Zinc is an important trace element that is responsible for a number of different functions in the body. Among these zinc can help stimulate the activity of more than a hundred enzymes. Plus, zinc is important as it is present in every tissue in the body while the proper functioning of the digestive and immune systems along with diabetes control, reduction of stress levels, and energy metabolism are all dependant on adequate zinc intake.
Zinc can be procured from various foods and is also available as a supplement when needed. The best sources of zinc are beans, animal meats, nuts, fish and other seafood. Other sources include whole grain cereals and dairy products. It can also be added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods.
It is important to note that over time insufficient supplies of zinc from dietary sources can lead to immune system depression, decline in sexual health and an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. However, when supplementing zinc in the diet, it is equally important to get professional advice since there is a concern that zinc may compete for absorption with other micronutrients such as calcium and iron.
Here are some conditions in which zinc can be used as a remedy for better health.
Common Cold Treatment
Perhaps the most well-known remedy of zinc is its potential as a natural over the counter cure for fighting common colds and similar symptoms of illnesses. When taken in the early stages of catching a cold, zinc supplementation has been observed to reduce the risk of becoming sick with the common cold as well as speed up the healing process.
This is because zinc can interfere with excess mucus production and bacterial buildup in the nasal passages. When administered within 24 hours after the onset of cold symptoms, zinc helps reduce the duration of the symptoms. On the other hand, the function of the immune system may decrease markedly in as few as four weeks after eating a low zinc diet.
It is recommended to take zinc lozenges as a preferred method for supplementation when treating a cold.