Zinc is one of the minerals that are found naturally in our bodies and important for many bodily functions. Zinc is required at a cellular level to help in cell division and also assists in liver function and expediting the healing of wounds. Zinc is also important in the process of how our body metabolized carbohydrates and assists in preventing infections and diseases from taking over the body. It is one of the most important minerals as it assists in regulating the immune system and is very important in brain function. Interestingly enough, one of the most important tasks of zinc within the body is to synthesize DNA.
We need zinc within our body to help regulate our genes as zinc assists in the processes of binding the DNA to create new DNA and how hormones and neurons are released within our body.
We know that zinc is crucial in the development of cells - and one of the most important places within our body that cells develop is within our immune system. Many choose to take zinc supplements as a boost to the immune system, especially during cold and flu season. More than one hundred enzymes within the body, not just the immune system, require zinc to perform their function.
In the average adult human body we will find two to three grams of zinc at any given time. Most of the zinc can be found within the muscle tissue, and in the bone. Most adults will not require zinc supplements should they consume a healthy diet laden with fruits, vegetables and sources of protein.
Males require higher levels of zinc within the body because it is released each time the male ejaculates. Semen contains the highest levels of zinc within the body - and the more sexually active the male, the more zinc that he will require within the body.
Studies have been completed of late that have shown children to be born with natural zinc deficiencies. Apparently the children have been born with a genetic disorder that inhibits the system from transporting zinc throughout the body. Not only do these infants show delayed motor and neurological development, they have shown to have more susceptibility to life threatening infections.
When choosing a diet it is important to consume foods that contain high levels of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies require. Some foods that contain high levels of zinc are; chickpeas, peanut butter, peanuts, cheddar cheese as well as raisins and oranges.
What is the average recommended daily intake of zinc that adults should be consuming? Adult women should have an average of seven milligrams of zinc per day and adult males should be consuming at least nine point five milligrams daily. The risk is higher for women than males of having a zinc deficiency, especially if the women are breastfeeding or malnourished due to an eating disorder. Those receiving intravenous feedings are at a higher risk for zinc deficiency as well.
To lower the risk a good multi vitamin is an essential to good health. Vitamins should only be taken at the recommended daily dose and should not contain levels higher than daily recommended - or zinc overdose can occur, which is toxic to the body. Too much zinc can interfere with how the body processes other minerals, and cause symptoms such as fever, nausea and vomiting.