Audrey Marco – Canberra, The Lucy Rose Clinic
Zinc is a trace element essential at every stage of life. It is involved in the production of over 80 hormones and is a necessary component in a number of enzyme systems that regulate metabolic activities throughout the body.
Zinc forms enzymes that enable proteins to become “building blocks” for new cells. (Bartram. T. 1998).Our modern day, westernized life style contributes to lower Zinc level in general, especially diet high in processed food, low in essential fatty acids and high in grain diet, the use of medication, stress and alcohol consumption.
Approximately 47% of the population is at risk of Zinc deficiency (Osiecki.H 2006).
1. Thyroid Health
Normal thyroid function is dependent on the presence of many essential trace minerals, one of which is Zinc, known to be involved in many biochemical reactions occurring within the thyroid.
Studies suggest an association between goiter and Zinc deficiency, not a surprise when one considers Zinc is required to activate a certain enzyme to convert thyroxine to T3; it is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones and for stabilization of thyroid functions.
2. Immune Health & Autoimmunity
Zinc is highly important for immunity and influences both innate and acquired immunity. Zinc functions as a co-factor in the body for many immune dependent responses including involvement in thymus hormones induction of T-cells functions and production.
As an antioxidant, it also protects against free radical and studies report that Zinc exhibit anti-viral activity against more than 40 viruses. It is needed for natural killer cell activity, lymphocyte production and activity (T-cells) and for the production of some cytokines which are essential for tumour necrosis factor.
Zinc also restores normal immune function without being an” immune stimulant” which is of value for auto-immune disorders such as Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease. Low levels may may you more susceptible to infectious conditions like thrush and candida.
3. Blood Sugar Balance
Diabetic patients commonly exhibit a disruption in their metabolism of Zinc, evidenced by increased loss of it particularly via the urine. Diabetic subjects are very often found to be deficient in this important mineral.
Zinc has been proposed to mimic insulin by assisting in the signal transduction of insulin while also reducing beta cell insulin secretion; however the benefits are not limited to diabetes itself but also relate to diabetic complications such as diabetic retinopathy where it may exert a beneficial effect through its action as an antioxidant.
4. Healthy Mood & Brain Function
Zinc is an essential nutrient involved in numerous enzymatic reactions, including that of the brain.
Preliminary evidence suggest that supplementation with Zinc may help to augment antidepressant medications, making them more effective in managing major unipolar depression (Hechtman.L 2011).
Zinc also helps with the absorption of B vitamins which are essential for the nervous system health; it also functions as a modulator for many proteins and enzymes for neurotransmission cell signaling; any disruption to this cell signaling and neurotransmission is likely to affect sleep patterns.
A condition where elevated pyrroles are found in the urine; pyrroles bind to B6 and Zinc before all three are eliminated via the kidneys, rending the B6 and Zinc unavailable for use in their many enzyme reactions.
An estimated 20% of children and adolescents with autism, ADHD and behavioural disorders have elevated level pyrroles in their urine. This error of haemoglobin metabolism causes excessive loss and resulting in deficiency in B6 and Zinc, often with elevated serum levels of copper.
The cause of pyrroluria can be from genetic susceptibility, plus environmental factors such as stress and heavy metal burden (Hetchman.L 2011). Read more about the delicate balance between Zinc and copper here.
Heavy Metals are classed as poisons shown to disrupt a diverse range of enzyme functions, affecting virtually every system of the body.
It supports Heavy Metal safe excretion via methylation. Methylation processes play critical roles in detoxification, particularly of environmental toxins including heavy metals, pesticides, detoxification of phenols, DNA and RNA formation.
Zinc is an antagonist for Mercury, aluminium and cadmium in particular. Read more about Heavy Metals affecting your thyroid here.
It is required for protein synthesis and collagen formation of the skin; a significant amount of Zinc is lost through perspiration and the consumption of hard water can also upset Zinc level.
Compounds called phytates that are found in grains and legumes bind with Zinc so that it cannot be absorbed efficiently (Balch.J.F.1997).
Therefore it is very wise to seek the help of qualified and experienced practitioner who can explain why it is important to separate Iron and Calcium supplement from Zinc for better health outcome.
About the Author
Audrey Marco Adv Dip of Naturopathy, Dip of Herbal Medicine – College of Naturopathic Medicine in London Audrey grew up in Provence, South of France where she developed her passion for Herbal Medicine from an early age. She is passionate about helping people gain optimum health and energy to able them to live a fulfilling life. She understands how Endocrine hormonal balancing is a beautifully complex and essential system for providing a healthy state to our bodies. She is planning on studying for the Bachelor in Health and Sciences in Complementary Medicine. Audrey has experience both in Pharmacies and Health food store where she has developed a strong understanding of a united system of health care with the management of allopathic and Complementary medicines. Check out TheLucyRoseClinic.com.au and follow on Facebook.
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-Balch, James F . Prescription for Nutritional Healing: a practical A to Z reference to drug –free remedies using vitamins, minerals, herbs & food supplements- 2nd ed. 1997.
-Bartram.T. Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine.London,1998.
-Hechtman, L. Clinicla Naturopathy. 2011 Elsevier , Australia.
-Osiecki,H. The Nutrient Bible, 7th ed.Bioconcept, 2006, Australia.o […