Zinc is an important nutrient for a wide variety of functions within your body. Why is this is so?

It plays several different roles in your body, including as a catalyst, helping with structural integrity and helping regulate different processes.

If you are ill or injured, zinc demands increase and it becomes important to make sure you have this sufficient nutrient supplies to meet the increased demand. This is because your body will redirect the zinc it has to areas where it is most needed.

Roles of Zinc

What exactly does zinc do in your body? It is an important component of a wide range of your body’s functions. The main areas where it is used include:

  • The breakdown and absorption of your food as it is involved in the action of the enzymes that help with digestion
  • Helps to promote your sense of taste
  • Supports DNA replication and transcription
  • Helps regulate and differentiate your cells as they grow
  • Supports immune function as it helps activate your T-lymphocytes and increases the cytotoxicity of your natural killer cells
  • Supports your metabolism and the breakdown of carbohydrates
  • A cofactor for several of the antioxidants your body makes, helping with your defence against oxidative stress
  • Helps support cardiovascular health

Deficiency and Dosage

When you are low in zinc, your body tells you in different ways.

You will often experience a loss of appetite and a poor sense of taste. You may get sick more easily as your immune function will be impaired. Additionally, you might develop scaling skin lesions if your zinc levels are low enough.

To keep your zinc levels from falling too low, it is recommended that men consume 14mg per day and women consume 8mg per day.

Zinc is often linked to protein, making it important for you to consume enough of this nutrient.

The best sources of this nutrient are meat, which contains 2-3g of per 100g. Plant foods are poorer sources.

If you are a vegetarian, breastfeeding, or pregnant, your zinc intake might need to be supplemented as you have higher needs.

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Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   She began studying Naturopathy when she was 18 years old and has practiced in both Melbourne and rural Victoria.  She has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as […]

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Nicki Stewart

Nicki has always been drawn to Holistic Health and she follows in her mother’s footsteps who is a Reflexologist and Natural Therapist. Nicki was inspired to study Herbal Medicine after attending one of Dr. Sandi Rogers’ (Naturopath, Director of National College of Traditional Medicine and former President of Australian Traditional Medicine Society) seminars on ‘Fruits […]

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Alyce Beaton

Alyce is qualified naturopath in Ballarat who loves supporting people on their health journey. Alyce believes optimising and restoring health first and foremost begins with food as medicine and creating healthy lifestyle habits. She is passionate about providing a safe, non judgement environment and endeavours to support her clients with strategies they can implement into […]

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