You’ve probably heard about toxic heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, etc.
These are the “bad guys.”
They accumulate in your tissues and organs and can lead to cancer, kidney damage, rheumatoid arthritis, nervous system damage, and even death.
Mercury in particular can be hard to avoid because it’s in the fish we eat, even the air we breathe. But other heavy metals are essential to our survival.
One of these is the trace element zinc.
Every Cell in Your Body Depends on Zinc
Zinc is critical to the activity of more than 300 enzymes and hundreds of tasks your body performs every day, like producing DNA and repairing your cells.
Coming November 28th:
Your Body Has Its Own
Talked about in best-selling books and featured on TV shows like Oprah and Dr. Oz, “Blue Zones” are the mysterious places around the world where people live to 100 and beyond… without disease or the loss of their physical or mental powers.
These lucky folks don’t seem to suffer like the rest of us do… they’re happy and content and don’t need to run on treadmills or follow strict diets.
For the rest of us, we have to give up everything that makes life enjoyable. We’re told it’s for our own good, so that we don’t get cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and all the other terrifying diseases that keep us up at night.
But I have something to share with you. The reason these blue zone people never get sick has NOTHING to do with living in some exotic location.
On November 28th, I’ll reveal new research on how these long-lived people have high levels of a super protective molecule inside every one of their cells. This molecule, which many doctors are calling “the guardian,” protects you from the daily assaults like chemicals, pollution, toxins, processed food, heavy metals… drinking alcohol… and yes, even smoking!
As impossible as this sounds, I have a stack of studies right here on my desk that explains what this mystery “guardian” really is and why NO ONE is talking about it.
On November 28th I’ll show you why. And I’ll pass on the secret of getting all the benefits of living in a “blue zone” without having to pack up and leave your friends and family behind.
Here are just a few others…
- Are you always catching a cold?You need zinc for fighting off infections and viruses like the common cold, as well as healing wounds and clotting blood.
- Have trouble seeing at night? High concentrations of zinc in your eye play a key role in healthy vision. A severe deficiency can damage your retina and even lead to macular degeneration.
- Is your hair thinning? One symptom of a zinc deficiency is generalized hair loss. Others include rough and dry skin, dull-looking hair and brittle fingernails.
Despite all its critical functions, zinc wasn’t even recognized as an essential nutrient until 1974. Even then, we thought deficiencies were confined to underdeveloped countries.
But Americans need to start paying attention.
According to a new study from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, it’s estimated that 40% of retired Americans are deficient in zinc. Why? As we get older, we’re less able to absorb this essential micronutrient.1
Published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, the study found that older animals fed a normal diet showed symptoms of a zinc deficiency and high levels of inflammation.
But when the animals were given about 10 times their normal dietary zinc, levels of inflammation dropped to those of young animals.
According to the investigators, zinc deficiency can cause DNA damage and the inflammation that leads to the diseases that most people die from… cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
The problem is a “double whammy.”
You aren’t getting enough zinc to repair your DNA, just when your rate of DNA damage from normal aging is on the rise.
And you might never know that a zinc deficiency is to blame because testing for zinc levels is rare. The best thing you can do is make sure you’re getting enough zinc in your diet or through supplements.
How Much Zinc Do You Really Need?
The recommended daily intake of zinc for men is 11 mg and for women is 8 mg. But keep in mind that almost all the government’s recommendations are on the low side.
And because our absorption decreases with age, you may need more zinc as you get older. Getting 20 to 25 mg of zinc a day is a better rule of thumb.
One way is from the food you eat. The best source is oysters with 25 mg per 100 gram serving. Given the importance of zinc for men’s sexual health, it’s no wonder oysters have a reputation as an aphrodisiac.
Other shellfish are also good sources of zinc, as are meat (especially red meat), poultry and dairy. And the zinc in animal products is easier for you to absorb than zinc from plant-based foods.
That’s one reason vegetarians or vegans can develop a zinc deficiency… they avoid the foods highest in absorbable zinc.
To make matters worse, vegetarians often rely on brown rice and other grains containing high levels of phytic acid that blocks your body’s ability to absorb zinc. This is backed up by research showing that a gluten-free diet you can boost your zinc levels because you avoid the proteins in grains that block zinc.2
One word of caution, though…
While zinc is essential to human life, too much can interfere with your body’s absorption of other nutrients like iron and copper. The upper limit of safe supplementation over the long term is 40 mg per day.
1 Carmen P. Wong, Kathy R. Magnusson, Emily Ho. Increased inflammatory response in aged mice is associated with age-related zinc deficiency and zinc transporter dysregulation. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2012
2 Pawan Rawal, Babu Ram Thapa, Rajendra Prasad, Kaushal Kishor Prasad, Chander Kanwal Nain, Kartar Singh, Zinc supplementation to patients with celiac disease–is it required? J Trop Pediatr. 2010 Feb 21. Epub 2010 Feb 21.
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