5 Benefits of Zinc Minerals and Food Sources

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Zinc (Zn) or zinc is included in the trace element group, namely elements contained in the body in very small amounts but absolutely necessary to maintain health.

The body contains 2–2.5 grams of zinc which is spread in almost all organs of the body, especially in the liver, pancreas, kidneys, muscles, and bones. This mineral is known to be involved in many enzymatic reactions in the body so its availability in the body needs to be maintained.

So that you are more motivated to fulfill this mineral intake, consider the following reviews about the benefits of zinc minerals and their food sources , yes.

1. Prevent stunting in children
In a 2016 Journal of Nutrition College report , zinc has an important role in the growth and development of children . Lack of zinc intake can affect growth hormones, such as low insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), growth hormone (GH), receptors and GH binding protein RNA.

Low concentrations of these hormones can inhibit linear growth and cessation of weight growth, or also called stunting (failure to thrive).

Therefore, keeping daily zinc intake fulfilled can contribute to preventing stunting in children.

2. Maintain the body’s immune function
Described in the journal Gizi Indonesia in 2013, the role of zinc in immune function , among others, in the formation of antibodies. This is because zinc helps the process of formation of amino acids.

Amino acids are the largest component in the formation of antibodies, therefore the presence of zinc is closely related to the immune system.

In addition, a decrease in zinc can affect the ability of natural killer (NK) cells whose job is to kill antigens (viruses, bacteria, and pathogenic microorganisms).

3. Prevent anemia
The next benefit of zinc is to prevent anemia . Broadly, anemia is always associated with a deficiency of iron intake. However, it should also be noted that iron requires the support of other nutrients to support its optimal function, including zinc.

Zinc plays a role in influencing hemoglobin (Hb) through zinc-dependent enzyme systems, including Hb production and stimulation of erythropoiesis. This makes the availability of zinc in the body needs to be maintained through the intake of food sources of zinc so as not to interfere with the formation of hemoglobin and avoid anemia.

4. Overcoming diarrhea
Citing a report in the Indonesian Journal of Human Nutrition in 2019, zinc plays a role in the formation, cell division, and cell specification such as mucous membranes in the digestive tract. Giving zinc can prevent the entry of bacteria into the digestive tract.

The results of his research explained that giving zinc can overcome the incidence of acute diarrhea , which is characterized by a reduction in the frequency of expulsion of feces and shortening the duration of diarrhea. This is because zinc plays a role in repairing and increasing the absorption of water and electrolytes through the intestines and accelerating the regeneration of intestinal epithelial cells.

5. Maintain eye health
It is known that zinc is concentrated in the cornea of ​​the eye. Zinc is also bound to the retinal dehydrogenase enzyme in the retina of the eye, which plays a role in the metabolism of visual pigments containing vitamin A , and is required for the formation of a vitamin A transporter in the form of retinol-binding proteins (RBP).

For this reason, maintaining adequate zinc intake can prevent visual cycle disturbances, as well as prevent corneal edema, conjunctivitis, and xerosis.

6. The adequacy of zinc mineral and its food sources
The recommendation for zinc consumption based on the nutritional adequacy rate (RDA) for the Indonesian people varies according to age. It ranges from 5 mg for toddlers to 15 mg for adults, so it is quite easy for you to fulfill it through your daily diet.

Zinc is found in many animal foods such as meat, seafood , liver, eggs, anchovies, shrimp, small freshwater fish, and vegetable ingredients such as red beans and tempeh.

Keep in mind, excess zinc intake can cause symptoms of zinc poisoning, which is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and lethargy. However, don’t worry first, this event only occurs when the intake of zinc reaches a dose of 100-300 mg / day as a result of excessive consumption of supplements.

Therefore, it is recommended that you meet your zinc intake from a variety of food ingredients as mentioned above. Make sure you don’t miss it in your shopping cart, OK!

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