Zinc is a mineral required by the body to support immune function and assist in various cellular activities. It also supports more than 300 enzymatic functions. Unfortunately, most of the world is deficient in zinc. Zinc is essential for the development of healthy hormone and immune molecules as well as human growth. This foundational antioxidant to the body stimulates and helps to control a weakened immune system.
An estimated 25% of the world’s population (about 2 billion people) has a zinc deficiency. Experts believe the primary reason for zinc deficiency is a result of an inadequate diet. However, poor biochemical signaling is also a contributing factor to the deficiency epidemic from a functional health perspective.
Zinc deficiencies are believed to contribute to 400 thousand deaths annually. Zinc is especially important for pregnant women and growing children as it assists in cognitive development and regulates hormones such as leptin, IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) and cortisol.
How We Deplete Our Zinc Storage Levels
A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates creates an unhealthy blood sugar balance thus preventing the body from properly absorbing zinc. Zinc deficiency is a common occurrence in people that lack the ability to absorb the mineral, such as those with leaky gut syndrome.
Phytic acids found in legumes and grains can block zinc absorption when consumed in high amounts. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also adversely affect zinc levels when they are taken regularly.
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