Why Zinc Is Essential To Health
Want to encourage healing, boost your immune system, and help protect against vision loss? You should consider zinc. This mineral plays an important role in cell production, including creating new skin cells, but how much you take is important – moderate doses of zinc can enhance immunity, while high doses can actually depress it and should be avoided.
It should be noted that zinc is becoming a key component to antiviral support regimens during this time. Studies have shown that zinc has the ability to slow viral replication and may help protect the body from being overwhelmed.
Beware that those taking oral contraceptive (birth control), steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (i.e., ibuprofen) are at risk for zinc deficiency and should work with their doctor to determine if supplementation is appropriate as dietary intake may not fully cover the potential losses.
The best plant sources of zinc are legumes (dried beans, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, lentils and peas), organic soy products and whole grains. Grass-fed red meat and cooked oysters are good animal sources. Dairy products and other foods high in calcium can decrease zinc absorption, while protein-rich foods can enhance it.
Because copper can be depleted when taking zinc supplements, I recommend a multivitamin or a zinc supplement that includes both zinc and copper (generally 10 percent of the zinc dosage), taken with a meal to avoid stomach upset. Try keeping your zinc supplementation dosage under 30mg (therefore 3mg or less of copper) total daily unless advised by your doctor to take more.
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