Zinc plus Selenium | Dr Mercola
Zinc deficiency is a widespread concern for people around the world – nearly 1 in 3 individuals may be deficient. Because the signs of a zinc deficiency mimic those of other common disorders, it’s often overlooked.
Zinc plays a critical role in contributing to the normal function of the immune system, healthy cell growth, and a healthy inflammatory response, so you want to make sure a zinc deficiency isn’t affecting your health.
9 Key Reasons Why You Need the Right Amount of Zinc
Researchers now recognise that zinc is important for:
- Contributes to the normal function of the immune system
Even mild to moderate zinc deficiencies can depress your immune function and impair your body’s response to invaders. Without enough zinc, your protective white blood cells can’t function optimally.
- Supporting healthy cell growth and replication, and helping to reduce everyday “wear and tear” on your cells’ DNA
Your cells’ DNA is the blueprint for healthy cell replication. Research shows that a moderate increase in zinc status can lead to improved repair of DNA strand breaks along with serum protein concentrations involved with DNA repair, and help restore antioxidant and normal immune functions.
- Supporting respiratory health
Studies show that adequate zinc improves respiratory well-being, even during seasonal challenges to your health.
- Aiding in the absorption of other nutrients and supporting a healthy metabolism
Zinc plays a delicate dance with other nutrients in your body and helps with the absorption of nutrients, including folate from food. Too little zinc can increase your need for vitamin E. Zinc also acts as a co-factor in carbohydrate and protein metabolism.
- Helping to prevent the accumulation of defective proteins in your brain
When proteins in your brain lose their correct shape due to damage, they cease working properly and can clump together. Zinc plays a key role in creating and holding proteins in their correct shape, an important factor for healthy cognitive function.
- Promoting protein synthesis and wound healing
Zinc supports healthy skin and the integrity of your mucosal membranes.
- Supporting healthy bones
Zinc plays a key role in your bone matrix and regulates the delicate balance between bone building and bone breakdown, especially important as you age.* It also promotes bone mineralisation through its role as a co-factor of alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme found in your bone cells.
- Helping to prevent cellular damage in your retina
Researchers have found that zinc may help delay age-related vision loss, possibly by protecting against free radical damage to cells in your retina.
- Supporting your sensory organ function, like taste, smell and vision
A shortage of zinc can lead to a loss of taste, and therefore, appetite. With a deficiency, the cells in your taste and smell organs can actually die faster. For your vision, zinc works together with vitamin A to help your eyes sense light and transmit nerve impulses to your brain.
This is just a sampling of what zinc does in your body. Zinc is an essential trace mineral with more biological roles than all your other trace elements combined!
Used in all of your cells, it’s a building block for about 3,000 proteins and required for over 300 enzymatic reactions.
Even if you’re getting enough zinc in your diet, certain conditions can keep you from absorbing and utilising this vital mineral. Stress, pregnancy, eating a vegetarian diet or one that’s high in grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, and simply being over 60 puts you at a higher risk of being deficient.
How Stress Can Lead to a Zinc Deficiency
Do you lead a stressful lifestyle? Do you find yourself sometimes feeling overwhelmed with life’s many responsibilities?
If so, you may be deficient in zinc.
Emotional stress is one of the biggest factors behind zinc deficiency.
When you’re stressed, your body shunts zinc to your brain, organs, muscles, and skin to help repair damage from stress.
If you’re unable to control the stress in your life, it can affect your adrenal health. In turn, adrenal fatigue can lead not only to a zinc deficiency, but calcium and magnesium deficiencies as well.
For a healthy balance of hormones, including your thyroid hormones, you need enough zinc.
Zinc also helps produce progesterone, cortisol, and aldosterone – hormones essential for optimal well-being and a healthy inflammatory response.
If You’re 60 or Over, You May Be at a Greater Risk for Zinc Deficiency
There are many factors that come into play as you age and your risk of zinc deficiency grows. According to one government survey, up to 45 percent of adults aged 60 and above were found to have zinc intakes below the estimated average requirements of 6.8 mg/day for senior women and 9.4 mg/day for men.
As you age, your ability to absorb and utilise zinc declines. Add that to a marginal intake, and you’re suddenly at greater risk of deficiency.
