Zinc is an essential trace element that only recently came to light as important for human nutrition. Elemental zinc is active in many processes within our bodies and numerous aspects of cellular metabolism are zinc-dependent. Zinc absorption is important, as this essential mineral plays a role in so many of our metabolic processes, it’s easy for one to see how important it is that we optimize our daily dietary intake. But, how do we know how much we need? And, how do we go about getting enough? Start with a well-rounded diet to get enough zinc to support your body’s normal function and, in turn, a healthy immune response.†
Elemental Zinc Benefits
Zinc plays important roles in growth and development, the immune response-.[1,2]
Even within each of our cells, bioavailable zinc plays a role: it acts as a catalyst for enzymatic reactions.†
It’s an integral part of the structure and integrity of our cell proteins and membranes.†
Verified by USP, who sets the standards for purity and potency of supplements in the U.S.
Recommended Zinc Intake
So, how much zinc do we need? See the chart below for the daily recommended dietary intake of zinc for males and females. These numbers represent the recommendation for the amount of zinc we need per day, but there is an upper limit of 40mg a day.
How Much Zinc Do You Need?
Males 14-18 years
Females 14-18 years
Males 19 years+
Females 19 years +
If you are concerned that you may have low zinc levels, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider when considering supplementation, as zinc toxicity is something to avoid. Zinc competes with copper, essentially blocking copper from binding when proportions are unbalanced. The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board sets the upper limit for both dietary and supplemental zinc at 40 mg a day for pregnant/lactating women and all other adults.
Unfortunately, a zinc deficiency might have an effect on a healthy immune system. Zinc deficiency can also have an effect on skin and hair health, which is why it’s important to ensure you are consuming adequate levels to maintain optimal zinc status. If you have been deficient in this essential mineral, you may find that taking a zinc supplement benefits your health in many new ways, both internally and externally.†
Finding Zinc in Our Diets
What can we eat to maximize zinc intake from our diet? There are many ways to consume enough zinc to support your health. If getting enough zinc from diet alone is an issue, consider taking daily zinc tablets to fill any nutrient gaps. Zinc rich foods you can eat to meet your daily intake zinc include:
Shellfish like oysters and crab
Poultry like turkey
Beef like chuck roast or ground beef
Pork like roasts and loins
Dairy like yogurt and milk
Eggs are a good source of zinc
Nuts and legumes
Just keep in mind that zinc from plant proteins and whole-grains are less bioavailable than zinc from animal sources.
Leading busy lifestyles, we sometimes forget to take good care of ourselves, to eat healthily and to take our nutritional supplements and vitamins. To keep trudging on strong, support your immune system by keeping your vitamin or dietary supplement regimen!