Maintaining healthy hair can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re dealing with an issue like hair loss or if you just have coarse, dry hair that’s been thinning and breaking over time. A common cause of these problems is an imbalance in your zinc levels. Zinc is a trace mineral that plays an important role in the body’s production of hormones, cell division, immune system health, and keeping your hair healthy and strong at the cellular level. Learn more about the benefits of zinc for hair loss below!
Benefits of Zinc for Hair Loss and Overall Health
1. Improves hair elasticity
Our hair is constantly exposed to the stress of humidity and heat. This can cause damage, such as breakage, thinning, and frizziness. One way to help prevent this damage is to use a leave-in conditioner with zinc or regularly consume zinc-rich foods. Zinc is a mineral that is essential for maintaining hair elasticity and strength. A deficiency in zinc can cause thinning hair and a decrease in keratin production, which is responsible for hair strength and elasticity.
This can help reduce hair loss and restore lost hair volume.
2. Adds shine
When your hair is healthy, it has a natural shine. But when it’s damaged, it can become dull and lifeless. Zinc is a mineral that helps keep your hair looking shiny and lustrous. It does this by protecting the keratin in your hair from damage. Too much sun exposure can also contribute to dryness and breakage. So remember to wear hats when you’re out in the sun!
3. Keeps hair strong and healthy
Zinc is an essential mineral for keeping your hair strong and healthy. It helps to repair damaged hair, prevent breakage, and keep your scalp healthy. Zinc also helps to nourish your hair follicles, which can prevent hair loss. It is a crucial component of the enzyme involved in making keratin, the protein that provides structure and strength to your hair.
4. Stops free radicle damage
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage, and they’re one of the main culprits behind hair loss. Zinc helps to protect cells from free radical damage, keeping your hair healthy and strong.
5. Promotes new hair growth
Zinc promotes new hair growth by stimulating the production of collagen, which is another structural protein in the skin and scalp. Zinc is also necessary for the production of new hair cells, and it also helps to protect the cells from damage. Plus, zinc can help reduce inflammation and dandruff, both of which can contribute to hair loss.
Zinc also helps to improve the absorption of nutrients into the hair follicles. This means that the hair will be able to receive essential nutrients and minerals needed for healthy growth. Zinc also helps increase blood circulation in the scalp. These are all factors that can help promote new hair growth.
6. Prevents dandruff
Dandruff is a common scalp problem caused by many factors, including dryness, seborrhea, and fungus. Zinc is an effective treatment for dandruff and other scalp conditions due to its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Zinc can help treat dandruff, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis (a skin condition that causes oily patches on the scalp), and other scalp conditions. In fact, zinc is one of the most popular natural ingredients for treating dandruff because it’s effective and safe.
Many people think that using over-the-counter dandruff shampoos is the best way to treat their scalp problems. However, overuse of these products can actually cause more problems than they solve.
Additionally, shampooing too often can strip away the natural oils that protect your hair from dirt, bacteria, and other scalp irritants. This can lead to dryness, flakes, and even bald patches. In contrast, using a mild shampoo containing zinc can help protect your hair from damage while treating your scalp condition.
More Zinc Benefits for Health
Besides promoting healthy hair, the mineral zinc plays many additional roles in the body, from supporting immune function to promoting wound healing. Zinc can also help prevent inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are believed to contribute to chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Here is more to expect from this mineral:
Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into usable energy. Too much or too little of this process affects your weight, mood, and ability to exercise. As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. This can cause weight gain and decreased energy levels.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help optimize your metabolism and help maintain a healthy weight throughout your life. One of such things is consuming a zinc-rich diet. Zinc helps promote metabolism by helping burn calories.
Promotes healthy heart and blood vessels
If you are looking for an all-natural way to improve your cardiovascular health, consider adding zinc to your diet. This mineral is essential for heart and blood vessel function, and has been shown to improve the function of the heart, reduce the risk of stroke, and decrease inflammation. In addition, zinc can help to prevent atherosclerosis (the build-up of plaque on the walls of arteries) and lower blood pressure.
