Zinc is Critical to an Optimized Immune System

By: Karl Zarse, MD

Zinc is used by over three hundred different enzymes throughout the body. Adequate zinc is critical for an optimized immune system. It is also needed for good hair growth, proper digestion, nerve function, and wound healing. 

It is utilized in every aspect of both the innate and adaptive immune system just like Vitamin D. It helps cells directly attack bacteria, viruses, and abnormal cells while simultaneously aiding in the production of antibodies. 

It has direct anti-viral properties and has been shown to decrease virus replication in cells that have an appropriate level of zinc. This is likely why we see a clear reduction in the duration and severity of viral infections with zinc. Multiple studies have shown over 50% reduction in duration and severity of all types of respiratory infections with zinc supplementation. 

It helps maintain the integrity of the gut and mucous membranes in the body, thereby helping prevent the entry of these viruses in the first place. Mucous membranes line the nose, mouth, throat, and lungs, all of which are target areas of entry for viruses. Helping stop them at the site of entry is critical for good health. 

Zinc deficiency is a significant problem in impoverished areas of the world. It is also hard to get a steady daily supply of zinc with diet alone. Supplementing is easy, and I recommend taking 50mg a day. Split the dose to 25 mg in the am and 25 mg in the pm to avoid any stomach upset. 

Zinc is well known but underrated considering all the benefits it provides. Make sure you get your daily zinc supplement in every day for optimal health.


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