ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Zinc and Its Benefits to Children and the Elderly

Updated on August 31, 2019

Why is zinc important?

Zinc is a chemical compound that is abundant in the earth’s surface. It is the 24th most common chemical element on earth and is also found in abundance in the outer layer of our skin the epidermis, which has five to six times more zinc than that found on the inner layer of our skin.

  • Zinc helps promote and maintain healthy reproductive system and immune system including their various glands and organs.
  • It promotes the normal production of hormones released by these systems for the body's normal function
  • Zinc is important for the production and maintenance of healthy organ membranes, various body enzymes, and proteins.
  • Zinc is important for proper nerve and sensory functioning, for the manufacture of DNA, for boosting immunity and for general human growth and development.

Zinc oxide is an important antioxidant, protecting the skin from oxidative stress and the negative effects of free radicals in the environment.

It also protects the skin from the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun.

It speeds up healing of cuts and wounds, strengthens the immune system and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer.

Zinc deficiency results when the required amount of zinc needed by the body is not adequately met. It is very much pronounced among children in developing countries due to several factors.

One reason is that many children in third world countries do not have enough of meat products in their diet depriving them of the nutrients that can be derived from meats and meat products. During attacks of diarrhea, these children lose a lot of minerals and vitamins because of loose bowel movement.

Studies show that around 2 billion people worldwide especially in the developing world are suffering from zinc deficiency in their diet. Health authorities are concerned about the implication of zinc deficiency on a person's immune function, on the damage to his DNA, on the management of infectious diseases and on the management of cancer.

Another reason is that children in developing countries eat a lot of legumes and cereals because this is what is readily available and cheap in their country. However, these foods are what prevent the absorption of zinc in the body making these children susceptible to various diseases.

Zinc deficiency is prevalent in the developing world but it is also present in developed countries such as the United States. In the US, 12 percent of the total population and 40 percent of the elderly population face the risk of being deficient in zinc due to poor absorption of this important mineral in their diet.

In the US, pregnant mothers who lack zinc oxide in their diets face a high risk of premature birth. Children who are deficient in zinc manifest symptoms of mental retardation, low testosterone levels or hypogonadism among the males, skin, neurological and immune disorders.

Why do some people lack zinc in their body?

There are foods that inhibit the absorption of zinc such as dietary fiber, soy and iron supplements.

The fiber found in grains, nuts and seeds prevent the body's absorption of zinc because of a substance found in the dietary fibers called phytic acid. Phytic acid, or phytate, which is abundant in grains, nuts and seeds binds strongly with zinc making zinc absorption difficult and unavailable for the body's use.

Iron supplements can also block the body's absorption of zinc especially when taken at the same time. However, an experiment published in the American Journal of Nutrition showed that iron did not have negative effect on the body's ability to absorb zinc when both substances are given together as part of a meal.

An adequate supply of zinc in the diet among the elderly are manifested in their improved skin texture, and an improved sense of taste.

© 2011 Zee Mercado

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)