Volume 8 Issue 4

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Page 24 | Abby's Magazine | is absolutely necessary for your healthy brain func on, memory and mood! One of the biggest challenges with zinc and people of any age is this: Zinc isn't stored in your body, so you must get the amount your body needs – and can absorb – each and every day! For people over 60 especially, this can be a challenge. IF YOU FALL INTO ANY OF THESE OTHER 5 GROUPS, YOU MAY ALSO BE MORE LIKELY TO BE LOW IN ZINC In addi on to those 60 and over, there are several other groups who may be at a greater risk of developing a zinc deficiency… • Those with GI and Diges ve Disorders Gut and diges ve disorders can decrease zinc absorp on and increase the loss of zinc from your intes nal tract, tract and even your kidneys. • Vegetarians Bioavailable zinc is highest in animal foods, like oysters, liver and pastured beef. Not only are they the best sources of zinc, ea ng these foods may also enhance your absorp on of zinc from all sources. Plant sources of zinc are not absorbed nearly as well as animal sources. If you are a vegetarian, you may need as much as 50 percent more zinc than meat eaters. • Grain, Seed, Nut, and Legume Eaters Many legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts contain phytates, or compounds that bind to zinc and make it harder for your body to absorb. While vegetarians tend to eat plen ful legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, even if you're not a vegetarian but eat a lot of these foods, you may also be at greater risk. Helpful hints for increasing your zinc bioavailability include soaking beans, grains, nuts and seeds in water for at least several hours or overnight, and, if possible, allowing them to sprout a er soaking. This also helps reduce harmful lec n content. • Pregnant and Nursing Women A developing fetus requires high levels of zinc. If a woman starts her pregnancy with marginal zinc levels, she may be at risk of developing a zinc deficiency. Lacta on can also deplete a mom's zinc stores. For these two reasons, the recommended daily amounts of bioavailable zinc are higher for pregnant and nursing women than other women. • Excessive alcohol consump on Up to half of alcoholics have low zinc levels. The consump on of ethanol both decreases intes nal absorp on of zinc and increases the excre on of zinc in the urine. Plus, many alcoholics don't get enough zinc in the types and amounts of foods they typically eat. 9 KEY REASONS WHY YOU NEED THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF ZINC Researchers now recognize that zinc is important for: 1. Suppor ng immune func on Even mild to moderate zinc deficiencies can depress your immune func on and impair your body's response to invaders. Without enough zinc, your protec ve white blood cells can't func on op mally. 2. Suppor ng healthy cell growth and replica on, and helping to reduce everyday "wear and tear" on your cells' DNA Your cells' DNA is the blueprint for healthy cell replica on. Research shows that a moderate increase in zinc status can lead to improved repair of DNA strand breaks along with serum protein concentra ons involved with DNA repair, and help restore an oxidant and immune func ons. 3. Suppor ng respiratory health Studies show that adequate zinc improves respiratory well-being, even during seasonal challenges to your health. 4. Aiding in the absorp on of other nutrients and suppor ng a healthy metabolism Zinc plays a delicate dance with other nutrients in your body and helps with the absorp on of nutrients, including folate from food. Too li le zinc can increase your need for vitamin E. Zinc also acts as a cofactor in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. 5. Helping to prevent the accumula on of defec ve proteins in your brain When proteins in your brain lose their correct shape due to damage, they cease working properly and can clump together. Zinc plays a key role in crea ng and holding proteins in their correct shape, an important factor for healthy cogni ve func on. 6. Promo ng protein synthesis and wound healing Zinc supports healthy skin and the integrity of your mucosal membranes.

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