Zinc (Zn) deficiencies are at the highest levels ever in the post industrialized world. In the United States, research shows over 95% of us do not get enough to sustain basic cellular functions, much less support optimal health and performance.
Zn aids the immune system, supports the endocrine system, maintains male and female fertility, and is required for athletic performance and body composition. With intense exercise, zinc increases Insulin Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) and Growth Hormone (GH) in both males and females. In males, it also increases the conversion rates of androstenedione to testosterone making it a no brainer for athletes.
Zn aids in both male and female reproductive health by providing antioxidant relief to the testes and regulating estrogen levels. Men, if you are deficient in Zn you will not make all the testosterone you could be. Women, if you are low in Zn, your estrogen will be too high (especially if on birth control), increasing your risk of all cancers predominately found in women.
Zn is also important for brain function. Persons with low Zn levels have a difficult time focusing. Studies have shown children with ADHD almost always have lower Zn levels than “normal” children. Even in adults, symptoms of ADHD completely go away if Zn levels are brought up to optimum levels. If you add DHA (from fish oil) and eat no processed sugars, your focus and productivity will increase.
Zinc has also been proven to reduce the ongoing issues of depression, especially in women. The female hormone, estrogen, is used in serotonin production. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that improves mood. Depression is the absence of serotonin. Zinc improves serotonin levels and also repairs serotonin receptors in the brain. Now you can ask yourself this… “did my doctor test my zinc levels before putting me on that SSRI?”. I’m guessing no, he/she didn’t. It is really kind of sad. You may have been able to get out of your “rut” by simple, natural methods.
It is not prudent to simply take a bunch of zinc. Zn toxicity can be just as unhealthy as low Zn levels. As with any deficiency, the best thing to do is get tested for it. There are three tests you should do. The taste test, blood serum, and blood plasma. The taste test is easy and is typically done before blood work is taken. It is simply sipping a distilled water / zinc combination. If you can taste the unpleasant, metallic taste of zinc you are not deficient and you can keep doing what you are doing. We provide this test to all our BioSig clients as part of the initial consult.
Blood serum tests for zinc, just like magnesium, can be skewed by a meal high in Zn and are typically not reliable. Blood plasma tests only indicate extreme deficiencies. Hence, all three Zn tests need to be done to get a better idea of your Zn levels.
In the last week I’ve posted articles on the supplements we refer to as the “The Five”, or better, the five supplements everyone needs. Needs is not an exaggeration of terms. If you did not gather, each of the five have been shown to improve health in numerous different ways. Together, they work synergistically to improve all the issues I discussed and more. I don’t really consider them five separate supplements. They are all important… as one group. Hence, we call them “the Five”.
Remedying you body’s deficiencies and maintain optimum levels of the HCL, DHA/EPA, Vitamin D3, Magnesium, and Zinc will improve your health, strengthen your immune system, and reduce your risk of disease. Not to mention aid you in losing fat and increase your gains in the gym. All this at just over the cost of a cup of Starbucks or a beer.
If you are interested in getting truly healthy, schedule a consult with Tanner or I. We offer 8 week, 12 week, and 16 week BioSignature programs, but also single consultations with follow up visits as needed.
Hang Clean skill work then work up to a heavy triple
50 pull ups for time
Row 1,000m for time
Post times for both pull ups and row individually
2 Position Snatch x 3 @ 70% (floor and below the knee)
Clean x3 no heavier than (95/65)
Snatch Pulls 3 x 3 @ 90%
Back Squat- work up to a heavy single, then 3 x 5 @ 75%