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Zinc is essential for diabetics and improves immunity

Zinc is essential for diabetics and improves immunity

Zinc is a substance known as trace element. It functions to determine the shape and spatial arrangement of DNA-bound proteins and some important enzymes in our metabolism. About 300 enzymes require zinc for their action on cells. It even improves memory and is critical in the formation and regulation of thyroid, adrenal, testis and insulin hormones. The substance is also essential for the immune system and healing process.

Proven Benefits of Zinc

Antioxidant Action: Zinc stands out for the antioxidant action, decreasing the amount of free radicals in our body. Free radicals negatively affect cell functions, increasing a person's chances of developing different types of cancer.

Good for diabetics: The action and release of insulin occurs more efficiently when zinc is present in the body . As the diabetic has difficulties in the action of this hormone, the presence of the element facilitates this issue, making insulin better fulfill its role, avoiding hyperglycemia.

Improves immunity: Zinc has a direct action on the functioning of lymphocytes, cells of defense of our organism, improving the immunity. In addition, zinc acts in the anti-inflammatory processes and in our DNA, both issues are related to immunity.

Helps in healing: Zinc aids in healing because it has a role of action in the cells that help in the healing process, such as fibroblasts.

Aids in growth and development: Zinc is directly responsible for cell division, protein synthesis and hormone modulation. All these factors are linked to the growth of children and adolescents and also to sexual development. Therefore, it is important that they have good amounts of this element. It is also necessary that pregnant women have the correct amounts of zinc so that the fetus develops without complications and has no health problems.

Zinc deficiency

Zinc deficiency can be detected by blood test or of strands of hair. The absence of the element can cause lack of appetite, changes in taste, smell and behavior, glucose intolerance, immune dysfunctions, growth retardation and delayed sexual maturation.


Pumpkin seeds have good amounts of zinc - Photo: Getty Images

Some fibers can hinder the absorption of zinc, such as phytates present in whole grains, soybeans and some legumes. However, this interference seems to be linked to the type of protein present in the diet and studies attempt to establish this relationship. Iron and zinc are directly connected. The increase of one in the diet interferes negatively in the absorption of the other. Studies have suggested that vitamin A, present in the liver, egg yolk, milk and dark green leaves and derivatives, may also interfere with zinc absorption.

Combination with zinc

Studies show that animal proteins can improve the absorption of zinc.

Zinc sources

The main sources of zinc are red meats, oysters, pumpkin seeds and sunflowers, legumes such as beans and lentils, oilseeds such as almonds, peanuts,

Recommended amount of zinc

AgeAdequate intake - mg / dayTolerable ingestion limit
0 to 6 months2 mg4 mg
7 to 12 months3 mg5 mg
1 year to 3 years3 mg7 mg
4 years to 8 years5 mg12 mg
9 years to 13 years8 mg23 mg
Men aged 14 to 18 years11 mg34 mg
Men from 19 years11 mg40 mg
Women aged 14 to9 mg34 mg
Women aged 19 years and over8 mg40 mg
Pregnant women under the age of 1813 mg34 mg
Pregnant women over the age of 1911 mg40 mg
Infants less than 18 years of age14 mg34 mg
Infants over 19 years of age12 mg40 mg

Source: Institute of Medicine

Excess zinc consumption can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting due to gastrointestinal irritation. Increased sweating, tachycardia, blurred and blurred vision, hypothermia, renal complications and even bleeding may occur. In addition, copper deficiency occurs. Excess zinc through feed is rare, it usually occurs due to wrongly performed supplementation.

Use of zinc supplements

Zinc supplements are often targeted in cases of poor feeders and athletes . However, the need for supplementation must be determined by a nutritionist or nutrologist.

Sources consulted:

Nutrologist André Veinert, Healthme Clinic management of Weight Loss

Nutrólogo José Alves Lara grandson, vice president of Brazilian Association of Nutrology (ABRAN)

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