Why It Pays To Up Your Intake Of Zinc

| December 10, 2016

In my last blog post, I told you how zinc is important for preventing insulin resistance, ensuring insulin production and storage, and reducing cardiovascular risks in people with type 2 diabetes. But zinc’s health benefits don’t stop there. Here are six more reasons why you need to get an adequate daily intake of this essential trace mineral:

  • Immune system booster: Even a mild deficiency suppresses many different types of immune cells, including those that fight viruses and bacteria and destroy cancerous cells
  • Cold and Flu protection: Zinc prevents the common cold virus from attaching to cells lining the nose and blocks its replication. In clinical trials, zinc has reduced the symptoms and duration of colds1
  • Anti-inflammatory: Deficiency can lead to chronic inflammation in the body and has been linked with autoimmune diseases, cancers, bronchial asthma and Alzheimer’s disease2
  • Arterial health: This essential mineral supports the proper function of the vascular endothelium, the thin layer of cells that lines the blood vessels, and helps to protect them from the damage that high blood sugar can do3
  • Hormone synthesis: Testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone production relies on adequate amounts of zinc, with deficiencies linked to infertility in both sexes
  • Wound healing: Zinc is also involved in the release of human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which help to maintain muscle mass

The best food sources of zinc are oysters and other shellfish, beef, lamb, spinach, asparagus, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts and mushrooms. Although pulses and whole grains also contain fair amounts of zinc, in these foods it is bound to compounds called phytates, which make it less easy to absorb.

Many people would benefit from taking a supplement of 15 mg of zinc a day. Zinc sulphate and zinc oxide are the cheapest and most popular forms of zinc, but they are definitely not the best, since they are poorly absorbed. Go instead for a supplement that contains zinc orotate, citrate or gluconate.

While adequate zinc intake may help protect against diabetes, a build-up of waxy substances called ceramides could be increasing your risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, as I shall explain in my next blog post.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


1. Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013; (6):CD001364.

2. Bonaventura P, Benedetti G, Albarède F, Miossec P. Zinc and its role in immunity and inflammation. Autoimmun Rev. 2015; 14(4):277-285.

3. Miao X, Wang Y, Sun J et al. Zinc protects against diabetes-induced pathogenic changes in the aorta: roles of metallothionein and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2013; 12:54.

Print Friendly

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Natural Diabetes Alternatives

Comments are closed.