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Hey Megan, found this link stating the benefits, sources and precautions to take in regards to Zinc. Hope you find this useful!
Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential to human health. It plays a vital role in cell division, protein synthesis and immune function.
(a) Children’s Health
Zinc supplement may be effective in the improvement of physical growth velocity in children. On top of that, zinc supplementation substantially reduces the incidence of severe and prolonged diarrhea. Low zinc nutrients during maternity has been associated with less attention during the neonatal period and worse motor functioning in children (Bhandari, 2002).
(b) Common cold (Immunity)
Zinc inhibits rhinoviral replication and has been tested in trials for treatment of the common cold. Studies show that people taking zinc are less likely to have a persistence of their cold symptoms beyond seven days of treatment (Prasad et al., 2000; Singh & Das, 2013). High doses of intranasal zinc preparation were reported to shorten the duration and reduce the symptom severity of the common cold in healthy adults (Hubert & Tim, 2009).
(c) Reproductive health
Studies showed that zinc plays an important role in normal testicular development, spermatogenesis and sperm motility (Amidu et al, 2012). There are evidences that Zinc in seminal plasma influences sperm oxygen consumption, nuclear chromatic decondensation and acrosin activity (Wong et al., 2001).
Ajayi, R., Okhowat, J., Spitzer, D., Schechinger, B., & Zech, N. (2013). Impact of antioxidative supplementation on semen quality according to MSOME criteria. JBRA Assisted Reproduction, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.5935/1518-0557.20130003
Kaseb, F. & Fallah, R. (2013). Efficacy of Zinc Supplementation on Improvement of Weight and Height Growth of Healthy 9-18 Year Children. World Applied Sciences Journal, 28(7), 1032-1036.
Amidu, N., Owiredu, W. K. B. A., Bekoe, M. A. T. & Quaye, L. (2012). The impact of seminal zinc and fructose concentration on human sperm characteristic. Journal of Medical and Biomedical Sciences, 1(1), 14-20.
Menezo, Y., Pluntz, L., Chouteau, J., Gurgan, T., Demirol, A., Dalleac, A. & Benkhalifa, M. (2011). Zinc concentrations in serum and follicular fluid during ovarian stimulation and expression of Zn transporters in human oocytes and cumulus cells. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 22, 647-652
Singh, M & Das, R. R. (2013). Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub4
Hubert, D., Bruce, A. & Tim, K. (2009). Is intranasal zinc effective and safe for the common cold? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Primary Health Care, 1(2), 134-139.
Green, T. J., Skeaff, M., Whiting, S. J. & Gibson, R. S. (2003). Effect of Folic Acid Supplementation on Plasma Zinc Concentrations of Young Women. Nutrition, 19(6), 522-523. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0899-9007(02)01100-0
Bhandari, N., Bahl, R., Taneja, S., Strand, T., Molbak, K., Ulvik, R. J., Sommerfelt, H. & Bhan, M. K. (2002). Substantial reduction in severe diarrhea morbidity by daily zinc supplementation in young north Indian children. Pediatrics, 109(6).
Wong, W. Y., Flik, G., Groenen, P. M. W., Swinkels, D. W., Thomas, C. M. G., Peerebom, J. H. J., Merkus, H. M. W. M. & Theunissen, R. P. M., (2001). The impact of calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper in blood and seminal plasma on semen parameters in men. Reproductive Toxicology, 15(2), 131-136.
Prasad, A. S., Fitzgerald, J. T., Bao, B., Beck, F. W. J. & Chandrasekar, P. H., (2000). Duration of symptoms and plasma cytokine levels in patients with the common cold treated with Zinc Acetate. American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, 133(4), 245-252. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-133-4-200008150-00006