Zinc and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)


Zinc is an essential nutrient. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term that describes conditions that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.


Immunoglobulin therapy has been used to treat individuals with IBD who have not responded to conventional treatments.


Certain nutrients, such as zinc, are necessary for proper immune function. Further, zinc has been found to boost immunoglobulin levels in patients.


One 2017 study, published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, analyzed 773 patients with Crohn’s disease and 223 patients with ulcerative colitis. This study found zinc deficiency was associated with IBD, and that supplementation of zinc to normal levels in the patient improved the individual's health.


However, studies show that high doses of zinc, through supplementation, have negative effects on the immune system. So consult your health care provider to determine if zinc supplementation is right for you.


Incorporating foods that contain zinc, such as cashews, chickpeas, oysters, grass-finished beef, pumpkin seeds, spinach, wild rice, and chicken, into the daily diet can help to safely supply the zinc needed for health and proper immune function.