Most people are deficient…
If you are chronically short even a single nutrient, you will get sick. Guaranteed! The problem is most of us are chronically deficient in at least several nutrients, and this is the foundation of our epidemic of premature aging and chronic disease.
Zinc is one of the most common deficiencies, and new studies show that zinc deficiency accelerates the aging process. Zinc is required to help repair breaks in DNA, which occur all the time and require repair. When zinc is inadequate, repairs don’t get made and damaged cells multiply, which can lead to premature aging and cancer.
Zinc does myriad jobs in the body including regulating immunity, promoting wound healing, and improving brain function, learning, and memory. Zinc is often measured in plasma, but this is the wrong way to do it. What is most important is how much is in your calls, not what is in the blood. Zinc deficiency symptoms include growth and development problems, depression, mental slowness, hair loss, diarrhea, impotence, eye problems, and skin problems such as acne.
Zinc deficiency is caused by inadequate intake due to our poor diet, to our zinc-depleted soils, and by poor absorption. Soil depletion is the major reason why most Americans are mineral deficient. Even organically grown foods are lacking in minerals. Then we eat lots of sugars and grains. The phytates in grains react with minerals like zinc and excrete it from the body, while sugar causes insulin surges, which uses up zinc.
Poor absorption is also a major problem. Most Americans have damaged guts, which cause malabsorption. Birth control pills and numerous other drugs will deplete the body of minerals including zinc. Zinc is not well conserved in the body so daily supplementation is a good idea.
In addition to what I get in my multi, I take an extra 25 mg per day. The chemical form of the zinc is important. Many zinc formulas are in the form of zinc oxide, gluconate, or chelates, which have low bioavailability.