What is Zinc?

The mineral zinc is needed for more than 300 enzymes used by the body. These enzymes are responsible for such diverse functions as wound repair, fertility, protein synthesis, cellular reproduction, vision, immunity, and free radical protection.

* Zinc gluconate lozenges shortens the duration of cold symptoms. Taking zinc gluconate lozenges has been reported to halve the number of days cold symptoms are present.

* Zinc inhibits copper absorption, which can cause anemia and lower HDL cholesterol levels. If zinc is going to be taken long-term, copper supplements should also be used.

* Deficiencies are most common in low-income and teenage pregnant women. Supplementation improves pregnancy outcomes for these groups.

* Other common causes of zinc deficiency include alcoholism, sickle cell anemia, malabsorption conditions, and chronic kidney disease.

Chromium is used in great quantity during exercise, as is zinc. Low levels of these nutrients are often seen in the blood after strenuous exercise, and these low levels are often associated with blood sugar fluctuations, decreased energy levels, and slower muscle recovery times.

Zinc deficiency is also seen in many children with ADHD. No studies have been done on the effects of adding zinc supplements to the diet, however.

Zinc is found in high concentration in prostate fluid. When given to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia patients, it has been shown to shrink the prostate’s size.

Zinc has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of cold sores. It is believed to inhibit the replication of the herpes simplex virus, and can be either taken orally or applied topically to existing sores.

Zinc has been shown to help decrease the severity and length of duration of colds. The reason this happens is not clear, but researchers suspect that the zinc inhibits the ability of the virus to bind to body cells.

Zinc deficiencies are common in Type 1 diabetics. Zinc supplements have been shown to lower blood sugar levels in these patients. However, Type 1 diabetics should not supplement with zinc without consulting their health professionals, as supplements may cause an increase in glycosylation.

* Type 2 diabetics also have low zinc levels. They are usually able to take supplements of up to 25 mg daily without any adverse effects.

* Herbs and supplements which are used for treating colds ý echinacea, zinc, Vitamin C ý may also be effective in preventing and treating ear infections.

* Zinc is often deficient with HIV. Supplements often reduce the number of infections acquired by AIDS patients.

* Zinc has potential in the treatment of hypoglycemia.

Zinc supplements appear to increase immune response. Taking zinc lozenges when a cold starts often shortens the duration and severity of the infection. It is unclear whether zinc also acts to prevent infection.