12 Reasons to make sure you are getting enough Zinc

What is Zinc good for?

The Autoimmune Disease Series

Image result for zinc quote

Today I thought that I’d share with you some thoughts around this incredibly important mineral.

Before getting overly concerned with symptoms, it may be worth getting this mineral tested to check your levels, because too much zinc can have its issues too, yet so many of us are deficient.

A Serum Alkaline Phosphatase Reactivation Test, which can be ordered through your doctor will indicate whether or not you require more zinc.

If you need to take more zinc, be sure to also take Vitamin B6 – they work best together.

Zinc is necessary for so many functions in the body that it is hard to know where to start.  If you have an autoimmune disease or other chronic disease addressing nutrient deficiencies can be an excellent place to kick off from, as it can help to clear up some fundamental symptoms.  With zinc in particular you will benefit from a potent immune system boost, by getting your levels into the optimum range.

One thing to remember is that if you are deficient in zinc, it can take a long time to build back up in your system, so supplementation will need to be consistent and medium to long-term.  Keep testing periodically to keep an eye on your levels.

So, what is zinc good for? Here are 12 key reasons to make sure that you are getting enough zinc:

  1. Antioxidant  Zinc is a powerful antioxidant, that means that it can help improve your immune function and help you to fight off a cold, but will also help you to combat oxidative stress that we see in more chronic conditions such as cancer.
  2. Fights Diabetes It helps to balance insulin in the body.  It allows for the adequate storage mechanism of insulin in the pancreas and then ensures that insulin can bind to cells by helping to activate digestive enzymes.  In this way glucose is used as fuel rather than stored as fat in the body.
  3. Mood stabiliser Zinc Balances other hormones.  It is not just insulin that zinc helps to regulate.  It has an effect on fertility hormones too.  In men a deficiency can negatively impact testosterone levels and with it fertility diminishes.  In women it is involved in oestrogen and progesterone production.  If we have to much or too little oestrogen circulating in our body it can manifest as moos swings, menstruation and fertility issues and can also increase the risk of some cancers.  It is also required in egg production so offers a double whammy of protection for anyone trying to conceive.
  4. Fertility  Zinc is needed for the production of estrogen and progesterone in women, which both support reproductive health. Either too high or too low levels of oestrogen can cause problems with menstruation, mood swings, early menopause, infertility and possibly even increase the risk for certain cancers.
  5. Cardiovascular health  It protects our blood vessels.  The very fine lining of cells that line our blood vessels require enough zinc to be maintained.  It helps to maintain healthy arteries thereby reducing blood pressure and boosting the health of our circulatory system.
  6. Digestion Zinc is also implicated in chronic digestive issues and as such zinc can be used to settle the effects of diarrhea.
  7. Fatigue  Energy production.  Help your body to absorb nutrients.  Zinc allows us to access amino acids from foods it also helps in the breakdown of carbohydrates, releasing a valuable source of energy.  Low zinc levels can be a contributing factor for chronic fatigue and adrenal dysfunction.
  8. Liver support  Protects the liver.  Having enough zinc is implicated in reduced levels of infection and liver damage.  It also reduces inflammation in the liver contributing to  more efficient nutrient absorption and metabolism and ensuring adequate elimination of waste from this incredible organ.
  9. Bulging biceps  Muscle regeneration. A key player in cell division and growth, zinc enables cellular development of the muscular and skeletal systems, boosting both strength and muscle mass.
  10.  Skin care Zinc also contributes to the health of your skin, both acne and eczema can improve when zinc levels are optimised
  11. Ease your mind Mental health, cognitive function and sense of taste and smell can improve with adequate B6 and zinc levels.
  12. See better Eye health is also improved with zinc.

I hope that this focus on just one small mineral can show you just how important nutrient levels in your body are.  Get one out of balance and your whole system can go out of whack!

Gemma x

 

What is coconut oil pulling?

How can coconut oil pulling help your health?

Kill the bacteria in your mouth to heal your gut.

The Autoimmune Disease Series

 

Bad breath? Bad gut.

Bottom line; the decay and bacteria in your mouth reflect the types of micro organisms that inhabit your gut.

It is estimated that more then 100 trillion micro organisms are crammed into the mucosal surfaces of your body, areas such as your mouth, gut and skin.

These tiny critters are now being understood to be essential for your overall health, as they promote food digestion, the absorption and utilisation of vitamins and minerals, while also mounting an immune response to invading pathogens in your body.

So if we understand that the gut is the gateway to autoimmunity, we can harness the power of these microorganisms by supporting a great gut flora.

But  How?

By helping to keep the bad bacteria at bay in our mouths.

In comes “oil pulling”.  A naturopathic technique from Ayuvedic medicine.  Initially it was introduced to the West by Dr. F. Karach, who suggested that;

“oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders. He said it cured him of a chronic blood disorder of 15 years duration and within three days it cured his arthritis, which at times was so painful he was bed ridden. ”   Bruce Fife

(Source: Coconut Research Centre)

Initially people who do oil pulling regularly notice better oral health, some people get rid of infections and gingivitis.  However, as I explained before, cleaning up your mouth cavity impacts on your whole body, detoxifying it and helping to remove the toxins that are released.

In a study done in 2008, 20 boys did oil pulling with sesame oil and in as little as 2 weeks saw a reduction in the number of ‘streptococcus mutans’ in their mouths.  This bacteria is largely responsible for plaque build up and tooth decay.

Traditionally sesame seed oil or sunflower oil has been used in this treatment.  However, many people nowadays are using coconut oil, to take advantage of its lauric acid component which offers anti microbia properties, helping to destroy fungi, bacteria and viruses.

So in addition to these benefits you may well experience relief from: asthma, allergies, chronic fatigue, diabetes, headaches and migraines, PMS hemorrhoids, and various skin problems.

This process is so simple you should give it a try for a few weeks to see if it boosts your health:

On waking take 1 teaspoon (work up to 1 tablespoon) of coconut oil or other oil of choice and place it in your mouth.

Swish it around your mouth, drawing it through your teeth for 15 – 20 minutes before spitting it out into a bin or down the toilet.  Don’t swallow this gunk as it it very toxic with bacteria, mucous and pus.

It is basically like using a mouth wash.  The twenty minutes is important so if you need to spit before then just empty your mouth and start again to make up to the time.

Before meals, on an empty stomach is best and while many do this just the once as soon as they wake, you can do this three times per day if you feel that you need it.

Let me know how you get on with your coconut oil pulling.

“Smile, it lets your teeth breathe”

Gemma x