventional treatment, zinc might help to improve the symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and socialisation problems. It does not, however, improve attention span.
  • Treating acrodermatitis enteropathica
  • Treating leprosy, when used along with other medications
  • Treating herpes simplex virus: When zinc preparations made for the skin are applied directly to the mouth or the genitals you may be able to treat herpes simplex virus.
  • Promoting weight gain in people with eating disorder and anorexia nervosa
  • Improving depression
  • Treating hypogeusia (a rare condition where sense of taste is abnormal)
  • Preventing and treating stomach ulcers
  • Preventing complications that are related to sickle cell anaemia in individuals with low zinc levels
  • Treating leg wounds in individuals with low zinc levels
  • Preventing tartar and gingivitis: Most mouthwashes and toothpastes contain trace amounts of zinc to help prevent the build-up of tartar and gingivitis.
  • Improving the healing of burns
  • Increasing vitamin A levels in malnourished children or children with low zinc levels
  • Preventing and treating pneumonia in undernourished children in developing countries

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