‘Tis the season to chat about zinc (or lack thereof!). Frankly, we should have had this discussion two years ago…..better late than never, right? First, take a close look at the clues I dropped in the graphic, and then hop back here to tackle this very important topic!
Approximately 25-33% of the population is deficient in zinc. The World Health Organization says zinc deficiency is the 5th leading life-threatening factor in the world, especially in 57% of the elderly population. Kind of a big deal for a micronutrient! At least 16% of all deep respiratory infections are related to a zinc deficiency (impaired taste and smell, fever, cough, sore throat, generalized weakness, pain and achy limbs, runny nose, and even occasionally…. diarrhea😬 are all symptoms of deficiency btw).
Why? Zinc is one of the white hat good guys . It has over 200 known roles in body function (just take a look again at some of the clues related to low zinc), and is a key player in our immune system:
✅Adequate zinc is essential for preventing viral entry and also supports appropriate viral response in host cells.
✅Adequate zinc supports ciliary strength and action in the lungs. These are tiny hairlike structures in the lungs that help prevent mucus buildup.
✅Adequate zinc levels directly inhibit viral replication.
✅Adequate zinc levels have a supportive role in balancing immune response during a dis-ease process.
Additionally, 🔥zinc deficiency🔥 has been shown to play a role in:
🔥Type I Diabetes
👉Excess is not stored in the body. Intake must occur daily.
👉Both deficiency and excess can negatively impact immune system function. This is but one reason to have thorough blood work run by a healthcare professional who will take the time to do a complete analysis.
👉Zinc “overload” is rare, but can certainly happen. When it does, it is usually due to a copper deficiency or zinc:copper ratio imbalance. (again, labwork!)
How did we become a world of zinc deficient people? Toxins and poor farming practices. Overworked soil and fertilizers containing too much phosphorus (which binds zinc) are to blame. Zinc cannot enter into the plants and then fails to make it into the food chain.
High toxin☠️exposure is also to blame. Just one more excellent reason to kick your known household toxins to the curb (toxins typically found in mainstream cleaning products, personal care items, processed foods and beverages, makeup etc).
Thankfully, we have solutions in place🙌 with Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner, a wonderful skincare line, and even our amazing YL Savvy Makeup collection. Kicking toxins to the curb is so easy knowing that pure unadulterated excellence is waiting to replace them!
Other causes of zinc deficiency:
🔥Chronic stress (depletes zinc rapidly)
🔥A high copper to zinc ratio
🔥Leaky gut and digestive disorders (zinc deficiency is both cause and effect!)
🔥Medication usage: ACE inhibitors (blood pressure), antacids and proton pump inhibitors, glucophage, beta blockers (blood pressure), birth control pills, corticosteroids, diuretics, NSAIDS, and statins are among those known to deplete zinc.
The USDA recommended daily allowance for zinc is 10-12 mg/day, but this does not account for the amount of toxins a person may be regularly exposed to. Many functional medicine doctors suggest that optimal daily zinc should be 20-40mg/day.
Foods high in zinc include pumpkin seeds, grass fed dairy (ex: Kerrygold Butter) , cashews, almonds, spinach, asparagus, dark chocolate, grass fed meat, salmon, mushrooms, and turkey.
Thankfully, we also have several Young Living Supplements containing zinc to supplement what we may get from food:
*Organic dried Wolfberries (1.8mg per 100gms)
* Immupro chewable tablets (5mg/tablet)
*Super B (3mg/2 tablets)
*Powergize (5mg / capsule)
*Balance Complete (4mg/ serving)
*AminoWise (2.1mg/ serving)
*Master Formula (15mg/packet)
*MightyVites (for the littles….. 1.1mg/tablet)
*Mineral Essence (contains Zinc and 61 other important trace minerals)
*NingXia Red (contains zinc by virtue of its ingredients. I was unable to determine how much zinc it has per serving)
It’s a good idea to achieve the RDA minimum requirements on a daily basis (especially since zinc is not stored in the body!). My personal preference is to try to achieve the optimal recommendations by way of the foods I eat, and then supplementing with a variety of what is available to us with a Young Living membership. Immupro and Master Formula are two of my faves! In the event of illness, a larger mg/day may be needed.
Finally, there is a test you can do at home. It’s called a zinc tally/challenge (you can find more info on this online). It is an oral “taste test”. What you taste (no or weak taste versus a strong metallic taste) is an additional clue for the “health” of your zinc levels.
As always, do your research, and consult your favorite healthcare professional who should be well versed in analyzing blood work if you suspect you may have a zinc deficiency.
(PS: if you do not have a health care professional, I do offer blood work analysis)