Zinc is an essential mineral essential for the maintenance of reproductive health. Good zinc foods consist of egg yolks, fish, legumes, sardines, seafood, whole grains, soybeans, meats, liver and poultry. Zinc supplements also offer easily absorbed and utilized forms of the mineral like zinc picolinate and zinc gluconate.
Zinc levels in the body may be reduced by diarrhea, kidney disorders, liver cirrhosis, diabetes or excessive fiber intake. Phytates found in legumes and whole grains are capable of binding to zinc, interfering with its absorption. Zinc deficiency symptoms include impaired sense of taste and smell, brittle nails, acne breakout, delayed sexual development, retarded growth, impotence, infertility and delayed healing process.
Zinc maintains the healthy functions of the prostate gland for overall reproductive health. It also combats acne breakouts by regulating the oil glands. Additionally, the mineral helps in the synthesis of proteins and the formation of collagen. Consequently, zinc promotes healthy hair, skin and nails. Furthermore, it facilitates wound healing and maintains a healthy immune system. Zinc also promotes an improved sense of taste and smell.
Zinc offers potent antioxidant protection. It constitutes many important enzymes like insulin and superoxide dismutase (SOD) which combats free radical formation. Zinc supplement, plus vitamin E and vitamin C give a powerful antioxidant activity to the body when used together.
Excessive zinc intake (over 100mg per day) can slow or depress the functions of the immune system. This mineral also has an antagonistic effect on iron.
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