Could It Be Zinc Deficiency?

Posted by HealthAid 06/02/2018 0 Comment(s) Supplements,
Do you complain about hair loss, low mood, white spots on fingernails, dry skin, changes in appetite, salty or sweet foods cravings, low stamina, fertility & prostate problems, lack of sex drive, recurrent infections, weight gain or weight loss, tiredness, sleep problems, hormonal imbalance, poor concentration & memory, and allergies?
 
Could It Be Zinc Deficiency?
 
Well, if you do experience some of these signs maybe it’s time to start being very serious about considering zinc deficiency.
 
Researchers suggest that due to soil depletionpoor refined diet, high sugar consumption, stress, stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, etc.), frequent orgasms (semen is very high in zinc), and other factors at least 2 billion people around the world suffer from lack of this vital trace mineral.
 
Zinc is present everywhere in our body and it is required to maintain normal metabolism (body weight), brain and nervous system function, healthy immune system, strong bones & teeth, night vision, acid production in the stomach, healthy liver, and normal blood glucose levels.
 

 

ZINC DEFICIENCY

Zinc deficiency may be associated with the following symptoms and health problems:
 
Weak immune system, frequent infections, increased risk of cancer and autoimmune diseases, prostate problems including prostate cancer and enlargement, hormonal imbalance, male infertility, erectile dysfunction, sleep problems, hair loss, diarrhoea, allergies, dry skin and skin lesions, lack of sex drive, mental lethargy, obesity, anorexia and bulimia nervosa, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, diabetes, psoriasis, acne, eczema, sinus problems, Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, pyroluria (metabolic condition characterized by extremely low zinc status),Lyme Disease, and even autism or autoimmune diseases. Some experts such as Dr. Carl Pfeiffer also believe white spots on fingernails are often the result of a zinc deficiency. A deficiency of zinc or magnesium allows sodium levels to rise, contributing to water retention.
 
 

CAUSES OF ZINC DEFICIENCY

 
Soil depletion is regarded as one of the main reasons why we can be zinc deficient, because if this mineral is not present in the soil then also plants will be deprived of it. Soil depletion has been well documented and even organically grown vegetables may not contain proper amount of minerals as organic farming usually only solves the pesticide pollution problem. It is, therefore, believed that the best way to receive vegetables high in zinc and other minerals is through the means of bio-dynamic farmingsupplementing soils with natural compost, and through crop rotation.
 
Zinc deficiency is also exacerbated by certain drugs and eating too much of refined foods (all white flower productswhite breadsugarsweetspizzaspaghetti, etc.) which contain very little or no zinc.
 
High sugar consumption leads to insulin surges which use up our zincIUDs (intrauterine devices), which are usually made of copper, and birth control pills, which may contain copper, may cause excess copper that can be toxic and contribute to zinc deficiency as these two minerals are antagonistic to each other.
 
Mercury toxicity caused by using amalgam fillingsvaccines and fish consumption can block zinc and magnesium as mercury binds with these minerals. In this case it is suggested that even supplementing zinc and magnesium will not solve this problem without proper detoxification and removing mercury from the body. One of the best ways to detoxify the body from mercury is by avoiding mentioned above sources and regular intake of organic chlorella >.
 
Caffeine containing products inhibit absorption of not only zinc but also magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, and copper.
 
Also alcohol contributes to zinc, calcium, manganese, and chromium deficiency.
 
Iron and calcium supplements may reduce zinc absorption.
 
Frequent sex and masturbation can be one of the key causes of zinc deficiency. David Horrobin, M.D. and Ph.D. from Oxford University, declared that, “The amount of zinc in semen is such that one ejaculation may get rid of all the zinc that can be absorbed from the intestines in one day. This has a number of consequences. Unless the amount lost is replaced by an increased dietary intake, repeated ejaculation may lead to a real zinc deficiency with various problems developing, including impotence… It is even possible, given the importance of zinc for the brain, that 19th century moralists were correct when they said that repeated masturbation could make one mad!” Also Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., in his book on zinc stated: “In a zinc-deficient adolescent, sexual excitement and excessive masturbation might precipitate insanity.”
 
 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF ZINC

Necessary for the strong immune system
 
Zinc makes immune system strong enough to fend off infections. In addition, it helps reduce risk of various cancers and autoimmune diseases. Zinc strengthens our immune system by stimulating antibody production and it has proven to be even directly toxic to certain types of viruses. It also speeds up recovery & helps minimise unpleasant signs associated with flu or clod such as runny nose or tiredness. A study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation demonstrated that zinc “significantly reduced the duration of symptoms of the common cold.”
 
 
Promotes healthy libido, prostate, stamina & normal hormonal balance
 
Zinc benefits hormonal health and fertility because it plays an important role in hormone production, including testosterone (male sex hormone), thus promoting normal stamina, prostate health and helps build muscle mass in men.
 
The prostate cannot function properly without zinc as it contains more zinc than any other organ in the body.
 
Zinc is also needed for the production of female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone which support fertility and greatly influence mood and menstruation.
 
 
Key beauty nutrient for healthy hair, skin & nails
 
Zinc deficiency can lead to deterioration of the protein that makes up the hair follicle thus causing hair shedding & loss.
 
