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Zinc: The Essential Mineral for Your Health Journey

Zinc is a trace mineral that plays a vital role in many aspects of human health. Integral to immune function, DNA synthesis, and cellular metabolism, zinc's benefits are broad and scientifically well-documented. However, not all forms of zinc are created equal in terms of absorption and effectiveness. This article explores the myriad benefits of zinc, identifies the best forms for optimal absorption, and examines its unique uses in tea and body lotion.

The Multifaceted Benefits of Zinc

• Immune System Support: Zinc is crucial for the maintenance and development of immune cells. Supplementing with zinc can reduce the duration of the common cold and act as a gatekeeper against infections.

• Wound Healing: Zinc plays a role in maintaining skin integrity and structure. Patients with chronic wounds or ulcers often have lower zinc levels, and supplementation can accelerate wound healing.

• Reduced Risk of Age-Related Diseases: Zinc can significantly reduce the risk of age-related diseases, such as pneumonia, infection, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

• Fertility and Reproductive Health: Zinc is essential for both male and female fertility. For men, zinc supplementation has been shown to improve sperm quality.

Optimizing Zinc Absorption

The bioavailability of zinc varies depending on its form. Here are some of the best forms of zinc for optimal absorption:

• Zinc Picolinate: Studies suggest that zinc picolinate is better absorbed by the body than other forms of zinc, making it a preferred choice for supplementation.

• Zinc Citrate: This form of zinc is absorbed well by the body and has a more pleasant taste than zinc sulfate, making it a good option for oral supplements.

• Zinc Glycinate: Known for its superior absorption and gentleness on the stomach, zinc glycinate is an excellent choice for those with sensitive digestive systems.

To further enhance zinc absorption, it's advisable to consume it with a source of protein and to be mindful of phytates in some plant foods that can bind zinc and inhibit its absorption.

Zinc in Tea and Body Lotion

• Zinc in Tea: While less common, some herbal teas can contain trace amounts of zinc, especially those made with zinc-rich herbs. However, relying on tea alone for significant zinc intake is not recommended due to its minimal zinc content.

• Zinc in Body Lotion: Zinc is often found in topical products for its protective and healing properties. Zinc oxide, for example, is a common ingredient in sunscreen and diaper rash creams due to its ability to protect the skin from UV light and soothe inflammation.

Conclusion

Zinc is an indispensable mineral that supports a multitude of bodily functions from immune health to wound healing. Choosing the right form of zinc supplement can make a significant difference in how well zinc is absorbed and utilized by your body. While zinc's presence in tea might contribute minimally to its intake, its application in body lotions can offer topical benefits, making zinc a versatile element in both dietary and skincare regimes.

Zinc

ZINC :Zinc is a nutrient that people need to stay healthy. Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood, the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly. Zinc also helps wounds heal and is important for proper senses of taste and smell.

Zinc is an essential micronutrient for human metabolism that catalyzes more than 100 enzymes, facilitates protein folding, and helps regulate gene expression.

Zinc is a mineral that plays a vital role in many biological processes and plays an important role in insulin action and carbohydrate metabolism. It may also have a protective role in the prevention of atherogenesis. Numerous studies have evaluated the effects of Zinc supplementation on serum lipids in humans and have demonstrated varying results.

Keywords: Zinc absorption, zinc bio-availability, zinc deficiency, zinc intervention, zinc nutrition, zinc requirement, zinc, intestinal absorption, zinc homeostasis, zinc bioavailability, zinc uptake, in vitro intestinal model, Caco-2, intestinal, Aging, Epigenetics, Immunity, Inflammation, zinc, iron, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), grape seed extract, green tea extract, Caco-2 cells, cancer chemotherapy, Clioquinol, prostate cancer, zinc, zinc, ionophore, ZIP transport

Summary of Abstracts:

Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review Since its first discovery in an Iranian male in 1961, zinc deficiency in humans is now known to be an important malnutrition problem world-wide. It is more prevalent in areas of high cereal and low animal food consumption. The diet may not necessarily be low in zinc, but its bio-availability plays a major role in its absorption. Phytic acid is the main known inhibitor of zinc. Compared to adults, infants, children, adolescents, pregnant, and lactating women have increased requirements for zinc and thus, are at increased risk of zinc depletion. Zinc deficiency during growth periods results in growth failure. Epidermal, gastrointestinal, central nervous, immune, skeletal, and reproductive systems are the organs most affected clinically by zinc deficiency. Clinical diagnosis of marginal Zn deficiency in humans remains problematic. So far, blood plasma/serum zinc concentration, dietary intake, and stunting prevalence are the best known indicators of zinc deficiency. Four main intervention strategies for combating zinc deficiency include dietary modification/diversification, supplementation, fortification, and bio-fortification. The choice of each method depends on the availability of resources, technical feasibility, target group, and social acceptance. In this paper, we provide a review on zinc biochemical and physiological functions, metabolism including, absorption, excretion, and homeostasis, zinc bio-availability (inhibitors and enhancers), human requirement, groups at high-risk, consequences and causes of zinc deficiency, evaluation of zinc status, and prevention strategies of zinc deficiency.

Zinc: An Essential Micronutrient [ Zinc is an essential micronutrient for human metabolism that catalyzes more than 100 enzymes, facilitates protein folding, and helps regulate gene expression. ] Zinc is an essential micronutrient for human metabolism that catalyzes more than 100 enzymes, facilitates protein folding, and helps regulate gene expression. Patients with malnutrition, alcoholism, inflammatory bowel disease, and malabsorption syndromes are at an increased risk of zinc deficiency. Symptoms of zinc deficiency are nonspecific, including growth retardation, diarrhea, alopecia, glossitis, nail dystrophy, decreased immunity, and hypogonadism in males. In developing countries, zinc supplementation may be effective for the prevention of upper respiratory infection and diarrhea, and as an adjunct treatment for diarrhea in malnourished children. Zinc in combination with antioxidants may be modestly effective in slowing the progression of intermediate and advanced age-related macular degeneration. Zinc is an effective treatment for Wilson disease. Current data do not support zinc supplementation as effective for upper respiratory infection, wound healing, or human immunodeficiency virus. Zinc is well tolerated at recommended dosages. Adverse effects of long-term high-dose zinc use include suppressed immunity, decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, anemia, copper deficiency, and possible genitourinary complications.

A Guide to Human Zinc Absorption: General Overview and Recent Advances of In Vitro Intestinal Models Zinc absorption in the small intestine is one of the main mechanisms regulating the systemic homeostasis of this essential trace element. This review summarizes the key aspects of human zinc homeostasis and distribution. In particular, current knowledge on human intestinal zinc absorption and the influence of diet-derived factors on bioaccessibility and bioavailability as well as intrinsic luminal and basolateral factors with an impact on zinc uptake are discussed. Their investigation is increasingly performed using in vitro cellular intestinal models, which are continually being refined and keep gaining importance for studying zinc uptake and transport via the human intestinal epithelium. The vast majority of these models is based on the human intestinal cell line Caco-2 in combination with other relevant components of the intestinal epithelium, such as mucin-secreting goblet cells and in vitro digestion models, and applying improved compositions of apical and basolateral media to mimic the in vivo situation as closely as possible. Particular emphasis is placed on summarizing previous applications as well as key results of these models, comparing their results to data obtained in humans, and discussing their advantages and limitations.

Zinc is an Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Agent: Its Role in Human Health Zinc supplementation trials in the elderly showed that the incidence of infections was decreased by approximately 66% in the zinc group. Zinc supplementation also decreased oxidative stress biomarkers and decreased inflammatory cytokines in the elderly. In our studies in the experimental model of zinc deficiency in humans, we showed that zinc deficiency per se increased the generation of IL-1β and its mRNA in human mononuclear cells following LPS stimulation. Zinc supplementation upregulated A20, a zinc transcription factor, which inhibited the activation of NF-κB, resulting in decreased generation of inflammatory cytokines. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are important contributing factors for several chronic diseases attributed to aging, such as atherosclerosis and related cardiac disorders, cancer, neurodegeneration, immunologic disorders and the aging process itself. Zinc is very effective in decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this review, the mechanism of zinc actions on oxidative stress and generation of inflammatory cytokines and its impact on health in humans will be presented.

