Minerals Guide – ZINC
Zinc is essential because it is a co-factor for some 200 known metabolic enzymes. A co-factor is a non-protein molecule that empowers enzymes during critical biochemical reactions. The mineral is a central part of the enzyme that turns on the genes to produce specific proteins in response to hormone triggers. Zinc is also fundamental in the sensitivity of the tissues to circulating sex hormones and for growth, wound healing, and the sexual maturation of adolescents. Zinc is also believed to play a significant part in protecting against infections like the detested common cold. All of these are why we should ensure we eat enough zinc-rich foods. Zinc supplements are also available.
The RDA for adults is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men.
Zinc, Sex Hormones, and the Prostate Gland
Low intakes of dietary zinc-rich foods of less than 5 mg per day are linked to low levels of the male hormone testosterone. Dietary zinc deficiency is common in certain parts of the world where zinc has been depleted from farm soils. One result of this is delayed male puberty. The mineral is essential for sperm health and is highly concentrated in prostate tissues. Ejaculated sperm contains around 100 mg of zinc per liter, which is equivalent to a massive 5 mg per ejaculation – that’s just under half of an adult male’s RDA!
Why Sexually Active Men need more Zinc
Due to the loss of zinc each time men ejaculate, they are at risk of zinc deficiency. The mineral is essential for male fertility as it helps keep sperm in a quiet state to prevent premature release of the acrosome enzymes that are needed to drill a hole into the egg during fertilization. When in the female reproductive tract, where zinc levels are low, the wiggling sperm become more active, releasing acrosome enzymes to ensure fertilization.
The Sperm Head
The heads of each wiggling sperm contain tightly packed genetic material. Zinc is needed to maintain that tight packing. Zinc-deficient men may be sub-fertile because their sperm release the egg-boring acrosome enzymes much too soon.
The Prostate Gland
As mentioned earlier, the prostate gland in men has the highest zinc concentration. It has more of the mineral than any other bodily tissue. So, a lack of zinc due to inadequate consumption of zinc-rich foods is associated with an increased risk of the common problem of prostatitis or an enlarged prostate gland. That’s the male problem of having difficulty urinating because the enlarged gland interferes with the urethra. The urethra is the tube serving as the terminal region of the male urinary and reproductive systems. The structure is about 8 inches long, stretching from the bladder wall and ending in the distal glands of the penis. 
Prostate Cancer Detection with Zinc Levels
Measuring the zinc levels of a prostate biopsy sample may discover whether prostate cancer is present. That’s because prostate cancer cells lose the ability to concentrate zinc, so lower than normal zinc levels indicate that cancer is present. So, eating lots of zinc-rich foods is an excellent idea to reduce the chances of getting prostate cancer.
It is now clear that men should ensure they get enough daily zinc and a bit more if they are sexually active. In addition, to help them along they should be consuming zinc-rich foods such as the following top 7:
List of zinc rich foods
Let’s look at oysters closely as they’re so rich in zinc. According to the NIH website , the best zinc-rich food is raw fresh oysters packed with the mineral. For example, 3 oz of oysters give two-and-a-half to three times the daily requirement. So, sexually active men should be gobbling down those zinc-rich foods. Freshly caught oysters are frozen for the mass market. They are costly these days; expect to pay at least 20 GBP or $25 for a dozen. Go for it if you’re lucky to live near an oyster bar, as they have loads of these great zinc-rich foods.
How to Cook Frozen Oysters
You can buy frozen oysters online. However, be aware that oysters can’t be eaten raw after they have been frozen, so you have to cook them because once thawed. The texture of the meat becomes soft, and the shellfish are generally unsuitable for raw consumption. Frozen oysters, as zinc rich-foods, however, are quite acceptable when they are cooked. Thankfully, they don’t take long to prepare: place the frozen oysters on a grill heated to 230°C for 8 to 12 minutes, then add sauce when the meat becomes soft.
What is the best sauce, you may ask?
The one Thai and Chinese restaurants use! They know what they’re doing. But use the dressing sparingly as it contains salt, but there again, so does all seafood. Shellfish naturally contain slightly more sodium than finfish, but some fresh shellfish, such as raw shrimp, raw soft clams, and oysters, are low in salt. Lemon juice makes a good oyster flavoring. And it’s healthy and cheap.
Fresh Oyster Recipe
The following recipe is ONLY for FRESH OYSTERS. Some frozen oysters will have already been split.
Note: 2 oysters contain about 15 mg of zinc. Now watch this short Jamie Oliver video to see how it's done:
Because zinc is such an essential mineral, and not everyone can eat or even likes oysters, zinc deficiency among populations is a big problem. In addition, the zinc-rich foods listed above are only consumed by some people a day, and because zinc-poor processed foods continue to be big sellers, zinc deficiency is a concern. So, zinc supplements are made available for those concerned. See our page about the best zinc supplements (Plant-based Zinc, Liposomal Zinc, and Zinc Lozenges).
Trace elements such as zinc are minerals present in tissues in small amounts. Also known as microminerals, they make up less than a hundredth of one percent of body mass. For instance, trace elements like copper and zinc catalyze many enzymatic reactions. They also take part in complex reactions driving vital bodily functions. Because the body can’t synthesize trace elements, we must obtain them from food. If we can’t get them from the food we eat, we’re in big trouble, hence the need for supplements to replace zinc-rich foods such as oysters.