Zinc is absolutely essential for beautiful skin as it helps skin maintain supply of collagen which prevents wrinkly sagging skin. Without zinc skin has also hard time to repair itself as it is required for cell division.
 
Zinc deficiency can be a root cause of acne, nail splitting & abnormal discolourations of fingernails
 
 
Promotes normal body weight, metabolism and healthy blood glucose levels
 
Zinc deficiency is associated with insulin resistance, obesity, and often also with anorexia and bulimia nervosa. There are individuals who even claim to recover from anorexia and bulimia after taking zinc supplements because in their case the main problem was severe zinc deficiency.
 
A study on obese children, demonstrated that zinc supplementation significantly reduced blood glucose and insulin levels, thus reducing conversion of sugar to fat (stimulated by high blood levels of insulin). Zinc has important effects on metabolism, and on the thermoregulation of obese individuals.
 
Obesity combined with zinc deficiency promotes the development of a chronic systemic inflammation. Obese individuals have an increased incidence of developing zinc deficiency, have lower dietary zinc intake and therefore exhibit more systemic inflammation. Zinc deficiency perturbs immune functions and promotes systemic inflammation. Recent studies have demonstrated that obesity can be associated with systemic inflammation which leads to atherosclerosis, asthma, and other health problems. In obese people, adipose tissue releases specific adipokines which lead to infiltration by macrophages thus promoting the production of inflammatory mediators.
 
Studies investigating the relationship between zinc and leptin show that zinc may critically impact leptin secretion. Zinc supplementation to the obese mice increases leptin levels and restoration of obesity induced by sucrose. It means that low levels of this very important hormone and appetite suppressor as well as leptin resistance which occur in obesity might have resulted from zinc deficiency. The relationship between zinc and leptin was examined also in humans who had zinc deficiency caused by refined diet. Zinc supplementation to these individuals resulted in significant increase in leptin secretion.
 
 
Required for strong bones and teeth
 
Zinc helps vitamin D to work inside the cells of our body. It’s also important in making sure that the calcium we get from foods or supplements is used in our bones. Without zinc and vitamin D calcium tends to be deposited in kidneys (contributing to kidney stones) and in arteries, where together with cholesterol causes their hardening, thus contributing to heart attacks and strokes. Vitamin D and zinc work together to strengthen our bones and to help them develop properly.
 
 
Required for the production of stomach acid and proper protein digestion
 
Zinc is used in our body to produce stomach acid. Low stomach acid, therefore, can be a sign of zinc deficiency. That is why when the amount of zinc in our body is insufficient then the protein from food cannot be properly digested in the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, these undigested and too large protein molecules enter the bloodstream where they are recognized by the immune system as potentially dangerous foreign bodies, thus inducing immune reaction and histamine secretion which, in turn, creates allergy symptoms.
 
 

Other benefits

 
Zinc in our body regulates taste and appetite, improves metabolism, memory, and night vision.
 
Together with vitamin B6 and magnesium zinc is needed to produce tryptophan and then serotonin which regulates our appetite and mood.
 
Zinc is also necessary for optimal development and growth of human body or maintaining proper blood sugar level.
 
It is believed that zinc may even work as an antioxidant preventing DNA damage and cancer. One of the new studies demonstrated that even relatively small zinc deficiency may lead to DNA damage thus contributing to cancer development.
 
Zinc also works as an antioxidant slowing down the ageing process and preventing healthy cells from becoming abnormal.
 
Like selenium, zinc is also used in our body to create superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of the most powerful antioxidants.
 
 
 

DIETARY SOURCES OF ZINC

 
High amounts of zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds (often regarded as the highest source), garlic, Brazil nuts, whole meal breads, whole grains, mushrooms, nuts, and seeds. These sources, however, are dependent on the presence of zinc in the soil. Unfortunately, if the soil is depleted from zinc, which in most cases is, the food also will contain insufficient amount of this extremely important mineral. In this case supplementation seems to be the only solution.
 

ZINC SUPPLEMENTS

 
As far as supplementation is concerned, zinc citrate and gluconate are often believed to be the best forms (not more than 100 mg a day with meal). I usually take 25 to 50 mg of zinc citrate per day after breakfast. I prefer citrate after I found out it’s the only form of zinc which doesn’t make me nauseated.
 
 

ZINC AND NAUSEA

 
Zinc supplements (including gluconate) often cause nausea and for this reason they should be always taken after meals and not on an empty stomach. Unfortunately, even when ingested after meals zinc can still trigger nausea. The only zinc which shouldn’t cause this side effect is zinc citrate. I know it also from my own experience as I have tried all forms and all of them often lead to nausea. But since I started taking 50 mg of zinc citrate, one to two times a day after meals, I never feel nauseated.
 
Zinc gluconate is regarded as usually better tolerated by the stomach but it wasn’t true in my case. However, if you still prefer gluconate than citrate in spite of experiencing nausea try to reduce the amount to not more than 30mg a day after meal.
 
