If you’re familiar with the various vitamins and minerals that our bodies require to stay both happy and healthy, you may have already heard a little bit about the essential mineral: zinc.

Zinc is a nutrient that’s naturally found in the body. While it’s known to play critical roles in helping the immune system and metabolism function, there are a number of other benefits of zinc that are worth knowing more about.

Some of the main benefits of zinc include:

  • Improve immune system
  • Helps with wound healing
  • Can help in treating acne
  • Helps fight inflammation

How does zinc help your body?


Zinc is a nutrient that is found throughout the body that plays many vital roles and with these roles come plenty of benefits.

Here’s what to know about the benefits of zinc.


Improve immune system


Zinc is important for keeping our immune systems healthy, strong, and functioning. It plays a vital role in the normal development and functioning of cells and our immune systems essentially need zinc to do their job - this is why a zinc deficiency can lead to a weakened immune system [1].

See also: Can You Strenghten Your Immune System?


Helps with wound healing


According to the National Institutes of Health, zinc helps keep the skin stay healthy [2]. In fact, zinc is sometimes used to treat burns or skin ulcers - though this is typically only if the individual has low zinc levels.


Can help in treating acne


Previous studies have shown that zinc can be successfully used to treat mild to moderate acne which is likely why a number of a range of medications used for acne include zinc [3]. Zinc helps by reducing inflammation and suppress any ‘oily gland’ activity.


Helps fight inflammation


As well as it’s many other important benefits, zinc can also help in fighting inflammation. Zinc is involved in controlling and decreasing oxidative stress and regulating certain inflammatory proteins in the body.

The above is essentially why there is a strong relationship between inflammation and zinc deficiency.

See also: How do You Reduce Inflammation in The Body?


How much zinc do you need?


Following a varied, balanced, and healthy diet is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the right amount of zinc.

The recommended daily intake of zinc is:

  • 9.5 mg per day for men
  • 7 mg per day for women

Should I take zinc supplements?


Before considering supplements, do some research into the plenty of zinc-rich foods that you can start adding into your daily diet, these include:

  • Red meat
  • Shellfish
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Dairy foods
  • Breakfast cereals or cereal products

It’s important to note that you should only consider zinc supplements if your zinc levels are particularly low and/or if you have a zinc deficiency.

Those who are at particular risk of developing a zinc deficiency include:

  • Those following a vegan or vegetarian diet
  • People with digestive or gastrointestinal disorders
  • Pregnant women
  • People with sickle cell disease/anemia

One of the most reliable ways to know more about your zinc levels is through a test.

See also: Top Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Vegans


If you’re curious about your zinc levels, it’s important to get tested! This can be done with your local doctor or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s Mineral Test allows you to measure key nutrient levels and identify potential imbalances in magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.

You should consider taking the test if:

  • You follow a vegetarian or vegan diet
  • You have recently excluded a particular food group from your diet
  • You have a condition that may impact the absorption of minerals
  • You are taking medications that impact the absorption of some minerals

References

  1. National Insitutes of Health. Zinc. Online: Ods.od.nih.gov
  2. National Insitutes of Health. Zinc. Online: Ods.od.nih.gov
  3. National Library of Medicine. Innovative uses for zinc in dermatology. Online: Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov