Zinc Supplementation: The Role of Zinc in Immunity

By: Amy Mortensen

zinc and immune system response

Image by: Mae Mu

As a result of COVID19, never has our immune system been more important.  

Zinc, a cornerstone of multiple cellular processes, is an essential mineral found throughout our bodies. It is critical for reducing oxidative stress and prevents age related diseases. The role of zinc in immunity is huge, as it helps strengthen our immune system and fight disease by blocking viral replication within cells.  

Benefits of Zinc Supplementation:

  • Decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Reduce the length of a cold by 33%
  • Relieves stress and vaccine response
  • Helps speed up wound healing
  • Supports healthy collagen formation
  • Boosts mental performance
  • Helps lower the risk of pneumonia
  • Helps reduce the risk of heart disease 
  • May slow the growth of cancer cells

Why Supplement: Most people don’t get enough through food 

A variety of food sources have zinc- meat, shellfish, seeds, nuts, eggs.  However, most people don’t get enough zinc through food. Because the role of zinc in immunity is critical, evidence shows that zinc supplements can help shorten the length of a cold, supports collagen formation, can help skin ulcers, and can help slow the progression of eye disease. Zinc supplementation increases immune cell number by almost 30%, which is critical to our immune response when we are sick.  Dr. Rhoda Patrick trained at UCSD and Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and is the founder of Found My Fitness. 

zinc deficiency immune system

For the first time, our generation is facing a pandemic that spans our entire world.  Anecdotal evidence has shown positive results from the use of zinc in the treatment regimen for COVID-19. Recognizing the role of zinc in immunity and supplementing appropriately is critical now, more than ever. Pure Encapsulations (hypoallergenic, vegan, gluten free and non-GMO) is a brand we really like and use ourselves.  Pure Encapsulations ONE includes your daily dose of zinc and they offer an individual zinc supplement if your physician recommends.

Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. Multivitamin

Pure Encapsulations Zinc 30

Dosage is important.  Stay within the RDA of 8 mg/day for women, according to the NIH (Upper Limit of 40 mg/day).

 

Kids and Zinc: Should they take it

Cell growth, differentiation and metabolism are all parts of the essential role of zinc in immunity.  This starts in the womb and continues as your child grows. It is very important for pregnant women and children to get enough through food and supplementation. Deficiency of this nutrient can restrict growth and can decrease resistance to infections, so adequate intake is important.  

We searched the globe for the good ones and listed our favorite prenatal and kids multi that include zinc below.

*Some kids experience constipation with Zinc, so stick to the RDA of 3 mg (children aged 1-3) and 5mg (children aged 4-8) and reduce if necessary.  

Garden of Life Mykind Prenatal Multi Gummy Organic Berry

Rainbow Light® Nutristars® Chewable Multivitamin

Check out our prenatal quiz if you want a match tailored for you

or contact us at hello@vitaminandme.com to personalize your vitamins.

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for more on zinc and other key vitamins

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should i take a zinc supplement daily

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