Why you are likely zinc deficient and how to improve your zinc status
Zinc is an essential mineral that is required by the body for optimal health. The body is not able to store excess zinc, so you need a constant supply from your diet.
Zinc is required for hundreds of enzymes that control functions such as vision, hearing, health of the skin, hair, nails, connective tissue, sexual function, digestion, immune response, and more.
ZInc is also required for
- Gene expression
- Immune function
- Protein synthesis
- DNA synthesis
- Wound healing
- Growth and development
- Thyroid function
Recent research also shows that zinc and selenium are important for longevity. Low zinc also tends to cause the body to absorb more toxic metals such as cadmium and lead.
It is important to know that there is a worldwide zinc deficiency due to the following reasons.
- Most of the world’s soils are low in zinc. Zinc is rarely replaced enough on today’s soils.
- Hybrid crops contain much less zinc as they produce more food per acre.
- Food refining and processing often removes zinc.
- Vegetarian or near vegetarian diets are much lower in zinc. This is because the only good food sources of zinc are meats, especially red meats.
- Special times of life require more zinc. This includes periods of stress, childhood, puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding and old age. Infections and chronic illnesses also tend to deplete zinc.
For all these reasons, zinc deficiency is a major problem for everyone, throughout the world.
Symptoms of zinc deficiency include
- Skin conditions such as stretch marks, white spots on the fingernails, varicose veins., acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, boils, vitiligo, and other skin infections.
- Other symptoms include
- Menstrual and female reproductive difficulties
- Birth defects and problems with fatal growth and development
- Male reproductive and prostate problems
- Vision problems
- Poor immunity
- Brain disorders such as hyperactivity, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, emotional instability, mood swings and bipolar disorder
Zinc deficiency is also involved in wound healing, cardiovascular disorders, digestive disorders, yeast conditions and problems with connective tissue, tendonitis and bursitis.
How can we increase our dietary intake of zinc?
The best food sources of bioavailable zinc are red meats chicken, turkey, eggs and fish. In general, plant foods are not good sources of bioavailable zinc. Among the best are pumpkin seeds and kelp. Shellfish and oysters are not recommended as food sources of zinc due to mercury and toxic metal contamination.
How can we assess the zinc status in our bodies?
Zinc is present in trace amounts in the body, making it difficult to detect zinc deficiency through a simple blood or urine test.
Hair mineral analysis is one of the best ways to assess your body’s need for zinc, and determine the optimal dose of zinc supplementation. You can learn more at activated-life.com. Thank you!