Molecular Mechanisms of Zinc as a Pro-Antioxidant Mediator: Clinical Therapeutic Implications The essentiality of zinc as a trace mineral in human health has been recognized for over five decades. Zinc deficiency, caused by diet, genetic defects, or diseases, can cause growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, depressed immune response, and abnormal cognitive functions in humans. Zinc supplementation in zinc-deficient individuals can overcome or attenuate these abnormalities, suggesting zinc is an essential micro-nutrient in the body. A large number of in vitro and in vivo experimental studies indicate that zinc deficiency also causes apoptosis, cellular dysfunction, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage, and depressed immune response. Oxidative stress, due to the imbalance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and detoxification in the anti-oxidant defense system of the body, along with subsequent chronic inflammation, is believed to be associated with many chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, cancers, alcohol-related disease, macular degenerative disease, and neuro-pathogenesis. A large number of experimental studies including cell culture, animal, and human clinical studies have provided supportive evidence showing that zinc acts as an anti-oxidative stress agent by inhibition of oxidation of macro-molecules such as (DNA)/ribonucleic acid (RNA) and proteins as well as inhibition of inflammatory response, eventually resulting in the down-regulation of (ROS) production and the improvement of human health. In this article, we will discuss the molecular mechanisms of zinc as an anti-oxidative stress agent or mediator in the body. We will also discuss the applications of zinc supplementation as an anti-oxidative stress agent or mediator in human health and disease.

Zinc, aging, and immunosenescence: An overview Zinc plays an essential role in many biochemical pathways and participates in several cell functions, including the immune response. This review describes the role of zinc in human health, aging, and immunosenescence. Zinc deficiency is frequent in the elderly and leads to changes similar to those that occur in oxidative inflammatory aging (oxi-inflamm-aging) and immunosenescence. The possible benefits of zinc supplementation to enhance immune function are discussed.

Zinc and its role in age-related inflammation and immune dysfunction Zinc is an essential micronutrient required for many cellular processes, especially for the normal development and function of the immune system. Zinc homeostasis and signaling are critical in immune activation, and an imbalance in zinc homeostasis is associated with the development of chronic diseases. Zinc deficiency causes significant impairment in both adaptive and innate immune responses, and promotes systemic inflammation. The elderly are a population particularly susceptible to zinc deficiency. National surveys indicate that a significant portion of the aged population has inadequate zinc intake, and a decline in zinc status is observed with age. There are remarkable similarities between the hallmarks of zinc deficiency and immunological dysfunction in aged individuals. Both zinc deficiency and the aging process are characterized by impaired immune responses and systemic low grade chronic inflammation. It has been hypothesized that age-related zinc deficiency may be an important factor contributing to immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation during the aging process. In this review, we discuss the effects of zinc status on aging, potential molecular and epigenetic mechanisms contributing to age-related decline in zinc status, and the role of zinc in age-related immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation.

Effects of Zinc supplementation on serum lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis Zinc is a mineral that plays a vital role in many biological processes and plays an important role in insulin action and carbohydrate metabolism. It may also have a protective role in the prevention of atherogenesis. Numerous studies have evaluated the effects of Zinc supplementation on serum lipids in humans and have demonstrated varying results.

Zinc and lipid metabolism

Impact of Zinc, Glutathione, and Polyphenols as Antioxidants in the Immune Response against SARS-CoV-2 SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus triggering the disease COVID-19, has a catastrophic health and socioeconomic impact at a global scale. Three key factors contribute to the pathogenesis of COVID-19: excessive inflammation, immune system depression/inhibition, and a set of proinflammatory cytokines. Common to these factors, a central function of oxidative stress has been highlighted. A diversity of clinical trials focused predominantly on antioxidants are being implemented as potential therapies for COVID-19. In this study, we look at the role of zinc, glutathione, and polyphenols, as key antioxidants of possible medicinal or nutritional significance, and examine their role in the antiviral immune response induced by SARS-Cov-2. An unresolved question is why some people experience chronic COVID and others do not. Understanding the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and the immune system, as well as the role of defective immune responses to disease development, would be essential to recognize the pathogenesis of COVID-19, the risk factors that affect the harmful consequences of the disease, and the rational design of successful therapies and vaccinations. We expect that our research will provide a novel perspective that contributes to the design of clinical or nutritional targets for the prevention of this pandemic.

