What is Zinc good for?
The Autoimmune Disease Series
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Digestion Zinc is also implicated in chronic digestive issues and as such zinc can be used to settle the effects of diarrhea.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Skin care Zinc also contributes to the health of your skin, both acne and eczema can improve when zinc levels are optimised
- Ease your mind Mental health, cognitive function and sense of taste and smell can improve with adequate B6 and zinc levels.
- 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!