2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Most Common Deficiencies: Zinc

Click here for the Health Tip link.

A popular blood test in our office measures levels of vitamins, minerals,
and antioxidants. It seems reasonable that as long as you’re spending good
money on nutritional supplements, you might as well see if they’re being
absorbed. It’s also helpful that some health insurance companies (notably,
Blue Cross) are covering the test.

Interestingly, the three most common deficiencies appearing in our patients
are vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc. The first is no surprise at all.
Chicago is a dim and cloudy city once summer ends, and sunshine is needed
for your skin to manufacture vitamin D. I’ve written a lot about the
importance of vitamin D in previous health tips, and urge all women to take
1000-2000 IU (international units) daily. A recent article on vitamin D
linked low levels to an increased susceptibility to cancer of the pancreas.
Yikes.

I’ll write about vitamin E another time, but since the cold and flu season
are upon us, this seems like a good time to discuss zinc.

Zinc is a mineral vital to the healthy functioning of more than 300 enzymes
and hormones in the human body. One of the most significant of these is
superoxide dismutase (SOD), among the most potent of antioxidants. Low
levels of SOD have been linked to reduced lifespan in lab animals and
susceptibility to degenerative conditions like ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
and Parkinson’s.

But equally important, zinc is vital to the healthy function of our immune
systems. This has been known for years, and you’ve probably seen cold
capsules and throat lozenges with added zinc. No shortage of clinical
trials has proven that if you take zinc at the first sign of a cold, the
duration of your infection will be shortened significantly.

Zinc is also involved with normal cell function and growth. Most
infertility centers, when they see a man with a low sperm count, will
quickly check his zinc level and start him on zinc supplementation to ramp
up his numbers.

There are several definitely annoying aspects of zinc deficiency:
• People who are wisely cutting back on their red meat consumption
aren’t thrilled to learn the best source of zinc is beef.
• The cereals, nuts, and legumes that represent a big part of a
healthful diet actually block your intestine’s ability to absorb zinc.
• Because of the steady depletion of good minerals from our farmland,
the amount of zinc in green vegetables has dropped during the past fifty
years.

With this information, do I recommend you add yet another supplement to
your daily regimen? Not really.

Keep a bottle of zinc lozenges to use at the first sign of a cold, but stop
once your cold is history. For everyday zinc coverage, make sure your high
potency multivitamin/mineral supplement has at least 12.5 mg of zinc to
keep you from developing any deficiency. This multiple in our apothecary
will keep you covered.

Leave a Comment


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops


**Winter Solstice Celebration: An evening of Acupuncture and Shamanic Healing
Tuesday, December 17, 5:45–7:30pm
Hosted by Katie Oberlin, HTCP and Mari Stecker, LAc

Course Fee: $75.00

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to enter the stillpoint of the Winter Solstice, reflect on the lessons of 2019, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration. More →

Recent Health Tips

  • Ten Drugs Doctors Should Consider De-Prescribing

    Physicians use the word polypharmacy when a patient is taking five or more prescription drugs daily. A recent survey showed that half of women Medicare recipients were taking five or more drugs daily, and 12% of them were taking ten (!) or more. New patients frequently arrive at WholeHealth Chicago carrying bags stuffed like piñatas with prescription drugs and nutritional supplements, the latter recommended by Read More

  • Toxic Metals, Heart Disease, and Chelation Therapy

    In last week’s Health Tip I reviewed the well-researched health dangers of environmental toxic metals (also called heavy metals). They’ve always been a serious health risk, but with the Trump Administration’s recent rollbacks of clean air and water regulations we can expect even more trouble ahead. Statisticians predict an astonishing 160,000 unnecessary deaths over the next decade from the reversals of clean air and water Read More

  • Heavy Metal Toxicity and Your Health

    For those who were otherwise preoccupied that day long ago in high school chemistry, the heavy metals refer to a group of especially dense metals or metal-like substances (called metalloids) found in the environment. These metals–specifically lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum–can all be absorbed by your body and stored there. Our environment is already quite toxic (Trump’s EPA deregulations aren’t helping) and it’s getting Read More

This month, save 20% off all Metagenics Medical Foods

UltraMeal
UltraInflamX
UltraClear