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Why Zinc is Essential for Women's Health and Well-being

02 July 2024
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The Benefits of Zinc for Women: A Comprehensive Guide

 

Zinc is essential in numerous bodily functions, making it particularly important for women's health. It supports immune function, aids in wound healing, promotes skin health, and is vital for reproductive health. Additionally, zinc helps regulate hormonal balance, supports thyroid function, and contributes to strong bones. Ensuring adequate zinc intake through diet or supplements can significantly enhance overall well-being and address specific health needs unique to women.

This article, backed by scientific evidence, explores the myriad benefits of zinc for women, so if you're a woman reading this, stay with us because this information is for you! 😊

 

The Importance of Zinc

 

Zinc is involved in numerous bodily functions, including immune response, DNA synthesis, wound healing, and cell division. It is also a critical component of over 300 enzymes in the human body, which perform essential biochemical reactions.

 

Benefits of Zinc for Women

 

1. Immune System Support

 

Zinc is known for its immune-boosting properties. It helps develop and function immune cells such as neutrophils and natural killer cells. A robust immune system is vital for women, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, when the body is more susceptible to infections.

 

Reference: [National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Zinc](https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/)

 

2. Skin Health and Wound Healing

 

Zinc plays a critical role in maintaining healthy skin. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it is often used in topical treatments for acne, eczema, and other skin conditions. Zinc also accelerates wound healing by promoting collagen synthesis and cellular repair mechanisms.

 

Reference: [Dermatology Research and Practice - Zinc Therapy in Dermatology](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120804/)

 

3. Reproductive Health

 

Zinc is essential for reproductive health. It supports hormone production and regulation, crucial for menstrual health and fertility. Adequate zinc levels are necessary for foetal development during pregnancy, reducing the risk of preterm birth and congenital anomalies.

 

Reference: [The Journal of Nutrition - Zinc and Reproductive Health](https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/130/5/1399S/4686484)

 

4. Bone Health

 

Osteoporosis is a significant concern for women, particularly those who are post-menopausal. Zinc contributes to bone health by stimulating bone formation and mineralization. It helps in the synthesis of bone matrix proteins and enhances the activity of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells).

 

Reference:[Osteoporosis International - The Role of Zinc in Bone Health](https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00198-005-2030-2)

 

5. Mental Health and Cognitive Function

 

Zinc is involved in neurotransmitter function and brain health. It also plays a role in mood regulation and cognitive functions, which is particularly important for women who may experience hormonal fluctuations that affect their mental well-being.

 

Reference: [Biological Psychiatry - Zinc and Neurotransmitter Activity](https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006322309014920)

 

6. Menstrual Health

 

Zinc can help alleviate symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as cramps, mood swings, and bloating. Its anti-inflammatory properties and role in hormone regulation make it beneficial for managing menstrual discomfort.

 

Reference: [Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics - Zinc and Menstrual Health](https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jhn.12392)

 

7. Hair and Nail Health

 

Zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss and brittle nails. Adequate zinc intake supports keratin production, essential for maintaining healthy hair and nails.

 

Reference: [The Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology - Zinc and Hair Health](https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0946672X11000372)

 

8. Thyroid Health

Zinc is crucial for thyroid health as it aids in the production and regulation of thyroid hormones. It supports the conversion of T4 to the active T3 hormone, ensuring proper metabolic function and protecting the gland from oxidative stress.

 Reference: [National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Zinc](https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/)

We will soon be publishing a blog about zinc and the thyroid specifically so please stay tuned for this one.

 

Sources of Zinc

 

Zinc can be obtained from a variety of dietary sources, including:

 

  • Animal products: Red meat, organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart, poultry, and seafood (especially oysters, which have the highest zinc content). You might like Perfectly Primal™ Beef Multi-organs, as this product contains beef liver, kidney, heart, spleen, pancreas, and brain. Perfectly Primal™ Beef Multi-organs is one of the best natural multivitamins/multi-mineral, bar none!
  • Plant-based sources: Include beans, nuts, seeds (like pumpkin seeds), whole grains, and leaves, such as the guava leaf. See our guava leaf supplement recommendation below.
  • Supplements: Perfect Organic ZinCerola™ is a perfect blend of natural plant-based zinc from organic guava leaves and also whole food natural vitamin C from organic acerola cherries
  • Fortified foods: Breakfast cereals and dairy products

 

Reference: [Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Zinc](https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/zinc/)

 

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

 

The RDA for zinc varies by age and physiological status. The recommended daily intake for adult women is 8 mg, which increases to 11 mg during pregnancy and 12 mg during breastfeeding.

 

Reference: [NIH Office of Dietary Supplements - Zinc Fact Sheet](https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/)

 

Potential Risks and Considerations

While zinc is essential, excessive intake can lead to adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, and headaches. Chronic high doses can interfere with copper absorption and lead to copper deficiency. It is essential to stay within the recommended limits unless advised otherwise by a healthcare professional.

 

Side note: it is less likely you will overdose on zinc if you eat a whole-food diet that includes zinc-rich foods like the ones above. It is easier to overdose on when taking a synthetic zinc supplement.

 

Reference: [Mayo Clinic - Zinc]

(https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-zinc/art-20366112)

 

Conclusion

Zinc is a powerhouse mineral with numerous benefits for women's health, from boosting the immune system to supporting reproductive health and maintaining skin integrity. If necessary, ensuring adequate zinc intake through a balanced diet and supplements can help women achieve optimal health and well-being.

 

References:

1. [National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Zinc](https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/)

2. [Dermatology Research and Practice - Zinc Therapy in Dermatology](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120804/)

3. [The Journal of Nutrition - Zinc and Reproductive Health](https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/130/5/1399S/4686484)

4. [Osteoporosis International - The Role of Zinc in Bone Health](https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00198-005-2030-2)

5. [Biological Psychiatry - Zinc and Neurotransmitter Activity](https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006322309014920)

6. [Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics - Zinc and Menstrual Health](https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jhn.12392)

7. [The Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology - Zinc and Hair Health](https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0946672X11000372)

8. [Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Zinc](https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/zinc/)

9. [NIH Office of Dietary Supplements - Zinc Fact Sheet](https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/)

10. [Mayo Clinic - Zinc](https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-zinc/art-20366112)

 

Disclaimer: These are only potential benefits. This article is purely intended for informational purposes and not as advice. One must seek proper professional advice from their trusted health practitioner.

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