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Zinc Part 2

Zinc helps the thymus glands produce hormones that stimulate the immune system. Because the thymus shrinks as we age, it begins to produce less of the hormones needed to make white blood cells. As little as 15 to 30 milligrams a day can help boost the body’s production of these infection-fighting blood cells in people over age 40, so that getting older doesn’t necessarily mean being more vulnerable to illness.

There is also some evidence that indicates zinc may relieve symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which an enlarged prostate can interfere with urination. A healthy prostate gland naturally has a lot of zinc in it, but men with BPH often have low zinc levels; an extra 50 milligrams of zinc each day has been shown to help shrink the prostate gland in men with mild to moderate cases of BPH, although it can take up to 6 months to see results.

Zinc is really important to the body’s production of all kinds of hormones, including those that regulate growth, blood sugar, and fertility. In fact, scientists first realized the importance of this nutrient when doctors noticed that young, poor Egyptian boys who lacked zinc in their diet were underdeveloped, but that growth was again stimulated in these boys when they got more zinc.

Zinc has been shown to improve levels of the hormone insulin, and thus may help people with type 1 or 2 diabetes manage their disease more effectively. It also helps the body produce adequate amounts of sex hormones, and could be useful in treating infertility in both women and men. Zinc promotes female fertility by regulating cell division at conception and during the development of the fetus, and male fertility by promoting adequate testosterone levels and sperm counts.

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