Ingredient Spotlight: Zinc

Zinc has been a popular topic these days, and for good reason! Let’s dive into the research. Firstly, zinc is an element that has long been known to be essential for health. Zinc is supported by research when it comes to the immune system and more specifically viruses. Studies show that even mild zinc deficiency can significantly impair immune function.

In one study looking at immune function in children, zinc supplementation at a dose of 15mg/day, which was increased to 30mg/day in the event of a cold, decreased the incidence of colds and reduced the number of missed school days.[i] Supplementation has also been shown to decrease the duration of a cold. In clinical trials, zinc supplementation in school children at a dose of 13mg per day increased to a dose of 53mg/ day in the event of a cold, decreased the duration of a cold from an average of 9 to 7 days.[ii]

Zinc is particularly important for innate immunity. The mineral plays a key role in our broad first line of defense, supporting the role of macrophages, neutrophils and Natural Killer cells.[iii]  Other known roles include roles as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.[iv]

Clearly zinc plays a critical role in human health but more specifically supports the immune system. Zinc Supreme™ contains zinc bisglycinate, a highly bioavailable form of zinc combined with key cofactors including Vitamin B6, taurine, vitamin B2, malic acid and molybdenum.

Looking to get zinc through your diet? Animal products are the best source (grass-fed beef or seafood are both great options), but don’t be concerned if you are a vegetarian! You can also reach for pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds or legumes. Soaking or sprouting your seeds & legumes is a great way to unlock even more of the nutrients!

[i] Kurugol Z, Akilli M, Bayram N, Koturoglu G. The prophylactic and therapeutic effectiveness of zinc sulphate on common cold in children. Acta Paediatr 2006;95:1175-1181.
[ii] McElroy BH, Miller SP. Effectiveness of zinc gluconate glycine lozenges (Cold-Eeze) against the common cold in school-aged subjects: a retrospective chart review. Am J Ther 2002;9:472-475.
[iii] Prasad AS. Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells. Mol Med. 2008 May-Jun; 14(5-6): 353–357.
[iv] Wessels I, Maywald M, Rink L. Zinc as a Gatekeeper of Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017 Dec; 9(12): 1286.

Meaghan McCollum

Dr. Meaghan McCollum is a strong advocate of integrative healthcare and evidence based medicine. She is qualified in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease, sports medicine, allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, hormonal imbalance, and stress and fatigue. She strives to help you make informed decisions about your health and well being.

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