What is zinc and why is it important?
Zinc is an essential trace element needed by all forms of life. In the human body, over 300 enzymes require zinc for proper functioning. It is also estimated that 3000 of the over 10,000 proteins in our bodies contain zinc. Additionally, our bodies contain about 2-3g of this mineral. There are no specific storage sites known for zinc and so a regular supply in the diet is required. About 60% of our body's zinc is found in muscle, 30% in bone and about 5% in our skin. Particularly high concentrations of zinc are also found in the prostate gland.
What is the best way to increase our zinc intake?
The current Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for zinc is 15 milligrams per day. Short term doses of 40mg/day are often beneficial but taking large quantities of zinc (50 mg/day or more) over a period of weeks can interfere with copper bioavailability and can cause toxicity and can suppress the immune system.
Zinc is found in a wide varie...