Perhaps, you have heard a lot about the importance of zinc for women health and fitness if used within a prescribed limit. But do you know about its recommended dosage, sources, benefits, and possible side effects? This article is going to explain all about it.
Zinc, being a trace mineral nutrient is essential to be taken in small quantities for your good health and fitness. Your body itself is not able to synthesize and store it so, you have to take it through diet or supplements to fulfill the demands of your body.
Benefits of Zinc for Women Health
According to the National Institute of Health, zinc performs the following essential processes in the body:
- Boost up the immunity
- Delays aging
- Cellular metabolism
- Controls the gene expression
- Synthesis of DNA and specific proteins
- Pregnant mother’s health & growth and development of the fetus
Let’s have some detailed discussion about the topic.
1. Zinc to Boost Up Immunity
Zinc is incredibly good to boost up your immunity by protecting against toxins as well as foreign substances. It reduces the oxidative stress mechanisms in the body.
Moreover, fighting with virus-infected and cancerous cells by synthesizing T-cells is also its vital beneficial aspect.
Low levels of zinc in your body weaken your immune system that’s not good. Weakens immune system causes recurrent infections so, you need to take its good recommended daily dosage.
2. Minimize the Risk of Aging-Related Problems
With age, your plasma zinc level reduces even by taking the same amount through diet or supplements as at young age. That’s why the requirement of zinc for post-menopausal and elderly women increases.
Zinc also improves physical and mental health. It reduces the risk of pneumonia or other infections in older women and reduces the risk of mental defects.
In aging women, it protects the body against oxidative stress hence, immune system functionality increases. Minimizing muscular degeneration in aging women is also a major role of zinc.
Some studies suggest that zinc and calcium compete for more absorption in the body. Mostly, women in old age increase their calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis or other bones related disorders. This increased calcium level interferes with the absorption of zinc thus, reducing its absorption ability in the body.
So, a continuously prescribed zinc dosage should be taken through diet or supplements to have healthy aging.
3. Prevents Vision Loss
Zinc intake is ideally good to prevent the retina from cell damage thus, helping to reduce the chances of vision loss. It can delay the progression of vision loss but doesn’t completely end the risk.
4. For Treating Acne and other Skin-Related Diseases
Acne is a major skin problem for most of the world’s population specifically women. Usually, it occurs due to obstruction or overproduction of oil glands, bacterial or inflammatory infections.
Certain studies find a strong correlation between zinc deficiency and acne lesions. Proper supplements may reduce the signs.
According to research published in NCBI, many dermatological issues like acne, rash, or dermatitis are resolved using medicines, ointments, and supplements containing zinc.
5. Treatment of Anemia
Women, generally undergo continuous anemic conditions due to multiple reasons like menstruation, baby birth, or sometimes, malnutrition. However, if you pay strong attention to your diet and lifestyle, you can definitely prevent anemic conditions.
Research published in Nature in 1999, suggests taking zinc and vitamin A along with iron to significantly increase the hemoglobin level in the body.
6. Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases
Researchers suggest that chronic diseases like diabetes, fatty liver, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or chronic kidney disease are linked to oxidative stress in the body. So, the antioxidant properties of zinc help to reduce this oxidative stress.
According to the research of 2017, zinc plays a beneficial role in reducing oxidative stress and body inflammation by scavenging reactive oxygen species. This same study suggests that zinc proves to be helpful in regulating the body’s metabolism and insulin production.
Zinc can be involved in normal bones and skeletal growth as well as muscular regeneration. Elderly women increase calcium intake to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. So, calcium and zinc compete with each other for maximum absorption hence, calcium exceeds zinc absorption.
So, women should increase their zinc intake to reduce the risk of bones related problems like arthritis, osteopenia, and osteoporosis.
Research work suggests that zinc is a good therapeutic agent for bone formation as well as regeneration. It heals the degenerated bones or joints and helps them to regain their normal structure.
However, still, comprehensive research is needed to know the possible impacts of zinc on bone and muscles growth and functionality.
8. Relieves the Menstruation-Related Problems
Menstruation is a major physiological and psychological factor in a woman’s life. It not only causes pain and weakness but also causes symptoms of depression.
Studies suggest that a proper concentration of zinc in women’s bodies helps prevent menstruation-related problems such as dysmenorrhea, period cramps, endometriosis, and PMS. So, taking zinc under the prescribed limit acts as an anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal medicine to relieve the signs of menstruation.
9. Zinc for Fertility in women
Zinc may improve and supports fertility by regulating hormonal balance, and the ovulation cycle. Your body can not store zinc. So, if you are trying to conceive, then add the prescribed zinc dose to your daily routine.
10. Relieves the Pregnancy Complications
During pregnancy, the fetus needs proper growth and development so the mother needs a good concentration of zinc in her body. An estimated 82% of pregnant women worldwide face Zn deficiency in pregnancy. Insufficient zinc may result in complications like premature birth, congenital defects, delivery time problems, and the low weight of the infant.
So, taking adequate zinc through diet and supplements may significantly reduce the risk of these complications.
11. Zinc for Hair Nourishment and Care
Hair fall is a common sign of zinc deficiency in everyone, especially females. Zinc is ideal for the repair and growth of hair tissues. It also improves the functionality of oil glands around the hair follicles.
Food Sources for Zinc
Zinc bioavailability from plant sources is less as compared to animal-based foods but still, some plant-based foods are really good sources. Some excellent zinc sources are:
- Certain Seafood
- Red meat
- Whole Grain Cereals
- Fortified Breakfast Cereals
- Dairy products
Ideal Intake of Zinc for Women Health?
Knowing your body’s requirement for zinc intake and its recommended intake is essential. According to the Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, the Dietary Reference intake for Zinc is:
|Age of Women||Dietary Reference Intake for Zinc (DRIs)|
|4-8 years of Age||5mg/day|
|8-13 years of age||8mg/day|
|Pregnancy in14-18 years||12mg/day of zinc|
|Pregnancy in 19-50 years||11mg/day|
|Lactating Mother of 14-18 years||13mg/day|
|Lactating Mother of 19-50 years||12mg/day|
Side Effects of Excessive Zinc for Women Health
Too much of any micro or macronutrient in the body may cause toxicity. Zinc is an essential mineral nutrient that is essential for the body in very small quantities. So, a little change in intake concentration may result in detrimental effects.
You have to be much careful in choosing the right concentration of any nutrient intake as an excess of everything is bad. Zinc intake should always be according to the daily prescribed limit (DRIs) recommended by your physician.
Some of the adverse effects of excessive zinc include:
- Abdominal pain and Diarrhea
- Frequent headaches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Reduced immunity
- Urogenital issues
The role of zinc in women’s health is remarkably noteworthy. However, in-depth research is needed to know its potential benefits and side effects based on the prescribed amount limit, hereditary factors, age, and health conditions of women. Always follow the prescription of your health care advisor before taking the zinc through supplements or diet.