Zinc is key to more than Immune Health, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 609
Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.
ZINC IS KEY TO MORE THAN IMMUNE HEALTH, INVITEⓇ HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 609
Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH
InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro:[00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed health care professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that Invite Health has to offer at, www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code Podcast at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started.†[00:00:34]
Amanda Williams MD, MPH: [00:00:40] When it comes to our natural immune defenses, we have to always include the mineral Zinc into a routine. But we also must understand that Zinc, like many other minerals in the body, has so many functions. And that’s what I want to drive home today. I want to talk about how Zinc is actually working in the human body. Clearly, we know that Zinc is a must when it comes to our immune system and to be able to help fend off little pesky pathogens. But we also have to recognize why having insufficient exposure to Zinc from our diet or even falling into a category of having Zinc deficiency can be so detrimental to so many systems in the human body. I am Dr. Amanda Williams, scientific director at Invite Health, and let’s talk all about Zinc. We know that Zinc is critical when it comes to our overall health and wellness. We know that it’s beneficial for our cardiovascular system as well as for the health of our brain. Most of the time we think about zinc in the setting of immune health, it’s kind of like when we think about vitamin D, we think about bone health. We know Vitamin D certainly is doing much more than just supporting healthy bones, and we see the same thing when it comes to Zinc. Now, the problem is, is that many Americans actually fall into a category of having insufficient Zinc exposure, meaning that you’re getting a little but not enough, but it’s not so little that you’re actually deficient. And we do see Zinc deficiencies in a higher rate in people who are older in age. This can be because of a few different factors. We can look at different chronic disease states that have definitely been linked to lowering our Zinc status. We can also look at certain medications that have been known to lower or deplete our Zinc storage, things that elderly folks are commonly prescribed, things like ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure. ACE inhibitors include drugs that end in PRIL, like Lisinopril, for example. We can see how the different diuretics, things like hydrochlorothiazide can lower your Zinc storage, loop diuretics such as Furosemide or Lasix can certainly do this. Proton pump inhibitors, yes, the old Nexiums of the world can certainly lower the Zinc levels. So now we can take a little pause and we can say how many older individuals are on one or more of these drugs. And you can see where that zinc depletion can start to come from, and then we tie in or correlate in the different disease states that are known to have zinc depletion.†[00:03:33]
[00:03:34] When you look at individuals who have type two diabetes, we can see a clear distinction or an association between low levels of zinc and control of diabetes. So if you have good control over your diabetes, the likelihood that you have a zinc insufficiency or deficiency not that high, but we do certainly see this strong correlation. We understand that when it comes to things like vision, health, age related macular degeneration, Zinc plays a critical role into the development of this. If you have inadequate Zinc exposure in your diet and you’re not supplementing with Zinc, then the likelihood of developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration will go up. They did a really interesting study over in Australia and they found that participants who were taking Zinc from either food or via supplementation, had a close to 50% lower risk of developing age related macular degeneration, that’s pretty impressive. So if we recognize that there are certain health conditions, there are certain medications that can create havoc when it comes to our Zinc levels, then we have to realize that Zinc is more than just for the immune system. Zinc must be pretty critical in many different biological pathways and roles. And we do see this, we can see how it is that Zinc is working at multiple different mechanisms, which is why we can tie in Zinc issues when it comes to neurological disorders, when it comes to autoimmune conditions. And this is why we always want to make sure that we are getting Zinc as part of our daily supplementation routine. It’s one of our most important minerals when it comes to the creation of a key antioxidant in the body known as superoxide dismutase, without superoxide dismutase, that means we have lost an innate ability to fight off free radicals and oxidative stress. Now, interestingly enough, they know that type two diabetics who have low serum superoxide dismutase levels have a greater likelihood of having carotid artery stenosis, meaning that vessel that runs up the side of your neck, that is more likely to be gummed up or clogged up in the setting of diabetes. What do we also know about diabetics? There’s a strong correlation between Zinc insufficiency in proper Zinc absorption in diabetics. So you can start to see, okay, if a diabetic doesn’t have enough Zinc in terms of dietary intake and they’re not supplementing with Zinc. This means the body has less Zinc available to make superoxide dismutase, which now puts that diabetic at a greater risk of a potential cardiovascular event because of the narrowing of that key vessel running into the brain, very important.† [00:06:41]
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[00:06:42] Now we can just stay in the lane of just thinking our immune health, and clearly, the studies that are out there indicate that when we have good Zinc levels in our body, the immune system has a better opportunity to fight off and recover from different infections. As a matter of fact, when it comes to wound healing, we know that Zinc is critical to this. I oftentimes will tell people if they’re going to have to have a surgery and they are going to be doing an incision, it would be incredibly advantageous that both pre and post op people start to supplement with both vitamin C and Zinc. So this will help to promote the healing of that surgical incision in a much quicker way, this even applies to dental surgeries. So we know that when it comes to Zinc, it helps our body in terms of both the initial or the innate and the adaptive or delayed immune system. We know that it helps the body create one of its most powerful antioxidants known as superoxide dismutase. We also can recognize how it helps to protect our cellular DNA, which is really very important. So while we may always turn to Zinc to fight off the common cold, we have to realize that Zinc is doing so much more than that. You see this even in children, Zinc is key when it comes to the growth and maturation as a child is developing, when it comes to bone health, for example, which is really quite fascinating to think, oh, zinc for bone health, kind of like when we think about vitamin D for all of the different functions that Vitamin D does. But clearly we can see how when it comes to bone remodeling and the absorption of key minerals, that Zinc is very critical to playing a role in maintaining healthy bones as we age. So if we are getting older in age and our diet doesn’t have adequate Zinc and we are not supplementing with a good, high potent Zinc, then what is happening? Our immune system is more open to an infection, our bones can get weaker, our eyes are more prone to age related macular degeneration. And clearly we know that excess inflammation and oxidative stress can take over because we don’t have the ability to make superoxide dismutase. So when it comes to Zinc, know one thing that if you are not taking a comprehensive multivitamin, multi mineral formulations such as the Core multivitamin or the Performance multivitamin by InVite Health, then we definitely want to be including into our routine,the Zinc Picolinate or our Zinc Lozenge every day, because Zinc is a essential component of so many different functions in our body and we cannot overlook its key role even when it comes to thyroid function. This is often a very interesting find for many individuals who deal with Hashimoto’s and other thyroid conditions, maybe a subclinical hypothyroidism, and they will find that when they start to supplement with Zinc, they start to feel more energetic. And part of that reason is because Zinc plays as a cofactor for the manufacturing of thyroid hormone. So when it comes to mood, when it comes to blood sugar regulation, when it comes to brain function and eye health, we have to always recognize the unique property that Zinc serves us when it comes to keeping us healthy.† [00:10:31]
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[00:10:33] And this is why I wanted to focus in on Zinc today, because Zinc is one of those long lost minerals that many times we just kind of put away until it’s cold and flu season. And then we take it out and say, Oh, I should be taking this. But actually Zinc is something that should be part of our everyday supplementation routine. So hopefully now, you know, a little bit more about Zinc, and remember, you can always reach out to one of our nutritionists if you have questions as to how you should be taking your zinc and what time of day, as well as if you should take it with food, without food. All of these questions can be answered from one of our health experts at Invite Health. And I want to thank you so much for tuning in to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast Remember, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting Invitehealth.com/podcast. Do make sure that you subscribe and you leave us a review. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Invite Health. And we will see you next time for another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast† [00:10:33]