Zinc , health benefits and sources

Zinc , health benefits and sources

Zinc: role, benefits, dosage, foods,your health,harbouchanews

Zinc is a trace element, present in trace amounts in the body. It plays an important role in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. What are its health benefits? In what foods can you find it? When to supplement How and who?

Definition: what is zinc?

Zinc is a trace element present in the body in very small quantities: in total, the body contains 2 to 4 grams of zinc, 60% of which is in the muscles and 20% in the bones. " It nevertheless plays an important role in many vital enzymatic processes such as DNA synthesis, blood coagulation, immune defenses or growth ", explains Sylvie Suire, dietician nutritionist.

Daily needs

The requirements depend on the factors that can interfere with the absorption of zinc. The Recommended Nutritional Intakes (ANC) are at:

  • Adult man: 12 mg / day
  • Adult women: 10 mg / day
  • Pregnant and lactating women and the elderly: between 15 and 23 mg / day

What is zinc used for?

Zinc is most commonly known for its action on the skin, nails and hair, and for its antioxidant properties against oxidative stress. But its virtues do not end there. It also intervenes in particular at the level:

  • From the immune system by increasing the number of T lymphocytes
  • Wound healing
  • DNA and protein synthesis
  • Insulin metabolism
  • Maintaining bones
  • Development and proper functioning of the nervous system
  • Preservation of taste and smell
  • Prevention of prostate problems
  • From the production of sperm ...

Health benefits

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, zinc helps fight skin problems such as acne , psoriasis or dermatitis . There are thus drugs or food supplements based on zinc indicated for these skin pathologies. It is also an essential element in the synthesis of keratin and collagen, proteins that make up our hair at 95%. Associated with vitamin B6, it gives them resistance, suppleness and shine. And as an antioxidant, zinc helps neutralize free radicals and thus slow eye and skin aging.

In what forms: granions, food supplement ...

On the market, zinc is offered in the form of salts: zinc acetate, zinc citrate, zinc gluconate, zinc lactate, zinc oxide, zinc sulfate . It is often advisable to choose the form "organic salts" rather than "mineral salts". " The preferred form is zinc gluconate sold in pharmacies or in a store specializing in the sale of food supplements. It is a stable form of zinc but also easily assimilated ", continues our interlocutor.

Zinc can also be found in the form of granions , a pharmaceutical composition of trace elements (oligotherapy) which is in the form of a drinkable solution in ampoules. This medication is used as a field treatment to help the body fight acne.

The zinc Oligosol bulbs are used as oligotherapy terrain modifier especially in skin conditions. Zinc is also available in the form of dietary supplements . These products are sold in pharmacies or in shops specializing in the sale of food supplements. Finally, medicines containing zinc, to be swallowed or applied to the skin, are intended to treat acne breakouts.

When to take zinc?

"It is best to take zinc on an empty stomach, because that's when it is best absorbed by the body, " recalls the health professional.

Medicines containing zinc

Finally, medicines containing zinc, to be swallowed or applied to the skin, are marketed to treat acne breakouts (Rubozinc). In oligotherapy, Oligosol zinc ampoules are used as a field modifier, in particular during skin conditions.

Dosage, normal rate: zincemia

A plasma zinc is a measure zinc levels in the blood. Normally, zinc levels in the blood should be 1.25 mg per liter of blood. However, it is quite difficult to measure the zinc insofar as its level varies significantly depending on the food consumed. Hypozincemia (abnormally low zinc levels) is rarely seen except with cirrhosis. Note that a zinc deficiency can cause growth disorders and immune and skin problems, especially with healing defects.

Foods rich in zinc

" The absorption of zinc is very variable (8 to 85%) depending on the food ingested. It is generally higher from products of animal origin than from plant origin ", assures the dietician.

The main animal sources of zinc are: liver, cheese, meat, eggs, fish, cow's milk.

The main vegetable sources of zinc are: whole grains, pulses, oil seeds, fresh vegetables and potatoes.

Lack of zinc

Zinc deficiencies can lead to many problems such as fatigue, developmental disorders, skin conditions (such as acne and eczema) or difficulty in healing. This is because a zinc deficiency weakens the immune system, which is less effective in fighting infections. In addition, a zinc deficiency will also lead to taste and smell disorders as well as sexual disorders with in particular a decrease in fertility in men.

Excess zinc 

The ANCs are 12 mg / day for a man and 10 mg / day for a woman . An excess of zinc is toxic (especially above 150 mg / day). Symptoms such as difficulty speaking, walking, tremors, and digestive disturbances (nausea and vomiting) may occur if you consume too much zinc . In addition, an excess of zinc in the body reduces the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood and prevents the absorption of copper, which is also essential.


  • "Zinc supplements must be ingested at least 2 hours before or after food supplements containing iron, copper or calcium ", insists Sylvie Suire.
  • Taking zinc supplements over a long period of time can lead to reduced immunity and copper deficiency.
  • Beware of foods high in phytic acid (whole grain foods or pulses) can form complexes with zinc which will decrease its absorption and therefore its effectiveness.
  • Zinc supplementation can be helpful for vegetarians.

"No zinc during breastfeeding or pregnancy!"

Contraindications and dangers

Zinc supplements are not recommended in case of allergy or hypersensitivity to zinc. As a precaution, avoid taking zinc during breastfeeding and pregnancy.

Drug interactions

Zinc supplements should be taken at least two hours before or after antibiotics of the cyclin and fluoroquinolone family , treatments for osteoporosis and stomach acidity .

However, zinc supplements are not recommended at the same time as taking any of the following treatments:

  • anticonvulsants;
  • certain vasodilators;
  • oral contraceptives;
  • a diuretic of the thiazide class;
  • hormone replacement therapy;
  • antacids;
  • chelating agents like penicillamine or DTPA

N.B: "In all cases, it is preferable to consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking zinc supplements"

your health

Previous Post Next Post