Before listening to the sales pitch from the guy at GNC (who himself received a quick course given by the supplement companies) you might want to check out an unbiased source of information (like us) on the real potential benefits of zinc supplementation :
1 – Prevent depression and elevate mood
The mechanisms relating zinc deficiency and depression are not well understood, but studies surely have shown that adequate zinc levels in the body elevates mood and prevents depression. This is not a surprise, as zinc supplementation increases the number of serotonin receptors in the brain (one of the happy chemicals).
In a scientific study done in 2010 on the effects of zinc supplementation on women, researchers gave a group of women a multivitamin and another group a multivitamin + a zinc supplement (7 mg). The second group later showed better results in psychological tests regarding depression scores and mood profiles. Scientists conclude zinc can be effective in reducing depression and anger. Also check best form of zinc supplement.
You can see the study here.
Zinc is often labeled the ”sex mineral” and for good reason. This mineral has been proven time and time again to boost testosterone levels and stimulate sperm production in the testes when taken in adequate quantities. This essential mineral also improves sperm mobility which is crucial for reproductive function. Considering a male ejaculation can release as much as 5 mg of zinc, make sure you replenish those reserves everytime. Remember there is such a thing as too much zinc, and while it would be hard to have too much of it from eating natural foods (unless you eat oysters all day, lol) over consumption of zinc supplements is just as bad as not enough, so go easy on the pills.
3 – Increases insulin sensitivity and prevents diabetes
Sufficient levels of zinc helps insulin bind to the cells in your body, making it easier for glucose to enter the cells when it flows in high amounts through the blood. This process prevents fat gain and high blood glucose levels.
4 – Boost immune function and prevent cancer
Zinc is known to act as an antioxidant in the body and low levels of them upsets the balance between free radicals and antioxidants, which increases the risk of cancer and other diseases. Zinc deficiency has recently been linked to cancer of the colon, ovaries, skin, breast and lungs. The mineral also helps maintain healthy T-cell function in the body, which in turn boosts the immune system.
5 – Improve strenght, muscle gains and fat loss
Similar to #2, zinc allows a greater release of the main anabolic hormones during high intensity training : testosterone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and growth hormone. These anabolic hormones are naturally produced by your body when given the right fuel (enough protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals like zinc) during high intensity training (heavy-weight low rep range training, or explosive movements in sports). Without adequate amounts of these hormones you will have a very hard time gaining muscle and losing fat, no matter how hard you train. Read on how your body can leach zinc.
Maintaining optimal levels of Zn helps you :
- Prevent depression and elevate your mood;
- Prevent insulin resistance and low risk of diabetes;
- Maintain reproductive health and function;
- Boost your immune system and prevent cancer related illnesses;
- Improve strength and muscle gains, as well as fat loss by increasing the main anabolic hormones.
***If you check different sources you will encounter more benefits than the ones listed above, like reduction in acne for example. Due to the low amount of research on other benefits, or contradiction between different studies I have decided not to list some of the benefits. Although I haven’t touched them all, the ones listed above are more than enough to convince me of it’s positive effects. That being said, make sure you get the right daily dosage and the right chemical formula for supplements or you risk being worse off than before. If you’d like to read more on the subject check out Charles Poliquin and Howstuffworks.
If you think I may have skipped key benefits write me a message through my social profiles or by email, with research and studies as proof and I will gladly update this page (with your name in the credits :P)