We need to think of zinc ore often as it has so many important functions and uses for the body and especially since zinc deficiency is becoming more and more common today as a result of losses in soil and through food processing.
Water soluble in soil and in food. As a result of heavy rains, zinc can (and often is) be washed or leached out of the farming soil. Moreover, when food is being cooked, much of the zinc may be lost to the water that it is placed in. Therefore, it is good to either eat zinc foods raw, steam them or cook them in such a way that the broth or sauce that they sit in is consumed as well.
Storage in the Human Body.About85% of Zinc is found in skeletal muscle and bones, with the highest concentration found in the prostate and semen. Lower concentrations can be found in the heart, spleen, lungs, brain, adrenal glands, skin, nails, hair, teeth and the retina of the eye. A great way to see if you have a zinc deficiency is when you find white spots on your nails, this is your body telling you that you are low in Zinc.
Zinc is needed in over 100 enzymes and involved in more body functions than any other mineral that the body requires. This makes a deficiency in it very damaging to the body.
Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties within it, making it especially beneficial for joint and artery linings. Individuals with arthritis or any other inflammation of the joints will see a change in both pain, motility and swelling with adequate amounts of zinc in the body.
Zinc helps protect cells from free radicals damage – part of superoxide dismutase (SOD). It is helpful in cell membrane structure and function, as well as being beneficial against symptoms of Heart Disease and aiding in Cancer prevention and treatment. Zinc may also be involved in Brain Function – maintaining acid-alkaline balance through carbonic anhydrase and in phosphorus metabolism.
Detoxification of Chemical and Environmental Toxins
Zinc deficiency can be a factor in people who become environmentally sensitive. These would be individuals who have high levels of volatile organic compounds and environmental pollutants within their organs, preventing such organs from functioning at their best. Zinc is part of Alcohol Dehydrogenase – the enzyme which helps liver Detoxify alcohol is obtained from zinc.
Digestion and Metabolism
Zinc works with enzyme carboxypeptidase to digest protein and carbohydrates that enter the digestive system so that they can be utilized by the body. It is required for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach to digest and breaks down foods, it is important for DNA and RNA synthesis and may be involved in gene transcription. Zinc is needed to make enzymes lactate and malate dehydrogenase for energy.
Fertility and Reproductive Systems
Zinc is important for hormone production and male sexual function, low zinc can be tied to impotence (low sperm count). Menstrual irregularities and female sexual organ problems can also be attributed to low levels of zinc in the body.
Growth and Development of Teeth and Bones
Zinc is vital for strengthening tooth enamel and preventing cavities, it also aids the enzyme alkaline phosphatase to contribute phosphates to bones.
Zinc helps utilize and maintain body levels of vitamin A. It assists with collagen formulation, which is needed for healthy skin and bones. Zinc promotes wound healing by generating new skin after burns or injuries and by reducing recovery time and complications after surgery (Combine it with lavender essential oil to accelerate healing). Zinc also helps keep oil glands in the skin healthy and may reduce problems with ACNE.
Zinc has been shown to improve antibody response to vaccines. It helps regulate the function of the white blood cells and may increase production of T lymphocytes which are factors in cellular immunity.
Insulin Activity and Taste Sensation
Zinc is needed in normal insulin function for healthy blood sugar levels, energy levels, craving control, etc. It may help in the loss of taste that comes with ageing often due to zinc deficiency and may help stimulate the taste for food in patients with Anorexia. Often times the heavy use of spicy sauces can be a result of low zinc in the body.
- Zinc taken with Manganese has been helpful with senility
- Zinc taken with Vitamin B6 may be used in the nutritional treatment of schizophrenia
Despite the small amount of Zinc that is found and needed in our bodies, the benefits of this mineral are HUGE! Of the trace minerals, it is second in concentration to iron but believed to be the number ONE mineral deficiency today. We cannot forget to look more closely at this mineral in order to avoid deficiencies and to handle some of our common days to day health problems.