Bioactive Dietary Polyphenols on Zinc Transport across the Intestinal Caco-2 Cell Monolayers [ GSE inhibited zinc absorption similarly to that observed for phytate. ] Polyphenolic compounds are known to possess many beneficial health effects, including the antioxidative activities of scavenging reactive oxygen species and chelating metals, such as iron and zinc. Tea and red wine are thought to be important sources of these compounds. However, some polyphenolic compounds can also reduce the absorption of iron, and possibly other trace metals, when included in a diet. There is very little information on the effect of dietary polyphenolic compounds on the status of trace elements other than iron. We examined the effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), green tea extract (GT) and grape seed extract (GSE) on the absorption of 65Zn and compared them with their effects on 55Fe absorption in human intestinal Caco-2 cells grown on microporous membrane inserts. The levels of EGCG, GT and GSE used in this study were within the physiological ranges and did not affect the integrity of the Caco-2 cell monolayers. GSE significantly (P < 0.05) reduced zinc transport across the cell monolayer, and the decreased zinc transport was associated with a reduction in apical zinc uptake. However, EGCG and GT did not alter zinc absorption. In contrast, the polyphenolic compounds in EGCG, GT and GSE almost completely blocked transepithelial iron transport across the cell monolayer. The effect of GSE on zinc absorption was very different from that on iron absorption. While GSE decreased zinc absorption by reducing apical zinc uptake, the polyphenolic compounds inhibited iron absorption by enhancing apical iron uptake. GSE inhibited zinc absorption similarly to that observed for phytate. Phytate significantly (P < 0.05) decreased transepithelial zinc transport by reducing apical zinc uptake. The inhibition of zinc absorption may be due to the presence of procyanidins in GSE, which bind zinc with high affinity and block the transport of zinc across the apical membrane of enterocytes. Further research on the absorption of zinc as zinc-polyphenol complexes and free zinc should provide further insight into the process of dietary zinc absorption in the presence of GSE and other bioactive dietary polyphenols. The present study suggests that some individuals should consider their zinc status if they regularly consume procyanidin-containing foods in their diet. However, further studies, especially in vivo studies, are needed to confirm these results.

Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review Zinc, both in elemental or in its salt forms, has been used as a therapeutic modality for centuries. Topical preparations like zinc oxide, calamine, or zinc pyrithione have been in use as photoprotecting, soothing agents or as active ingredient of antidandruff shampoos. Its use has expanded manifold over the years for a number of dermatological conditions including infections (leishmaniasis, warts), inflammatory dermatoses (acne vulgaris, rosacea), pigmentary disorders (melasma), and neoplasias (basal cell carcinoma). Although the role of oral zinc is well-established in human zinc deficiency syndromes including acrodermatitis enteropathica, it is only in recent years that importance of zinc as a micronutrient essential for infant growth and development has been recognized. The paper reviews various dermatological uses of zinc.

Cytotoxic tumor suppressor role of zinc for the treatment of cancer: an enigma and an opportunity A major issue relating to many cancers is the absence of effective chemotherapeutic agents; so that most often untreatable morbidity and death are prevalent once the cancer has been detected and has advanced. The search for efficacious anticancer agents is imperative. One potential agent is zinc, which is decreased in the development of some cancers in order to avoid its cytotoxic/tumor suppressor effects on the malignant cells. This provides the basis and opportunity to employ a treatment regimen that restores elevated zinc levels in the malignant cells and elicits the cytotoxic/tumor suppressor effects of zinc. The enigma is that this approach and expectation has not reached fruition. The question is why. This article provides a discussion of relevant zinc issues that need to be considered and resolved. Important areas of research are identified as being essential for the successful application of zinc cytotoxicity/tumor suppression actions for the treatment of specific cancers.

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