Home Diet and Nutrition Guide Understanding the Importance of Zinc as We Age

Understanding the Importance of Zinc as We Age

by Dr Prem Community Writer
Importance of Zinc as We Age

The process of aging is an inevitable one. As we age, there are certain important aspects to be taken care of, and the most crucial one of them is health. Apart from the usual requirements like carbs, proteins, and fats; we also need micro and macro minerals to maintain good health. Zinc, iron, calcium, and other such minerals need to be present in our diet – especially during the older years to sustain proper development. Above all, it is necessary to understand the importance of zinc as we age, its benefits, and the various supplements that need to be used on a daily basis.

Importance of zinc as we age:

Importance of Zinc as We AgeAging requires an excess of certain minerals for that boost of energy. True that elderly people usually don’t move around that much, but they do need a certain recommended mineral input, especially zinc. Zinc is an essential mineral which needs to be incorporated in healthy amounts for children, adults, and elderly alike.

11mg for males and 8mg for females is the recommended daily dietary allowance for zinc minerals for adults, keeping in mind the importance of zinc as we age. Pregnant women may need to take up to 12mg zinc in their diet each day. However, it can be slightly difficult to take in these quantities just from food. Especially during old age, when you are restricted from having certain foods. Zinc supplement benefits for older people are many. So, resorting to zinc supplements can be a better alternative.

Why is zinc important for elderly people?

There are multiple benefits which contribute to the importance of zinc as we age. But our bodies become more inclined to its presence as we age. Here are a few reasons why zinc is important for elderly people:

Better immunity:

Better-immunityIn a recent study, two groups of elderly people were put to test. One group was given actual zinc supplements, while the other group was kept under placebo effect. It was concluded that the former group showed better resistance to cough, cold, influenzas and other opportunistic infections of old age than the latter one.

Proper food digestion:

Zinc is required essentially for the breakdown of essential nutrients like carbs, fats, and proteins in the body. An absence of zinc may lead to bloating of the stomach and malabsorption of nutrients. As it is, during old age, food digestion becomes a difficult process. With zinc, this process can be eased and nourishment from food can be better absorbed.

Good eye health:

Good-eye-health.Advanced age-related macular degeneration is more likely to occur in people with zinc deficiency. In addition to that, the right amount of zinc ensures good eye health, it can be stored in the macular part of the retina which plays an important role in imparting good vision to your eyes. This is, perhaps, the biggest reason why the importance of zinc as we agemust be given its due importance.

Cognitive functions:

With age, brain activity gets hampered too. Hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with retaining memory, contains high quantities of zinc. Taking zinc in the recommended amounts will ensure that you stay away from disorders such as Alzheimer’s even in old age.

Cancer prevention:

Cancer-preventionNot many people know that zinc is also involved in protecting cells from degradation. It actively functions as an important mediator in cell replication and transcription. Zinc, in sufficient amounts, will ensure that the health of each cell remains in good shape, thereby preventing cancer. 

Symptoms of zinc deficiency:

Facing irritable bowel syndromeZinc is made available to the human body from the soil in which plants grow. However, due to soil pollution, the quantity and quality of zinc in the soil are degrading each day. It is not the same as it was 5-6 decades ago. Due to this, deficiencies of zinc are becoming more and more common by the day. Given the importance of zinc as we age, here are a few apparent symptoms of zinc deficiency that one must never ignore, especially during aging:

  • Bloating of the stomach or improper digestion
  • Impairment of vision
  • Losing sense of smell or taste
  • Facing irritable bowel syndrome on a regular basis
  • Mood disorders like depression and anxiety
  • Hair and skin issues
  • Slow wound healing, acne, and dermatitis
  • Occasional memory loss. In extreme cases, Alzheimer’s.

These symptoms must never be ignored. True that they can happen due to reasons other than zinc deficiency too, but one must not take chances. Get yourself tested for your zinc levels if you happen to face any one or more of these symptoms, especially during old age. Having said that, not many people are aware of the benefits of zinc supplements for elders. You can resort to supplements to meet these inadequacies in a healthy and quick way.

What are the zinc supplement benefits for older people?

dry fruitsTrue that there are plenty of different sources of zinc that one can use to up their zinc levels. Meat, vegetables, dry fruits, seafood, eggs, and dairy products all contain zinc. However, as we age, there are certain restrictions occurring with your diet. Given your health conditions, you may be advised to eat certain stuff and avoid certain others.

The importance of zinc as we age cannot be overlooked. Which is why taking in zinc supplements is the safest option in this case. Even so, one must consult their doctor for the best brand of zinc supplements to suit their personal health needs. Also, your daily dose of zinc supplements must be closely monitored in order to avoid overdosing on it.

On the other hand, if your health is extremely fine to take in any kind of food and you don’t spot any zinc deficiency symptoms on you, it is best to stick to dietary zinc rather than to rely upon supplements. Thebenefits of zinc supplements for elderscan be availed both in the tablet as well as in the powder form to use according to your personal reasons and health situations.

Conclusion:

So to answerwhy is zinc important for elderly people, the answer is this:zinc is one of the most important minerals for your body,especiallybecause it cannot be synthesized within. It needs to be taken in from your diet, and therefore it falls under the category of ‘essential minerals.’  Zinc may be required in small portions, but theimportance of zinc as we age cannot be underestimated. Make sure you get yourself tested for deficiency symptoms and start monitoring your zinc intake while you are still young and able.

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