Maintaining a strong immune system has never been more important. Three nutrients that everyone seems to be talking about for immune health include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
In this article, we cover the importance of addressing zinc status and how it is essential for staying healthy.
Zinc is a dietary trace mineral and is important for the maintenance and development of immune cells for both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Zinc deficiency results in dysfunction of the immune system and susceptibility to infections. In addition to immune function, zinc can impair the replication of RNA viruses like coronavirus.
Additional important facts about zinc (and why we recommend working with a healthcare professional when it comes to supplements):
- Low zinc levels translate to lower Vitamin A, including decreased immunity and downstream effects on vitamin D.
- ACE inhibitors, Proton Pump inhibitors (PPI) and many other drugs often create zinc deficiencies, and other nutrient deficiencies as well.
- Zinc competes with iron. Our foods have been fortified with iron creating lowered zinc, and resulting mineral imbalances. Where there is too much iron there is not enough zinc. (Mineral balance is important).
- Older adults and vegans often have lower zinc intake.
Zinc deficiency symptoms include:
- loss of taste and smell
- loss of appetite
- chronic cough, lowered immunity, and susceptibility to infections
- elevated c-reactive protein
So, what should you do to get more zinc?
First, start with food!
If you would like our free Trace Nutrients Menu Guide which will show you 7 days worth of delicious ways to get more zinc in your diet, just click on the link below and request the guide. The Trace Nutrients menu will also show you how to meet the RDA for copper which should be consumed with zinc. (about 15:1 zinc:copper).
Additionally, you may want to make sure you are getting enough zinc by choosing a quality supplement. When you request the Trace Nutrients Menu Guide, we will include our recommended zinc supplements.
To your health!
Mike Woodley, R.Ph., FAARM, ABAAHP