Volume 8 Issue 4

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Page 22 of 35 | # 44 | Page 23 While zinc and selenium deficiencies can occur at any age, by the me you reach 60, your risk can soar as high as 40 percent. Second a er iron, zinc is the most common mineral found in your body. It plays many roles and is required for the healthy func oning of all your cells, ssues, organs, and bones. Yet, as important as it is for health, hardly anyone suspects a zinc deficiency when they're not feeling well. While zinc deficiency is a widespread concern for people around the world – nearly one in three individuals may be deficient – it's just not on the radar for many physicians and pa ents living in developed na ons! Why is that? There are two key reasons why zinc deficiencies remain "under-the-radar..." • The signs of possible zinc deficiency mimic other common condi ons • Zinc as an essen al mineral was overlooked for years, while experts focused on iron and other nutrients Plus, there's no shortage of good food sources of zinc. Foods that many people eat regularly – like beef, poultry, mushrooms, spinach, and pumpkin seeds – are natural sources of zinc, so why would anyone be deficient? WHY YOU MIGHT BE DEFICIENT IN ZINC AND NOT KNOW IT Even if you're ge ng enough in your diet, certain condi ons can keep you from absorbing and u lizing zinc. And because zinc is found throughout your body as part of proteins and nucleic acids, plasma or serum zinc levels don't always measure your true zinc status. The same is true for urine tests and hair analysis. So what signs should you watch for that may suggest a zinc deficiency? • Brain fog and decreased alertness • Frequent respiratory illnesses or other infec ons • Difficulty sleeping • Slow wound healing • Lack of appe te • Leaky gut and gastrointes nal complaints • Occasional moodiness and feeling blue • Food doesn't taste and smell as good as it used to • Impaired hearing • Reduced libido • Occasional loose stools • Increased food and environmental allergies • The fact that these signs mimic other condi ons is one of the reasons many people never suspect a zinc deficiency. None of these stand out as a "zinc" red flag all by itself! AND THAT CAN THREATEN YOUR IMMUNE HEALTH, BRAIN, AND HEALTHY AGING AS YOU AGE, YOUR RISK FOR ZINC DEFICIENCY CLIMBS • If you have one or several of these signs, and neither you nor your doctor can explain why, I suggest trying a high-quality zinc supplement and see if it helps. You may be one of the 1-in-3 people who are deficient. • Also, if you're dealing with any type of chronic illness, ask your health prac oner about zinc. • Because zinc plays such a cri cal role in immune func on, healthy cell growth, and a healthy inflammatory response, you want to make sure a zinc deficiency isn't affec ng your health. HOW STRESS CAN LEAD TO A ZINC DEFICIENCY Do you lead a stressful lifestyle? Do you find yourself some mes feeling overwhelmed with life's many responsibili es? If so, you may be deficient in zinc. Emo onal stress is one of the biggest factors behind zinc deficiency. When you're stressed, your body shunts zinc to your brain, organs, muscles, and skin to help repair damage from stress. If you're unable to control the stress in your life, it can affect your adrenal health. In turn, adrenal fa gue can lead not only to a zinc deficiency, but calcium and magnesium deficiencies as well. For a healthy balance of hormones, including your thyroid hormones, you need enough zinc. Zinc also helps produce progesterone, cor sol, and aldosterone – hormones essen al for op mal well- being and a healthy inflammatory response. IF YOU'RE 60 OR OVER, YOU MAY BE AT A GREATER RISK FOR ZINC DEFICIENCY There are many factors that come into play as you age and your risk of zinc deficiency grows... According to one government survey, up to 45 percent of adults aged 60 and above were found to have zinc intakes below the es mated average requirements of 6.8 mg/day for senior women and 9.4 mg/day for men. As you age, your ability to absorb and u lize zinc declines. Add that to a marginal intake, and you're suddenly at greater risk of deficiency. Too li le bioavailable zinc can mean more frequent infec ons and degenera ve changes in your body. Here's something else to keep in mind: The part of your brain that houses zinc is the cerebral cortex, including your hippocampus and amygdala. This crucial region is responsible for memory, spa al ability, thinking, and emo ons. Having the right amount of zinc By Dr. Mercola

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