Too little bio-available zinc can mean more frequent infections and degenerative changes in your body.
Here’s something else to keep in mind: The part of your brain that houses zinc is the cerebral cortex, including your hippocampus and amygdala. This crucial region is responsible for memory, spatial ability, thinking, and emotions.
Having the right amount of zinc is absolutely necessary for your healthy brain function, memory and mood!
One of the biggest challenges with zinc and people of any age is this: Zinc isn’t stored in your body, so you must get the amount your body needs – and can absorb – each and every day!
For people over 60 especially, this can be a challenge
Too Much Zinc?
However, as beneficial as zinc may be, there’s also a real danger from getting too much zinc. Excessive amounts of zinc can reduce your immune function and also lower your “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
Plus, too much zinc can adversely affect your healthy copper levels as well as your hearing and taste.
Too little zinc and you boost your risk of a potentially health-jeopardising deficiency. Too much and you could risk serious side effects.
The form of zinc chosen for this product is zinc glycinate chelate – a high-potency source of zinc that’s been formulated for enhanced absorption.
This special form combines zinc with two glycine molecules to help it cross your intestinal wall. Plus, this unique combo helps protect the zinc from competing minerals and phytate binding.
Because it’s high-potency, the amount of zinc is reduced to 15 mg – the ideal daily dose that won’t give you too much zinc.
However Dr Mercola has also added two more valuable minerals to his Zinc Plus Selenium.
Selenium: Like Armour for Your Cells
There’s another mineral that may be just as important as zinc for healthy cells and overall health support – selenium. Selenium serves as your first line of defence against harmful free radicals.
Selenium as a trace element was discovered nearly 200 years ago. Today, it’s recognised as an essential mineral for human health.
While researchers suspect selenium may support cardiovascular health, cognitive health, and thyroid health, they do know it serves two very important roles for your cell heath:
- Provides first line defence against the build-up of harmful free radicals in your cells
- Supports normal cell health because of its powerful ability to reduce free radicals
Selenium is an active component of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme with potent antioxidant properties.
While researchers have long believed that glutathione peroxidase was primarily responsible for selenium’s cell health support, more recent studies show there may be yet another function of selenium.
It turns out that it doesn’t matter what form of selenium you choose if you just want glutathione production.
However, for truly optimal support for cellular health, the form makes all the difference.
Selenium - The Best Form
Studies show that a specific form of standardised selenium-enriched yeast is a more effective form. It is the full protein form of selenium compared with a single amino acid form like selenomethionine, which is more commonly found in selenium supplements and in multivitamins.
This bioavailable fermented yeast (contains no unhealthy active yeast) is able to accumulate and incorporate selenium right into the protein structure. This helps to significantly reduce the bio-markers for oxidative stress in your body.
Many parts of the U.S. as well as Europe, Australia, Russia, New Zealand and China have low soil levels of selenium, increasing your risk for deficiency.
Copper: For Extra Mineral Balance
Your body has an elaborate system to maintain balance between trace minerals, especially zinc and copper.
When you get the right amount of these minerals from your diet, balance tends to take care of itself. However, whenever you supplement minerals, you tamper with nature’s delicate balance.
Supplemental minerals can easily create an imbalance of too much of one and not enough of another.
Taking a zinc supplement helps increase your zinc, but it can also reduce your copper, an important micro-nutrient.
This is especially true with zinc and copper as they compete for absorption in your gut, with copper losing out if it’s not supplemented along with zinc.
And, of course, you don’t want a copper deficiency.
Copper deficiency can lead to an abnormal low white blood cell count and increase your risk for infection. A shortage of copper can also affect your lipid metabolism and lower your “good” HDL cholesterol, putting your cardiovascular health at risk.
Every time you take a zinc supplement without copper, including a simple zinc lozenge for a cold, you could be adding to a zinc-copper imbalance in your body.
Whenever you take a zinc supplement, it is strongly recommend to take a very small amount of copper at the same time.
Zinc Plus Selenium makes that easy to do. There is a tiny, yet adequate amount of 0.250 mg of copper to the formula for balance in its preferred copper glycinate chelate form.
Suggested UseAdults, as a dietary supplement take one (1) capsule daily with a meal. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
DISCLAIMER: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information provided on this site is for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice.