Zinc deficiency is prevalent around the world. Second to magnesium, it is the most common supplements I prescribe to my clients. A deficiency can show up in many ways because it is required for more than 300 different cellular processes in the body. People more at risk of low zinc include vegans, those with digestive issues such as leaky gut, taking the OCP or people with alcoholism. The zinc benefits are numerous, but here I will focus on hormonal health.
- Zinc regulates women’s cycles. Zinc nourishes the ovarian follicles and therefore promotes ovulation.
- Zinc reduces androgens (testosterone) and raises it. This depends on what the person needs. If you are a female with PCOS you may need zinc to reduce testosterone, whilst a male low in testosterone will benefit from zinc to bring testosterone back to healthy levels.
- Zinc supports the stress response. Inadequate or excess cortisol (the stress hormone) affects the production of estrogen and progesterone in women. Either too high or too low levels of estrogens can cause issues with menstruation, mood swings, early menopause, infertility and more.
- Zinc reduces inflammation. This can be important when dealing with period pain and in conditions such as endometriosis.
- Zinc supports thyroid hormones. Zinc is one of the nutrients needed to make our thyroid hormones.
Some signs of deficiency include:
- hair thinning
- reduced sense of smell
- a decline in sense of taste
- cracks in the corners of the mouth
- white spots on the nails, or weak nails
A blood test can be used to test zinc. However, this only shows zinc levels in the plasma. Most zinc in the body is in the cells. Taste-testing is also used, this is something I perform in-house during consultations. The results are immediate. I also look at a person’s symptoms.
If you feel you could be deficient, it is best to seek the advice of a professional. There are adverse effects of zinc supplementation as prolonged use and high doses interfere with the absorption of other important nutrients. You want to ensure you’re taking enough to feel the benefits, but not taking too much that it causes further problems.
Grab your Free Hormone Reset Guide for more information on how you can find hormonal balance, feel energised and feel yourself again.