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Zinc


Zinc is involved in protein synthesis, muscle contraction, formation of insulin, maintaining acid-base balance, synthesis of DNA, brain functions. It is important for absorption and action of B-complex vitamins and is required for protein synthesis, collagen formation, healthy immune system, and the ability of the body to heal wounds. Zinc inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT - a form of testosterone that promotes prostate growth) and so increases testosterone levels and sperm count. Zinc is absorbed in the small intestine and is stored in the liver, eyes, kidney, pancreas, bones, muscles, prostate gland, semen, nails, skin, hair, and white blood cells. Diuretics, excessive sweating, alcohol and coffee can increase zinc excretion.

FOOD SOURCES

Liver and red meat, seafood, pulses, nuts, whole grains and seeds, berries, brewer's yeast, capsicum (peppers), egg yolk, scullcap herb.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Zinc aspartate, zinc gluconate, zinc oxide, zinc picolinate, zinc sulphate. Zinc can interfere with the absorption of calcium, copper and iron and so should be taken seperately.

SIGNS OF DEFICIENCY

Baldness, blepharitis, paronychia, rashes, sterility, low sperm count, delayed wound healing, splenomegaly, glossitis, stomatitis. Impaired cell growth and repair, reduced sense of taste and smell, white spots on fingernails, mental dullness and difficulty in concentration, decrease in red blood cells and white blood cells, more susceptibility to infections. Zinc deficiency results in reduced sex drive in order to conserve the body’s zinc reserves (zinc is concentrated in semen) and chronic deficiency can lead to prostate cancer (and possibly other cancers) through increased DHT levels. High doses of zinc can decrease HDL levels in young males.

SIGNS OF TOXICITY

Anaemia, diarrhoea, drowsiness, high cholesterol, nausea, vomiting. Chronic excess may result in copper and or iron deficiency through antagonistic effects.

MINIMUM DAILY REQUIREMENT

15mg approx., up to 45mg in aging males for maintenance of sexual function and reduction of risk of prostate problems.

 

 

 

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