Zinc: Essential for Every Body

Zinc is second to iron as the most common mineral in the human body and it’s found in every cell, making it vital to the health and wellbeing of children and adults. Zinc plays an indispensable role in hundreds of biochemical reactions including those that support the development and the health of the blood, skin, muscles, and hormones. Zinc also supports optimal function of the nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system.

Zinc is present in a great variety of foods, such as eggs, seeds, nuts, dry beans, red meat, miso, dark turkey meat, dark leafy greens, and scallops. However, because there is evidence of mineral depletion in soils around the world, your holistic health practitioner may recommend a trace mineral supplement. A zinc supplement might also be recommended for people with a medical condition that affects absorption. Medical researchers are looking at how the body utilizes zinc and whether or not taking zinc can improve treatment for Celiac Disease, diabetes, thyroid function, heart disease, and other health concerns. In other research, a connection exists between taking certain forms of zinc and a reduction in the number of colds in a year, the number of missed school days, and the amount of antibiotics required in otherwise healthy children.

A person’s need for supplemental zinc varies based on age, gender, and other health factors. There are several forms of zinc, but not all are appropriate for every person. For some people, zinc supplements can cause upset stomach or interfere with the actions of other medications. Also, taking too much zinc can have a toxic effect. Consult with your natural medicine practitioner before starting a zinc supplement.


  • Taitelbaum, J. “Fall into Wellness.” Good Health Lifestyles (Oct 2017) print. pp. 23-24.
  • Murray, M.T. & Joseph Pizzorno, The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (3rd Ed.) 2012. Atria/ Simon & Schuster, Inc: NY, NY.
  • University of Maryland Alternative Medicine Resources. Accessed 6 Feb 2018: https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/zinc
  • Zinc & Fighting the Common Cold: Differences Found in Adults and Children http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/07/us-zinc-commoncold-idUSBRE8460RG20120507
  • Dietary Reference Intakes For Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. https://www.nap.edu/read/10026/chapter/1#xv
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