Zinc and why it is so important in our diet, especially for boys or men

Zinc is one of the most essential minerals in our diet, you do not need a great amount, however, if you are low or deficient then you might need more than the normal quantity to get to the optimum level again. It has been connected to many disorders, including eating disorders and mental wellness, growth, fertility for men and women, and many more that we do not know yet.

The highest source is oysters with 17 to 91 mg per 100g, Crabmeat, down to about 3.8 mg per 100g, liver is up to 3.9 mg, beef and veal similar to liver, eggs is about 1.1 mg per 100g, cheese up to 3.2 mg, legumes cooked very little about 0.6 mg per 100mg, pumpkin seeds is one of the highest after the oysters, is about 7.6mg in 100mg

Zinc in the meat and fish is more bioavailable than from cereals or legumes, it means that it is absorbed better. In pumpkins seeds, if chewed well, it seems to be absorbed well as well.

Zinc functions in the body:

Zinc is an essential mineral for the functions of many enzymes in the body, from 70 to 200 enzymes require zinc functions, including sugar metabolism, lactic acid metabolism and fat metabolism. One of the enzyme that uses zinc is the blood cells and the renal tubule (kidney), one enzyme in the liver uses 4 zinc ions to work at the optimum level, and the enzyme that breaks down alcohol and makes serotonin also uses zinc ions to work at optimum level, as well as the visual cycle and night vision. An enzyme secreted by the pancreas for digestion of protein uses zinc, and zinc deficiency reduces this activity.

One of the other major part of zinc is being essential for the cell antioxidant enzyme that reduces the free radicals. Also, our DNA and RNA uses zinc for their transcript and work,

The above are only few of zinc essential work, there are about 200 and more. Especially if you are vegetarian or pregnant is essential that you either take extra zinc or eat the available sources of zinc in your diet as mentioned above.

Adults needs about 15 mg a day of zinc, if you are pregnant a bit more and children up to 12 needs between 6 to 12 mg, above 12 is the adult size.

I say that boys and men needs it a bit more, because sperm needs more zinc to be made.

Groff J. L., & Gropper S. S. (3rd ed, 1999). Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. Wadsworth. Australia

Author Maria Esposito BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapist – R-Craniosacral therapist

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