 

DOSAGE

 
The Recommended Daily Allowance for zinc is about 10 to 15mg for adults. Some specialists, however, recommend at least 25mg to even 100mg of zinc per day, but not more than that unless in specific situations. Frequent sex, diet high in sugar, using stimulants, stressful lifestyle, etc. require higher daily dosages. Overdoses of zinc lead to nausea, vomiting, and sometimes to stomach pain or diarrhoea.
 

 

ZINC AND COPPER

 
Proper balance between zinc and copper is critical to maintaining health. Zinc and copper compete against one another as they are antagonists. Therefore, having too much of one may cause deficiency of the other. Taking zinc supplements is important because zinc prevents copper accumulation and toxicity. On the other hand, taking zinc supplements alone can lead to copper deficiency which may contribute to premature grey hair and hair loss, weak immunity, poor bone health, arthritis, muscle and/ or joint pain, fatigue, digestive problems, Crohn’s disease, low body temperature, feeling cold, skin problems, unexplained weight loss, or bruising.
To prevent copper deficiency due to zinc supplementation you it is recommended to take 1mg of copper per every 25mg of zinc.
 
 

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

If possible avoid iron and calcium supplements as they reduce zinc absorption.
 
In case you have to take high doses of iron and calcium you should include zinc supplementation as well.
 
Vitamin D and selenium, on the other hand increase the bioavailability of zinc.
 
 

CONTRAINDICATIONS

 
If you’re taking amiloride, prednisone, cyclosporine or any other medicine that suppresses your immune system (immunosuppressant) you shouldn’t take zinc supplements without talking to your physician first.
 
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
 
SOURCES AND REFERENCES
- Suzuki, H.; Asakawa, A.; Li, J. B.; Tsai, M.; Amitani, H.; Ohinata, K.; Komai, M.; Inui, A. (2011). Zinc as an appetite stimulator – the possible role of zinc in the progression of diseases such as cachexia and sarcopenia. Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. 2011 Sep; 3(3):226-31.
- Su JC, Birmingham CL. Zinc supplementation in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Eat Weight Disord 2002; 7:20-2.
- David F. Horrobin, M.D., Ph.D., Zinc, St. Albans, Vt.: Vitabooks, Inc., 1981, p. 8.
- Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D. Zinc and Other Micro-nutrients, Keats: New Canaan, Conn., 1978, p. 45.
- Jing MY, Sun JY, Wang JF. The effect of peripheral administration of zinc on food intake in rats fed Zn-adequate or Zn-deficient diets. Biol Trace Elem Res 2008; 124:144-56.
- Birmingham CL, Gritzner S. How does zinc supplementation benefit anorexia nervosa? Eat Weight Disord 2006; 11:e109-11.
- Safai-Kutti S. Oral zinc supplementation in anorexia nervosa. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl 1990; 361:14-7.
- Selvais PL, Labuche C, Nguyen XN, Ketelslegers JM, Denef JF, Maiter DM. Cyclic feeding behaviour and changes in hypothalamic galanin and neuropeptide Y gene expression induced by zinc deficiency in the rat. J Neuroendocrinol 1997; 9:55-62.
- Lee RG, Rains TM, Tovar-Palacio C, Beverly JL, Shay NF. Zinc deficiency increases hypothalamic neuropeptide Y and neuropeptide Y mRNA levels and does not block neuropeptide Y-induced feeding in rats. J Nutr 1998; 128:1218-23.
- Kennedy KJ, Rains TM, Shay NF. Zinc deficiency changes preferred macronutrient intake in subpopulations of Sprague-Dawley outbred rats and reduces hepatic pyruvate kinase gene expression. J Nutr 1998; 128:43-9.
- Jing MY, Sun JY, Wang JF. The effect of peripheral administration of zinc on food intake in rats fed Zn-adequate or Zn-deficient diets. Biol Trace Elem Res 2008; 124:144-56.
- Birmingham CL, Gritzner S. How does zinc supplementation benefit anorexia nervosa? Eat Weight Disord 2006; 11:e109-11.
- Safai-Kutti S. Oral zinc supplementation in anorexia nervosa. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl 1990; 361:14-7.
- Selvais PL, Labuche C, Nguyen XN, Ketelslegers JM, Denef JF, Maiter DM. Cyclic feeding behaviour and changes in hypothalamic galanin and neuropeptide Y gene expression induced by zinc deficiency in the rat. J Neuroendocrinol 1997; 9:55-62.
- Lee RG, Rains TM, Tovar-Palacio C, Beverly JL, Shay NF. Zinc deficiency increases hypothalamic neuropeptide Y and neuropeptide Y mRNA levels and does not block neuropeptide Y-induced feeding in rats. J Nutr 1998; 128: 1218-23.
- Kennedy KJ, Rains TM, Shay NF. Zinc deficiency changes preferred macronutrient intake in subpopulations of Sprague-Dawley outbred rats and reduces hepatic pyruvate kinase gene expression. J Nutr 1998; 128: 43-9.
- Mantzoros CS, Prasad AS, Beck FW, Grabowski S, Kaplan J, Adair C, et al. Zinc may regulate serum leptin concentrations in humans. J Am Coll Nutr 1998; 17:270-5.
 
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.

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