Zinc is an essential trace mineral, which is second only to iron as the most plentiful trace element in the body. It aids in the absorption of B vitamins, and is a constituent of at least 25 enzyme systems, as well as being a component of insulin and of superoxide dismutase. Zinc is essential for growth and development of sexual organs, is important in nucleic acid synthesis and plays a role in carbohydrate and phosphorus metabolism.
There is concern regarding the absorption of zinc, both from dietary intake and nutritional supplements, because of zinc’s essential role in human nutrition and metabolism, and because of evidence that some population groups have a marginal-to-deficiency condition: not all zinc preparations have equal bioavailability.
Acrodermatitis enteropathica (AE), a rare genetic disorder characterized by a severe zinc deficit, provides an excellent model for understanding zinc deficiency and absorption in humans. Patients with AE have a defect in tryptophan metabolism, which may predispose them to producing decreased levels of picolinic acid (PA). PA, a natural product of normal tryptophan metabolism in the body, has been shown to be an important, if not an essential component of zinc absorption. Zinc picolinate appears to have the greatest efficacy in reversing the zinc deficiency of AE and is also absorbed to a higher degree in normal subjects than other zinc supplements.
Unlike supplementation with many other mineral chelates, use of zinc picolinate may actually provide the compound normally created by the body in the intestinal tract to facilitate absorption.
Zinc may be useful for the following conditions: retarded growth, delayed sexual maturity, slow healing, prostate problems, immune system deficiency, and anorexia nervosa. Several factors, including calcium, naturally decrease zinc’s bioavailability in the diet. Today, with more people supplementing their diets with calcium, the need to provide this highly bioavailable form of zinc is well warranted.
Recommended Dosage as per Health Canada Label Claims–Adults: Take 1 capsule daily. Taken with food a few hours before or after other medication. Consult your health-care practitioner for use beyond 3 months.