Zinc

bone eye hormone immune skin May 18, 2019

Sources:

  • Seafood especially oysters
  • Meat and poultry
  • Nuts - cashews, almonds
  • Legumes - chickpeas and kidney beans - although these contain phytates that may prevent zinc absorption

 

Deficiency:

Vegetarians are often deficient as the highest zinc containing foods are animal products; another issue is that vegetarian diets are high in copper, and copper and zinc compete against each other. Excessive alcohol consumption also reduces your zinc status.

 

Uses:

  • Involved in over 100 processes in the body
  • Builds immunity
  • Improves hormonal balance and encourages progesterone production
  • Is a key building block for healthy skin and wound healing
  • Needed for protein synthesis
  • Needed for DNA replication and the development of new cells
  • Needed for the maintenance of healthy bones
  • Essential for the sense of taste and smell
  • May delay the progression of macular degeneration and age-related vision loss.

 

Danger:

  • Iron and zinc compete with each other for absorption. If you are taking both they need to be taken two different times of the day for optimum effects.
  • Some women can’t tolerate zinc on an empty stomach, when taken on an empty stomach it encourages higher absorption, but in some cases, this causes nausea, headaches and an upset stomach. If you are sensitive to zinc, please take with a meal.

 

Medication interactions:

  • Zinc may reduce your absorption of Antibiotics, best not to take at the same time.
  • Ace inhibitors decrease zinc levels, it’s a good idea to supplement.
  • Desferal medication removes excess iron from the blood, it also removes zinc. Supplementation with zinc may be warranted.
  • It is not advised to take zinc alongside immune-suppressing medications such as prednisone.
  • Penicillamine reduces your zinc levels, it may be worth supplementing.
  • Chemotherapy drug Cisplatin reduces zinc levels, its best to speak to your oncologist about doses.
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics like Amiloride increase zinc levels, do NOT take together
  • Thiazide diuretics increase zinc excretion, supplementing may be beneficial.

 

Fun Fact:

Zinc is thought to have aphrodisiac qualities. It’s due to the zinc in oysters that they are so popular with romantics.

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