Zinc has also been found to play a positive role in maintaining healthy circulation, and it can also help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Supports childhood growth
Zinc is a mineral that helps the body produce connective tissue, including cartilage and skin. This mineral is especially important for developing the brain and spinal cord as the child grows. Zinc also helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
Slows the progression of macular degeneration
Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in older adults. It occurs when the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for central vision, deteriorates. The macula is made up of densely packed cells that are essential for seeing clearly. Macular degeneration can progress slowly or rapidly over time and can cause a wide range of symptoms.
The good news is that several studies have shown that taking zinc supplements may help to protect the macula and reduce the risk of vision loss. Some experts believe that zinc may also be effective at preventing the development of advanced cases of macular degeneration.
In addition, research shows that people who have a higher level of zinc in their blood are less likely to develop the disease. In addition, taking zinc supplements has been shown to improve the vision of people who are already suffering from Macular Degeneration by slowing the progression of the disease.
It boosts the immune system
An immune system is a network of cells and proteins that help the body protect itself from harmful invaders. Zinc helps fight infections by helping the body produce proteins and enzymes that fight bacteria and other pathogens.
Zinc also helps the body produce antibodies to defend against infection. In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that people who consumed 50 milligrams of zinc per day had a 20 percent higher antibody response than those who consumed 25 milligrams per or less per day.
Zinc may also reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu, fight inflammation, and boost wound healing.
It’s great for the management of diarrhea in children
Diarrhea is no fun, and it can be extremely frustrating when your little one starts to experience it. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help prevent diarrhea in your child. One of the most important things you can do is make sure they are getting enough zinc in their diet. Zinc is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system; without it, diarrheal conditions can develop quickly. Make sure to give your child plenty of fruits and vegetables that are high in zinc as well as other key nutrients to keep them hydrated and healthy.
It may help treat acne
Acne is a common skin condition that can be difficult to treat. While many different treatments are available, zinc has been shown to be an effective treatment for acne in adults and children. When used in combination with other acne-fighting ingredients and treatments, zinc can help clear up your skin in record time. If you are looking for a natural way to clear your skin and improve your overall appearance, consider incorporating zinc into your regimen.
Inflammation is a natural response your body has to injury or disease. The inflammatory process helps to remove damaged cells and tissues and promote healing. However, chronic inflammation can increase your risk of chronic conditions. When you encounter an inflammatory situation, your body responds by releasing cytokines which in high amounts, can be harmful.
Zinc can help reduce the production of these harmful chemicals, which can improve your overall health and wellbeing. If you’re looking for ways to improve your immune system, adding zinc to your diet is a great place to start.
Lowers your risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and it’s on the rise. But what can you do to reduce your risk? Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for reducing heart disease risk. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), zinc can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke.
In addition, zinc helps protect your heart by promoting healthy blood vessels and inhibiting inflammation.
One study showed that people who supplemented their diets with zinc had a 42% reduction in their risk of developing heart disease over a period of 10 years. Another study found that men who took 50mg of zinc daily reduced their risk of heart disease by 25%.
Taken together, these studies suggest that zinc may be an important factor in reducing the risk of heart disease. If you’re concerned about your risk of heart disease, it may be worth considering supplementing your diet with zinc.
What if you don’t get enough zinc?
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 31 percent of the world’s population suffers from zinc deficiency.
Zinc deficiency is also responsible for 406,000 pneumonia deaths, 176,000 diarrhea deaths, and 207,000 malaria deaths, primarily in the eastern Mediterranean, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Zinc deficiency occurs when you don’t consume enough zinc-containing foods regularly.
Here’s what zinc deficiency can do to your health
1. It can weaken your immunity
Zinc is essential to boost and maintain a healthy immune system.
It helps maintain the integrity of immune-mediating cells such as neutrophils and killer cells, without which one will be susceptible to infections.
Specifically, zinc destroys bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells; hence a deficiency will increase your risk for these infections. Read More.
