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What Is Zinc? What Are The Benefits of Zinc?

Posted by Christopher Picerni on
Zinc benefits

You may be hearing more about zinc recently, but what exactly is it and what are its benefits?

What is Zinc?

Zinc is an essential nutrient found in every cell throughout your body.  It is vital to immune function, cellular metabolism, DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, reducing oxidative stress, and much more.

Essential nutrients are nutrients required for normal bodily function, but that are not synthesized in your body.  Your body also does not store excess amounts.  That means you need to consistently get them through diet and/or dietary supplements.  Foods high in zinc include meats, seafoods, dairy products, nuts, legumes, and whole grains (1).  Zinc is also a supplement found in COAST.

What are the Benefits of Zinc?

Zinc has a multitude of benefits, which is why it should be a mainstay of your daily routine.  Let’s go through a few of them.

Immune Function

Zinc plays a key role in keeping your immune system strong and functioning properly.  It helps your immune system fight off viruses and bacteria introduced in your body by improving the growth and signaling of T and B cells (2).

Building Protein

We know this is important to all of you looking to put on a little muscle!  Zinc-finger proteins are one of the most abundant groups of proteins and are involved in the genetic growth of various proteins (3).

Reducing Inflammation

Zinc reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.  It helps prevent free radical damage and reduces inflammatory proteins by acting as an antioxidant and stabilizing cell membranes (4).


Metabolism is the chemical reactions in your body that convert food to energy; convert food to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates; and eliminate metabolic waste.  Zinc is essential for the function of more than 200 enzymes that aid in metabolism, genetic expression, and cell division (5).

Wound Healing

Zinc is a critical cofactor in cell membrane repair, cell proliferation, and growth.  Zinc therefore is heavily involved in skin health and wound healing (6).

Zinc’s Role in Alcohol Metabolism

While zinc’s roles in immunity and metabolism may be well understood, what is generally lesser known is its important role in alcohol metabolism. 

As a quick refresher, ethanol, the form of alcohol found in all alcoholic beverages, undergoes a series of metabolic steps before it is converted into acetic acid and excreted from the body.  This process creates a carcinogenic toxin, acetaldehyde, while also draining the body of critical resources like NAD+, which is the main oxidizing agent (7). 

Specific enzymes facilitate the alcohol metabolism process.  Zinc is a critical cofactor in this process two ways.  First, it increases activity of alcohol dehydrogenase, which is one of the main enzymes responsible for ridding your body of ethanol and its toxic byproducts.  Second, it improves the first-pass metabolism (FPM) of ethanol (8). 

Zinc deficiency is also a consistent finding in chronic alcohol abusers (9).

In simple terms, zinc increases your body’s efficiency in metabolizing alcohol, thereby mitigating some of the damage that would otherwise occur.

Zinc in COAST

COAST includes 50mg of zinc in each serving as it is crucial to your health and wellbeing, both as a daily supplement as well as a first line of defense against those unwanted downsides of the drinks you are enjoying.



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