Tikun Ormus - Benefits of Zinc
Zinc is so important because it is found in every tissue in the body and is directly involved in cell division.
It is a powerful antioxidant, helping to prevent cancer, but zinc also is directly involved in proper endocrine function and the maintenance of ideal hormone levels.
If you consume zinc Supplements which have not been CHELATED, you run the risk of dizzy spells, passing out and metal poisoning.
Excessive amounts of un-chelated zinc are toxic and dangerous to your health.
Zinc deficiency makes both men and women infertile and causes low libido.
Low zinc also exacerbates the effects of stress on the body and accelerates aging.
Additionally, adequate zinc is necessary for optimal physical performance, energy levels, and body composition.
Zinc affects protein synthesis and is required for proper function of red and white blood cells.
It is highly concentrated in our bones, the pancreas, kidneys, liver, and retina.
Improve Performance and Strength
A recent study in the journal Biological Trace Element Research highlights the boost that raising zinc levels can give to testosterone production following exercise.
Researchers found that giving trained athletes a zinc supplement for four weeks prior to an exhaustive exercise test resulted in a greater post-workout testosterone response than a placebo.
Taking zinc produced higher testosterone levels in the athletes than taking a selenium supplement (a powerful antioxidant that minimizes oxidative stress in the testes).
Researchers note that zinc enhances the conversion rate of androstenedione to testosterone, and that paired with high-intensity exercise, it allows the body to produce testosterone at an even higher rate.
Another study of 88 men aged 40 to 60 years showed that those with normal testosterone levels had significantly higher zinc compared to those with low testosterone levels.
Low zinc was directly correlated with low testosterone levels, which put the men at greater risk of symptoms of male menopause.
Female Reproductive Health and Fertility
In women, zinc is involved in the growth process of the oocyte or egg. If women are zinc deficient, the egg won't mature properly and ovulation will be impeded, causing infertility.
Adequate zinc allows women to use estrogen and progesterone efficiently, supporting reproductive health and ensuring that estrogen does what it's supposed to do in the body.
When estrogen levels become too high, or are inefficiently metabolized they may cause poor reproductive health and breast cancer.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
Zinc is vital to maintain the health of cardiovascular cells and the endothelium.
The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that lines the blood vessels and plays a major role in circulation. Low zinc can cause a deficiency in the endothelial barrier, which leads to high cholesterol buildup and inflammation.
Cholesterol and inflammation increase your risk of heart disease.
Studies show that poor zinc status can amplify the negative cardiovascular effects of a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, whereas an adequate zinc intake will have a protective effect and inhibit the progression of heart disease.
The elderly population is especially susceptible to the buildup of inflammatory markers including C-reactive proteins and cytokines, which have been called "slow, silent killers."
The Antioxidant Effects of Zinc
Zinc is an excellent antioxidant.
The purpose of an antioxidant is to get rid of free radicals that cause damage to cells in the body by bonding with them and neutralizing them.
Zinc is particularly good at countering the damaging effect of high iron.
Zinc also targets free radicals that cause inflammation and is especially effective at detoxifying heavy metals from the brain.
Boost Brain Function and Treat ADHD
Zinc plays an essential role in neurotransmitter function and helps maintain brain structure and health.
Zinc is necessary in the metabolism of melatonin, which regulates dopamine.
Also, zinc is part of an enzyme that is necessary for the anabolism of fatty acids in the brain membrane.
This is very important because a key part of supporting brain health and function is to ensure the membrane gets the nutrients it needs.
Elevate Mood and Avoid Depression
The exact relationship between zinc deficiency and depression is unknown, however it surely has to do with the role of zinc in neurotransmitter and hormone production.
Dopamine production, which is partly regulated by zinc status, is a chemical that boosts energy, mood, and reward-driven learning. Poor insulin health or low testosterone levels can lead to health problems that increase rates of depression and low energy.
Throw in the antioxidant power of zinc and its ability to get rid of inflammatory biomarkers such as C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor (causes cell damage), and it is reasonable to ensure zinc intake is adequate when treating depression.
A new study in the Journal of Affective Disorders showed that zinc deficiency may affect depression in women more than men.
Women in this study who were already using antidepressants and had low zinc levels had a five times greater risk of ongoing depression.
It's thought that the gender-based relationship between low zinc and depression is related to how zinc influences energy levels and production of the hormone estrogen.
- Neek, L., Gaeini, A., Choobineh, S. Effect of Zinc and Selenium Supplementation on Serum Testosterone and Plasma Lactate in Cyclist After an Exhaustive Exercise Bout. Biological Trace Element Research. 9 July 2011. Published Ahead of Print.
- Chang, C., Choi, J., Kim, H., Park, S. Correlation Between Serum Testosterone Level and Concentrations of Copper and Zinc in Hair Tissue. Biological Trace Element Research. 14 June 2011. Published Ahead of Print.
- Maseregian, N., Hall, S., et al. Low Dietary or Supplemental Zinc is Associated with Depression Symptoms Among Women, But not Men, in a Population-Based Epidemiological Survey. Journal of Affective Disorders. October 2011. Published Ahead of Print.
- Piechal, A, Blecharz-Klin, K., et al. Maternal Zinc Supplementation Improves Spatial Memory in Rat Pups. Biological Trace elements Research. January 2012. Published Ahead of Print.
- Banudevi, S., Elumalai, P., et al. Chemopreventive Effects of Zinc on Prostate Carcinogenesis Induced by N-Methyl-N-Nitrosourea and Testosterone in Adult Male Spargue-Dawley Rats. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology. 201. 137(4), 677-86.
- Gumulec, J., Masarik, M., et al. Molecular Mechanisms of Zinc in Prostate Cancer. Klinical Onkology. 2011. 24(4), 249-255.
- Ortega, R., Rodriguez, E., et al. Poor Zinc Status is Associated with Increased Risk of Insulin Resistance in Spanish Children. British Journal of Nutrition. 2012. 107, 398-404.
- Abdelhalim, Mohamed. Atherosclerosis Can be Strongly Influenced by Iron and Zinc Overload or Deficiency in the Lung and Kidney Tissues of Rabbits. African Journal of Microbiology Research. 2010. 4(24), 2748-2753.
- Chasapis, C., Loutsidou, A., et al. Zinc and Human Health: An Update. Archives of Toxicology. November 2011. Published Ahead of Print.
- Tian, X., Diaz, F. Zinc Depletion Causes Multiple Defects in Ovarian Function During the Periovulatory Period in Mice. Endocrinology. 2012. 153(2), 873-886.
- Wong, C., Ho, E. Zinc and its Role in Age-Related Inflammation and Immune Dysfunction. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 2012. 56, 77-87.
- Shinjini, B., Taneja, S. Zinc and Cognitive Development. British Journal of Nutrition. 2001. 85(Suppl 2), 139-145.
- Maylor, E., Simpson, E., et al. Effects of Zinc Supplementation on Cognitive Function in Healthy Middle-Aged and Older Adults: the ZENITH Study. British Journal of Nutrition. 2006. 96, 752-760.
- Prasad, Ananda. Zinc Deficiency. British Medical Journal. 2003. 326, 409-410.
- Yary, T., Aazami, S. Dietary Intake of Zinc was Inversely Associated with Depression. Biological Trace Element Research. September 2011. Published Ahead of Print.
- Dodig-Cukovic, K., Dovhang, J., et al. The Role of Zinc in the Treatment of Hyperactivity Disorder in Children. Acta Medica Croatica. 2009. 63(4), 307313.
- Bilici, M., Yildrim, F., et al. Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Zinc Sulfate in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 2004. 28(1), 181-190.