5 benefits of Zinc for your immune system
A healthy immune system helps to defend the body against illness and infections. And you need to keep it in the best shape to maximize its protective power.
You can try to get a good night’s sleep. Exercise on a regular basis. Eat healthy foods, including a varied mix of fruit, vegetables, and proteins.
But there’s another key ingredient in the recipe for a strong immune system: zinc.
Why is it so important? Here are five good reasons …
Zinc can aid in the production of immune cells
Zinc stimulates the growth of T helper cells. These are white blood cells with a crucial job: they target unwanted organisms entering the body — and fight them.
Another type of immune cell is the macrophage. These are responsible for consuming and digesting anything that isn’t recognized as a healthy host cell, including:
This process (phagocytosis) helps you ward off viruses and diseases. And zinc can help them to complete the phagocytosis process and defend your system from bacteria.
Anyone with a zinc deficiency may develop an impaired immune system, due to the reduction in macrophage function. The number of T helper cells would likely drop too.
Zinc can reduce the risk of pneumonia
Pneumonia is a dangerous disease affecting the lungs, capable of causing serious illness — and even death.
From 2018 - 19, around 67,000 Canadians were hospitalized due to the condition, accounting for more than 2 percent of all inpatient hospitalizations at the time.
But how could zinc help your immune system fend off pneumonia successfully?
One of the microbes the immune system should target is Streptococcus pneumoniae — a form of bacteria responsible for causing pneumonia. Zinc can barricade the route this bacteria uses to consume nutrients.
This denies the bacteria the sustenance it needs to persist, and starves them. A healthy immune system will then take over, unleashing immune cells to finish the pneumonia off.
It’s not a miracle cure, sadly, but some patients may be safer from pneumonia if they elevate their zinc levels into a more normal range.
Zinc can shorten the duration of common cold symptoms
The common cold is, well, common — adults have two or three colds each year on average, but children tend to have even more.
We all recognize the signs: sore throat, coughing, runny nose, aches here and there. In some cases, a cold will become more serious and cause complications, such as ear infections.
And while there’s still no cure, a strong immune system can help to reduce the amount of time that you actually spend suffering from the effects of a cold.
Research shows that people who increase their zinc levels to a higher but safe level within 24 hours of noticing their first symptoms were far less likely to have symptoms one week later.
Why? It’s simple: zinc may help to stop the virus replicating and spreading.
Being able to reduce the duration of your cold could decrease the amount of time that you need to take away from work or other responsibilities.
Zinc can fight inflammation
Upping your zinc to a normal, healthier level could strengthen your body’s ability to combat problematic inflammation.
Not all inflammation is negative: short-term inflammation actually helps to defend the body. But chronic inflammation can cause lasting pain and conditions, including:
But studies reveal that zinc can decrease inflammation, particularly in older people, as well as oxidative stress (a cause of inflammation).
Those with a zinc deficiency are at higher risk of developing arthritis, and zinc was found to reduce infection rates by more than 65 percent.
Zinc can maintain membrane barrier structure
And last but not least? Let’s talk about membrane barrier structure.
Zinc can help to maintain membrane structure and restore it, particularly in areas that may be vulnerable (e.g. the intestine and lungs).
As a result, zinc can contribute to your body’s defensive capabilities.
It can also stabilize cell membranes and help your skin heal: a zinc deficiency may affect the body’s ability to heal wounds, especially in elderly people.
What are the easiest ways to get zinc into your body?
Certain people are at risk of zinc deficiency — pregnant women, anyone with gastrointestinal problems, even vegetarians.
But you can increase your zinc intake (and help your immune system stay strong) in multiple ways.
Eating the right foods
One of the simplest options for getting more zinc? Food.
Certain ones are rich in zinc, including:
You can include most of these in a wide range of delicious meals, or devour them as snacks. Try sprinkling pumpkin seeds and a little dark chocolate on your oatmeal for irresistible crunch (not to mention yummy chocolatey flavor).
Another easy method for upping your zinc to a healthier level is the humble zinc supplement.
But discuss this with your doctor first: they’ll let you know whether zinc supplements are safe for you or not.
Immune system treatments
Specific treatments are designed to boost your immune system. These include IV therapies, in which solutions are injected directly into the body: nutrients go straight into the bloodstream and bypass the digestive process, unlike foods and oral supplements.
One is the IV Glutathione treatment. This contains a powerful antioxidant, glutathione, that can help to:
This solution is formulated carefully to leave you looking and feeling fantastic.
The IV Immune Boost is another popular option. This contains glutathione and vitamin C, which is known for aiding the immune system by supporting numerous cellular functions.
Improving your immune system is vital to stay healthy and strong at any age. Follow these tips to up your zinc levels and boost your immune system, whether you choose to adjust your diet, try IV therapies, or both.
Astra Medicare’s IV Glutathione and IV Immune Boost treatments are available now. Want to book a consultation to learn more? Contact our team today!
Dedicated and passionate Astra Medicare staff.