Zinc & Immune Health

Sudipta’s back and ready to share some of the benefits of zinc, an essential mineral and probably one of your go-to immune health supplements. Find out more about what foods are high in zinc and the benefits of zinc as a supplement, or read the full transcript of her video below.

Hey everyone, it's Sudipta and today I want to talk to you about zinc and the role it can play in human health. Now, zinc is involved in a variety of different functions in the body. It's involved in normal growth and development, reproductive health, DNA synthesis, protein synthesis and even cell division.
Zinc is actually a structural component of what's known as a transcription factor, which can actually play a role on impacting different genes. It is also a component of various enzymatic reactions, which result in several biological changes in the body. For today's conversation, I want to focus on the role of zinc on immune health.
Now, earlier on researchers identified that insufficient levels of zinc in the body can actually result in an impaired immune system functioning. We also realized that insufficient amounts of zinc are also associated with impaired functioning of the white blood cells, and we also know that zinc is required for the normal development and functioning of T lymphocytes, which are a critical part of your immune system.
We now know that zinc plays a huge role in regulating several proteins that are involved in immune health and play a role in normal immune function. So it's really important that you get enough amounts of zinc. Zinc is typically found in foods like oysters, red meat, poultry and so on. If you are a vegetarian or vegan and you don't get enough of those food sources, you can also find zinc in sources like certain cereals, legumes, but you do need to be aware of the fact that these foods also contain what's known as phytates, and phytates can interfere with the absorption of zinc because they bind zinc. Now, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, your zinc requirements are higher because your baby is going to need that zinc.
In addition, if you have a digestive condition like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis or something that can actually interfere with your ability to absorb nutrients, you may want to make sure that you're getting enough zinc. You can get zinc through a fortified food or you can also get zinc from a supplement to make sure that you're covering all your bases.
So I hope this was helpful! If you're looking for more information, you can check out my other videos.