Put some ZINC in your life
Zinc is such a critical element in human health that even a small deficiency is a disaster. Zinc supplementation is a powerful therapeutic tool in managing a long list of illnesses. Zinc, an essential trace mineral, is required for the metabolic activity of 300 of the body’s enzymes, and is considered essential for cell division and the synthesis of DNA and protein. These enzymes are involved with the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol. Zinc is also critical to tissue growth, wound healing, taste acuity, connective tissue growth and maintenance, immune system function, prostaglandin production, bone mineralization, proper thyroid function, blood clotting, cognitive functions, fetal growth and sperm production.
Zinc, Testosterone and Men’s Health
Zinc is necessary to maintain normal serum testosterone. Inadequate zinc levels prevent the pituitary gland from releasing luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones, which stimulate testosterone production.
Zinc also inhibits the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into excess estrogen. The testosterone to estrogen ratio in men declines with aging from a high of about 50:1 to half of that, or even a low of 10:1. Higher estrogen activity results in increasd risk of heart disease, weight gain, and obesity.
One reason for the progressive weight gain with age is that fat cells contain aromatase. More fat cells mean more estrogen which means more fat deposition.
This is further aggravated by alcohol consumption, which lowers zinc and increases estrogen, and so magnifies the problem.
In addition to the impact on hormone levels, zinc also has been proven to help the body produce healthier sperm by increasing sperm count and motility. A USDA study found that semen volume dropped 30 percent when zinc intake was low. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that male volunteers who consumed low amounts of zinc exhibited decreased semen volumes and serum testosterone concentrations.
Zinc deficiency has been found to have a severe impact on the male prostate gland. Zinc deficiency predisposes the prostate to infection (prostatis) which may lead to enlargement of the prostate gland (prostatic hypertrophy).
Zinc Boosts the Immune System
The significance of zinc in the body’s response to infection is well known. Zinc is a component in thymic hormone which controls and facilitates the maturation of lymphocytes. Zinc also plays a role in cell division and DNA replication, thereby aiding in the production of immune system cells.
Zinc Cuts Short the Common Cold
Zinc gluconate lozenges taken at the first sign of a cold reduce duration and symptom severity according to a 1992 study. Zinc, an antiviral agent and astringent, is released into the saliva, relieving cough, nasal drainage and congestion. Dr. Michael Macknin told CNN news. “It’s the first thing I’m aware of that actually decreased the duration of cold symptoms to this extent.” Researchers studied 100 patients who had cold symptoms for less than 24 hours, giving half of the patients a zinc lozenge and the other half a placebo. ” …… there was nearly a 50 percent reduction in the duration of the symptoms of the common cold.”
Zinc Boosts Brain Activity
Zinc is found in the vesicles of the mossy fiber system of the brain’s hippocampus. These fibers play a role in enhancing memory and thinking skills.
University of Texas researchers found that women deficient in zinc had a harder time on standard memory tests.
USDA scientists found lower cognition in men experimentally deprived of zinc.
Experiments have shown that accident victims who are given zinc supplements respond with improved cognitive function. Zinc is diverted to the healing tissues following injury or surgery and becomes less available for other essential functions.
Zinc Heals and Protects Skin
Zinc is essential for healthy skin. Topical zinc preparations (zinc oxide) has been used as an astringent to treat diaper rash, itching and chapped lips and skin. Zinc sulfate in a water based solution has been used for treating acne, cold sores and burns. Remember that zinc sulfate is a salt and can be quite caustic to raw tissue in high or moderate concentrations. Internally, zinc stimulates cell division, healing, proper connective tissue formation, and increases the transport of Vitamin A from the liver to the skin, helping to protect body tissue from damage and repair any damage present.
Zinc Stimulates Taste, Smell
Zinc activates areas of the brain that receive and process information from taste and smell sensors. Its importance to appetite was first demonstrated in 1972 when researchers showed taste disorders responded to zinc supplementation.
Zinc Improves Appetite
Levels of zinc in plasma were found to influence appetite and taste preference. Insufficient zinc has been linked to anorexia, which responds well to zinc replacement treatment.
Zinc Improves Mood
Zinc abnormalities also often exist in mood disorder patients. Zinc sulfate, taken as a supplement, appears effective in reducing fatigue, mood swings and changes in appetite
Zinc Requirements Daily Reference Intakes
9 - 13 years 8 Zinc(mg/day)
14 - 18 years 11 Zinc(mg/day)
19 - 30 years 11 Zinc(mg/day)
31 - 50 years 11 Zinc(mg/day)
51 - 70 years 11 Zinc(mg/day)
> 70 years 11 Zinc(mg/day)
9 - 13 years 8 Zinc(mg/day)
14 - 18 years 9 Zinc(mg/day)
19 - 30 years 8 Zinc(mg/day)
31 - 50 years 8 Zinc(mg/day)
51 - 70 years 8 Zinc(mg/day)
> 70 years 8 Zinc(mg/day)
Dietary Sources of Zinc
Rich sources of zinc are oysters, beef, liver, crab, seafood, poultry, nuts and seeds, whole grains, tofu, peanuts and peanut butter, legumes and milk. Zinc found in breast milk is better absorbed than that in formula milk. Fruits and vegetables are not generally good sources of zinc.
The list below provides the zinc content of selected foods in mg. of zinc.
Oysters, 3.5 oz ckd 39
Beef pot roast, 3.5 oz ckd 8.5
Ground beef, 3.5 oz ckd 5.5
Turkey, 3.5 oz ckd 4.5
Chicken liver, 3.5 oz ckd 4.3
Pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup 4.2
Wheat germ, 2 Tbl 2.4
Yogurt, low fat, 1 cup 2.2
1/9/09: 6.25" BPEL x 5.125" EG - 4.00" FL x 4.25" FG
GOAL: 7.25" BPEL x 6.00" EG
Updated 2/15/09 6.75" BPEL x 5.25" EG