Eight Trace Elements
There should be at least 21 trace elements in the human body, of which 8 have a known significant impact on our health. These are chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. As key active components of many enzymes, their presence is essential to ensure optimal enzyme activity, which is why getting adequate amounts of zinc from zinc-rich foods is crucial to our overall well-being.
Soil Mineral Depletion
But due to soil mineral depletion and ubiquitous food processing, meeting our nutritional requirements, particularly for essential trace elements like zinc, has become quite a challenge. As a result, in many regions worldwide, children younger than five are being diagnosed with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Zinc deficiency, in particular, has become a major global health problem. In the United States, an estimated 12 percent of the population is at risk.
Zinc in zinc-rich foods
As we know, zinc has plenty of dietary sources: meat, seafood, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. However, many people suffer from zinc deficiency due to unhealthy processed food diets and low zinc levels in modern farm crops. Zinc deficiency can cause diarrhea, slow growth, and loss of appetite in kids. It can also lead to reproductive problems, hair loss, infections, loss of taste and smell, delayed wound healing, and problems with thinking, reasoning, and memory. Fortunately, people who don’t get enough zinc can take zinc supplements or change their diets to consume more zinc-rich foods.
Benefits of Zinc Supplementation
Zinc is the second most abundant trace metal in the human body after iron. One of its well-documented functions is as a co-factor. Examples of enzymes that depend on zinc are those that synthesize heme, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol. Another one is carbonic anhydrase, whose function controls the senses of smell and taste. Without zinc, this enzyme is deactivated, impairing taste and smell. That’s why we need zinc-rich foods and zinc supplementation.
Zinc’s Other Roles
Zinc deficiency has serious consequences. Unfortunately, the symptoms of zinc deficiency often mimic those of other nutrient deficiencies; hence it’s difficult to diagnose. But we can ensure adequate zinc intake by eating zinc-rich foods and consulting healthcare providers about zinc supplementation.
A closer look at zinc RDA
The RDA for zinc is 5 mg for children 4-8 years old and 8 mg for 9- to 13-year-olds. For young men aged 14-18 years, the RDA is 11 mg. It is 9 mg for young women of the same age. The RDA for zinc remains the same for guys 19 years old and above and 8 mg for gals of the same age group.
Age and Zinc Levels
Zinc levels decline as we age, so zinc deficiency is common among old folk. Nevertheless, they need dietary zinc supplementation, especially blokes, in order to reduce the chances of an enlarged prostate.
Other Zinc Benefits
The list is pretty long:
Where To Get Lab-Verified, Highly Bioavailable Zinc Supplements
We now know that zinc gets plenty of things done inside the body despite being present in small amounts. And because of its involvement in several bodily processes, don’t take this micromineral for granted. If you want to increase your zinc intake, our supplier has the right supplement for you.
Our vegan, liquid blend is a highly bioavailable, plant-based zinc that’s water-extracted from certified organic guava leaves. The plant-based formula is all-natural and gentle on your stomach. Unlike most zinc supplements, including zinc gluconate, zinc picolinate, zinc sulfate, and zinc citrate, which are made with synthetic forms of the mineral, the zinc in this formula is naturally bound to plant proteins and amino acids so your body can use it efficiently.
Added trace minerals
We added Energized Trace Minerals™ to maximize the absorption so you get the most therapeutic value. This powerful liquid formula is perfect for helping you meet your nutritional needs and supporting your health and well-being. Every two-ounce bottle contains 60 servings and lasts 30 days when used as directed.
Seeking Health Zinc Lozenges are perfect for vegans and vegetarians and provide 15 mg of TRAACS® zinc bisglycinate chelate in an easy-to-use lozenge format. Zinc activates more than seventy enzymes within the body, including those that assist with protein synthesis. Zinc Lozenge uses TRAACS® Zinc Bisglycinate Chelate, a gentle, well-tolerated form of zinc. Each tablet can be easily broken into smaller pieces for greater dosage control. These tablets use only xylitol and natural flavors – no artificial sweeteners or colors.
Groovy Bee® Liposomal Zinc
Groovy Bee® Liposomal Zinc is a high-quality, lab-verified dietary zinc supplement specially formulated for better absorption. Made only with natural ingredients, this premium liposomal supplement is encapsulated within phospholipid-based liposomes derived from non-GMO sunflower lecithin. Liposomal zinc provides a highly bioavailable form of zinc that the body can easily absorb.
It's a pretty good zinc supplement!
It’s the next best thing to the pure plant-derived zinc in Sizzling Minerals. Liposomes are versatile carriers that protect the zinc as they travel through the digestive system. Groovy Bee® Liposomal Zinc is made in the USA and contains no gluten or any ingredients derived from GMOs. It is also vegan and lab verified for cleanliness and purity and meticulously lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals, and microbiology.
Sizzling Minerals and Zinc
The TRC test results on a Sizzling Minerals sample show that each wafer contains 0.622 mg of zinc, or 6.8 percent of the RDA. As a comparison, one large egg holds 6 percent of the zinc RDA. So, two eggs have 12 percent. However, with every refreshing fizzy Sizzling Minerals drink or veggie capsule – there are at least 74 other minerals and trace minerals, which are vital.
1. Male Urethra
Synonymous terms: zinc rich foods; eat zinc rich foods;