Information on Zinc
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Can you get enough Zinc from food and dietary sources ?
Although the body does not produce zinc on its own, this mineral is readily available in drinking water and certain foods. The best food source of zinc is oysters, but other good natural dietary sources include lean meat, poultry, and organ meats. High-fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are not good sources of zinc because they contain phytic acid, a substance that blocks zinc absorption.
Vegetarians and people with high-fiber diets may want to consider taking zinc supplements. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, people over the age of 50, and those that abuse alcohol or drink a lot of coffee, and those suffering from chronic illnesses or disease are also often slightly deficient in this mineral, and may want to consider supplementing as well.
High-quality multivitamin and mineral supplements typically contain the RDA for zinc, but zinc supplements are also available in tablets, capsules, liquids, and lozenges. However, only zinc gluconate, ascorbate, or glycinate will fight a cold, and the lozenges seem to be the most effective form for treating cold and flu symptoms—in one study, common colds disappeared about three days earlier in participants that used zinc lozenges as part of their treatment. Because long-term use of zinc inhibits copper absorption, it’s a very good idea to always take zinc and copper together. Most nutritionists recommend taking one milligram of copper for every 10 milligrams of zinc.
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