What you Need to Know about Zinc

What you Need to Know about Zinc

The body in its wisdom is designed to keep us in balance (homeostasis) all the time even when we do all the things to challenge it.  Like sitting too much, eating too much or not eating enough good stuff, or stressing all the time, too much screen time, or not moving or overtraining … the list goes on.

The body does a pretty good job and it constantly tells us when we have pushed it a little too much or we are not doing enough.

The problem is we are not always listening to those signs and symptoms. Many of us  wait till there is a “put out the fire problem” before we take action.  Or on the other hand some of us panic when we have a symptom and over react not allowing the body to do what it is designed to do.  The last few years have made us fearful and we worry about what could happen often without understanding the bigger picture.

That brings me to Zinc.


Zinc is an essential mineral, and eating enough zinc containing foods is important for maintaining good health, support the immune system and respiratory health.

Nearly every patient that I have seen in the last few months tells me they are taking zinc yet when  I test their zinc levels that are often low even though they are taking it.  How come you ask? The reason in many cases is that they are not digesting and absorbing the zinc.

Good Digestion starts with a calm nervous system and adequate stomach acid ( HCL ) to break down proteins  (Zinc Foods and Supplements ) into its useable form, so that we can then absorb it in the small intestine.  In this case it might be better to improve and support digestion  and consume zinc containing foods rather than take a zinc supplement.

The best way to ensure you are getting enough is to eat a varied diet with good sources of zinc, such as meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, legumes and dairy.


Zinc also works in connection with Copper and Iron.  They are like a little triad that are required to be in balance.  Too much or too little of either of these minerals and you could cause a problem.


Taking large quantities of  inorganic zinc (50 mg/day or more) for too long can interfere with copper bioavailability. A high intake of zinc induces the intestinal synthesis of a copper-binding protein called metallothionein.  Metallothionein traps copper within intestinal cells and prevents absorption.

Our bodies normally excrete excess minerals, such as copper, through the liver and gall bladder, but if the body isn’t working at an optimal level, this may not happen, and the body will store the copper, resulting in an overload. Issues like an unhealthy liver, sluggish metabolism and poor adrenal function (stress) can all impair copper processing and throw the triad out of balance.

Too much supplement zinc for too long can cause low copper. Too much Copper can cause low Zinc levels.


Iron and zinc compete for absorptive pathways . Supplemental  iron but not dietary levels of iron may decrease zinc absorption. This is of concern in the management of iron supplementation during pregnancy and lactation and has led some experts to recommend zinc supplementation for pregnant and lactating women taking iron supplements.

Low levels of iron due to anemia and high levels due to Liver damage and Hemochromatosis ( a genetic issue ) could also cause  the triad of minerals to be out of balance and therefore causing us to not feel our best.  Again we need to address the low iron as iron carries oxygen and nutrients to the capillaries.  Then we need to address the of the root cause of the problem. In many cases low iron can also be related to poor diet, poor digestion and malabsorption.  


I hope that the take away from this post is that we notice when our body is giving us signals.

Get curious about what is happening and why before you do anything.  Sometimes the body is telling us to stop doing something or start doing something so it can heal!

Sometime you need to supplement to get your levels up because your levels are low but only for a short time.  It is a good idea to check before staying on a supplement long term.  As you know I am a big fan of SP products because their products are made from food and therefore absorbed by the body naturally.  Have a look at this product it is a balance of the Mineral Triad. Chezyn. 

Last if you are not sure get tested and get help from someone who knows how the dots are connected so that you get the right kind of help.   It is all connected… LOL

Have a healthy week

Dr Pia