2. It can lead to poor wound outcomes
Zinc deficiency can slow wound healing since it’s essential for collagen synthesis, inflammatory response, and immune functions, which promote wound healing.
That’s why zinc is commonly used in hospitals to treat ulcers, burns, and skin injuries.
In a 12-week study, individuals with diabetic foot ulcers treated with 200 mg of zinc every day noted reduced ulcer size compared to those who didn’t.
3. May increase your risk of diarrhea
Zinc deficiency impairs immunity, which automatically leaves you susceptible to various bacteria and viruses, including those responsible for diarrhea, such as E.coli.
4. It may cause thinning hair
Zinc is an important mineral for hair tissue growth and repair. A deficiency may lead to hair loss and, in worst cases, alopecia.
According to research, thyroid hormones play a major part in zinc absorption. However, in hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland is underperforming, zinc absorption is an issue hence why there is hair loss in hypothyroidism. So, in addition to thyroid medication, one must include a zinc supplement to promote strong and healthy hair.
5. Zinc may promote allergies
Zinc inhibits the release of histamine from the immune system. It also facilitates zinc storage. Any deficiency will release more histamines, which increases your sensitivity to food and environmental allergens. Common symptoms associated with allergies include sneezing, running nose, and hives.
6. Zinc deficiency may cause acne
Insufficient amounts of zinc may cause skin problems such as acne.
A review of past studies found that zinc protects against inflammation and bacterial infection and prevents overproduction of oil, which can clog your pores and cause acne.
7. It may lead to leaky gut
Too little zinc can cause a shift in your gut microbiome, cause inflammation, and break your mucosal barrier leading to leaky gut or intestinal permeability. This may lead to nutrient malabsorption, autoimmune conditions, skin disorders, and allergies.
One study found that taking zinc supplements may help tighten leaky gut in patients with Crohn’s disease.
How Much Zinc Should You Take for Healthy Hair
For healthy hair and overall wellbeing, the recommended daily intake is 11 milligrams for men and 8 milligrams for women. The highest tolerable intake is 40 mg/day for adults. Read More.
You can obtain zinc from food or supplements. However, supplements may have side effects such as headache, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and diarrhea.
A high intake of oral zinc for a long time may lead to a copper deficiency which may present with neurological problems like numbness or weakness in the legs and arms.
Unless you have to take a supplement, food sources of zinc are always recommended to avoid excessive intake.
Best food sources of zinc
- Pumpkin seeds – a cup provides 6.6 milligrams of zinc, or 44 percent of your daily requirement.
- Hemp seeds – 2 tablespoons provide 28 grams of zinc or 34 percent of the daily requirement.
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – a cup of cooked chickpeas provides 2.5 milligrams of zinc, or 17 percent of the daily requirements.
- Lentils – a cup of cooked lentils provides 2.5 milligrams of zinc, or 17 percent of the daily requirements
- Cashew nuts – an ounce provides 1.6 milligrams of zinc or 11 percent of the daily requirement.
- Mushrooms – a cup contains 1.4 milligrams of zinc or 9 percent of the daily requirement.
- Spinach – a cup provides 1.4 milligrams or 9 percent of the daily requirement.
- Avocado – one ripe avocado provides 1.3 milligrams or 8 percent of the daily requirement.
- Almonds – an ounce provides 0.9 milligrams of zinc or 6 percent of the daily requirement
Zinc helps promote healthy hair growth and follicle production, which can help you retain your natural hair color and thickness longer and maintain a healthy scalp. Zinc is also essential for different functions, including boosting immunity, supporting growth in children, and improving metabolism.
Zinc is only required in small amounts; however, most people still end up having deficiencies due to poor intake of zinc-containing foods. The best plant-based sources of zinc to incorporate into your diet include legumes, whole grains, some vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Zinc deficiency may result in poor wound healing, weak immune system, thinning hair, acne, leaky gut, diarrhea, and allergies.
Though you can obtain zinc as a supplement, food sources of zinc are the best to consume to avoid excess intake that may cause health problems.
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