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What Taking Zinc Every Day Does to Your Body

These are some of the benefits of daily zinc, according to experts.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Zinc is an essential mineral that helps the body function in a variety of basic ways, from supporting the immune system to keeping our metabolism humming. Fortunately, the human body doesn't need large amounts of zinc, and most of us get all the zinc we need from food. But there are some cases in which zinc supplementation could be warranted. These are some of the benefits of daily zinc, according to experts. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Zinc May Improve Immunity

Sick woman on couch

"Zinc, a nutrient found throughout your body, helps your immune system and metabolism function," says the Mayo Clinic. "Evidence suggests that if zinc lozenges or syrup is taken within 24 hours after cold symptoms start, the supplement can help shorten the length of colds." One caveat: Using nasal sprays containing zinc is no longer advised—the practice has led to some people losing their sense of smell temporarily or permanently. 


Zinc May Lower Blood Pressure

doctor taking patient's blood pressure with analog device
Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

According to a 2020 meta-analysis of studies, zinc supplementation decreases systolic blood pressure. The authors noted that zinc deficiency has been linked with high blood pressure in animal studies. 


Zinc May Help Wounds Heal


"People with skin ulcers and low levels of zinc might benefit from oral zinc supplements," says the Mayo Clinic. Applying zinc topically may help wounds heal by encouraging collagen production and the formation of new skin cells, experts say.


Zinc May Keep Your Skin Looking Young

Mature woman inspecting her skin in front of the bathroom mirror.

Moisturizers and sunscreens containing zinc oxide are recommended by dermatologists to prevent sun damage, which can cause premature skin aging and cellular changes that can lead to skin cancer. Experts recommend using a daily moisturizer with mineral sunscreen (such as those containing zinc or titanium dioxide) that are rated 30 SPF or higher. 


Zinc May Slow Macular Degeneration

zinc supplement

Doctors may recommend taking zinc to slow the eye disease AMD (age-related macular degeneration), which occurs when the part of the retina responsible for vision starts to degrade. The Age Related Eye Disease Study found that people with macular degeneration could slow down the damage by taking 80 mg of zinc (80 mg), along with vitamin C,  vitamin E, beta-carotene, and copper. Ask your doctor if you're concerned about your vision and if zinc supplementation might help. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael
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