In developing countries especially, bacterial infections are a major cause of death for newborns. However, a recent study, published by The Lancet last week found that babies, up to 4 months of age, that were being treated by antibiotics for pneumonia, meningitis or sepsis had a better chance of surviving if given a zinc supplement as well. In fact, in the double blind study, the infants who received zinc supplements had 40% less “treatment failure” than those who did not, meaning anything from death to needing to switch to different antibiotics. While researchers see this study as “a major finding”, they stress that results would need to be duplicated before altering any global policies.
The study was conducted in India, where vegetarianism is commonplace, and therefore, zinc deficiency is too. Over here in the states, dangerous zinc deficiency is much less common, but, that’s not to say that getting adequate amount isn’t important. Two unappealing results of not getting enough: acne and unhealthy hair/ dandruff. Gross!
The vital mineral is a component of over 300 enzymes, which makes it crucial for repairing wounds, maintaining fertility in adults and growth in children, synthesizing proteins, helping cells reproduce, preserving vision and boosting immunity. It is essential for a healthy reproductive system, good for healthy skin and protects the liver and against free radicals—which promote aging and disease (yuck!). Zinc is also believed to be a hangover helper and it turns out that intelligent people actually have more zinc (and copper too, but that’s for a mineral for another day) in their hair.
How to make sure your getting enough? Well just one oyster provides your daily requirement but if you’re not into the raw bar, you can get plenty from seeds like pumpkin, sesame, and poppy, eggs, kelp, chicken, beef, brown rice and wheat germ.
Eat it up!
The F-Factor Team <3