Zinc is an essential trace element that only recently came to light as important for human nutrition and is active in many processes within our bodies.
Numerous aspects of cellular metabolism are zinc-dependent. Zinc plays important roles in growth and development, the immune response, neurological function, and reproduction.1,2 Even within each of our cells, 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†; it can even regulate gene expression and cell death.†
With zinc playing a role in so many of our metabolic processes, it’s easy for one to see how important it is that we get enough zinc daily. 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 system.†
So, how much zinc do we need? The daily recommended intake of zinc is 11 mg for adults age 18 and older,. This number represents the recommendation for the amount of zinc we need each day, but there is an upper limit to stay beneath, so it’s important not to overindulge in high zinc foods and supplements. 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 34 mg/day and 40 mg/day for pregnant/lactating women and all other adults, respectively.1
What can we eat to get zinc from our diet? There are many ways to consume enough zinc to support your health. Try foods like oyster, crab, turkey, as well as yogurt, milk, beans, nuts and fortified breakfast cereals. If getting enough zinc from diet alone may be an issue, consider taking a daily zinc supplement to fill any nutrient gaps.
Leading busy lifestyles, we sometimes forget to take good care of ourselves, to eat healthily and to take our vitamins. To keep trudging on strong, don’t compromise your immune system by skipping your vitamins or supplements! Nature Made offers VitaMelts® Zinc that quickly dissolve in your mouth without the need for water—great for busy people on the go! Each naturally flavored Honey Lemon VitaMelt® provides over 100% of your daily need! Remember that although they are very tasty, VitaMelts® are not candy and to stick to the recommended dose of 1-2 tablets per day. You can find great tasting and convenient Nature Made VitaMelts® at your favorite local retailer!
- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, Zinc . National Academy Press. Washington, D.C. 2001.
- King JC, Cousins RJ. Zinc.11th ed. In: Ross, AC, Cabellero B, Cousins RJ, Tucker KL, Ziegler TR, eds. Modern nutrition in health and disease. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2014:189-205