Hailed a wonder supplement by doctors and nutritionists alike, Zinc is a multi-functional vitamin crucial for keeping all areas of our health in check. It supports several bodily functions, most importantly, the immune system, making it the go-to pill for keeping coughs, colds and flu at bay. Because of its incredible immune-boosting powers, zinc is also able to help you recover from active illnesses faster, speed up the healing of wounds and even decrease angry breakouts. Still not sold? Read on to discover all the wondrous benefits of taking a daily dose of zinc…
Speeds up wound healing
“Patients with particularly problematic wounds can benefit from zinc,” explains NHS nurse, Bernadette Davis. “Those who are deficient demonstrate considerably slower healing times and are more likely to suffer from rough skin and lesions.” Continually consuming zinc in a supplement form will make sure levels of the vitamin are maintained and as a result, any cuts or scrapes should heal ASAP.
Supports your immune system
There is ample research showing just how beneficial zinc is for all areas of our immune system. “One of the most notable is a study demonstrating that taking zinc lozenges can reduce the length of a cold,” Bernadette says. Zinc is responsible for breaking down the protein in bacteria and simultaneously boosting the production of T cells. These are white blood cells that protect us from infection and disease. When we have low levels of zinc our T cells become weak and we are less able to ward off illness.” The good news is, the human body only needs small amounts of zinc to function properly, so taking supplements will be more than enough.
Helps fight acne
You may have noticed zinc listed as an ingredient on the backs of blemish busting formulas like targeted treatments and masks. Turns out, its anti-inflammatory abilities make it a pretty decent spot fighting solution. “Zinc has been linked to decreased oil production, which in turn can reduce the formation of new blemishes. It is an antibacterial agent, too. As well as clarifying your complexion it soothes and calms current breakouts,” says Bernadette. If that wasn’t reason enough to add zinc to your routine, certain studies have linked it to lessening other skin conditions such as rosacea, and melasma.
Zinc possesses anti-inflammatory properties, making it a vitamin of choice for maintaining overall bodily health and reducing oxidative stress, as Bernadette explains: “When we are dealing with inflammation, it’s because we are fighting an infection. It is our bodies natural response, but when it continues, it can lead to more serious chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease.” In one study, adults who took 45mg of zinc a day displayed greater reductions in inflammatory markers than the placebo. Another found that zinc supplementation trials decreased infections by 66%. “If someone with a zinc deficiency gets an infection, their immune response can very quickly lead to excessive inflammation,” Bernadette says. “This is why it is important to make sure you are getting enough.”
Helps with some stomach issues
If you’ve got a dodgy stomach, listen up. Zinc may be the magic answer you’ve been searching for… “Research has found zinc to be implicit in decreasing episodes of diarrhoea in children,” Bernadette says. “Those who find themselves continuing to struggle with such stomach issues may find it beneficial to begin taking a daily dose of zinc to help reduce these stomach issues.” Studies have also found that zinc improves the body’s ability to absorb electrolytes and water.”