It is commonly known that zinc and health go hand in hand, and it offers many benefits to our body. Many supplements and cold medications boast that their high zinc content will improve your immune system and fight sickness. While studies show this can be true, there are many other, less well known health benefits of zinc. Here are 4 ways zinc contributes to your health.
1. Improved Male Fertility
Zinc is vital in the production of healthy sperm. It protects the DNA inside the reproductive cells and helps prevent their breakdown. While still in the male body, zinc acts as a sort of tranquilizer for the sperm, preventing them from expending too much energy. When the sperm enters the female reproductive tract, the zinc quickly dissipates, allowing a burst of energy to help propel the sperm to its goal of fertilization. Healthy zinc levels also help sperm maintain the enzymes needed to penetrate an ovum during that fertilization.
2. Improved Sense of Smell and Taste
Taste and smell are closely related. The cells responsible for both are zinc-reliant, as are the proteins that the body uses to grow those cells. Both taste buds and olfactory cells are specialized cells that are dependent on zinc for their growth and maintenance. Studies have shown that raising a person's zinc intake can heighten their senses of taste and smell. This is mostly beneficial for people with mild to severe zinc deficiencies.
3. Healing Wounds
The main job of zinc is to help your white blood cells, your bodies natural infection-fighters, to do their job. This includes skin infections that result from wounds. Zinc is used to treat many skin wounds, including bed sores, skin ulcers, cold sores, canker sores, surgical incisions and burns. Besides fighting infections, zinc is also important in your body's production of the connective tissue collagen. It is also supports the enzymes that allow your flesh to heal.
4. Increased Brain Activity
Zinc is key to high cognitive function in more than one way. Studies have shown that consuming zinc increases cognition and memory. First, the mineral teams with vitamin b6 to ensure that neurotransmitters in your brain properly function. Also, high concentrations of zinc are found in the mossy fiber system of the hippocampus, which is the brain's center of thought and memory. Supplemental zinc can be especially useful to improve the cognition of people recovering from injury, as the body diverts zinc from the brain to help heal bodily trauma.
Zinc is extremely necessary to your good health. It contains many hidden health benefits and is essential to the smooth running of almost every aspect of the human body. For optimum health, make sure zinc is a daily part of your diet.