When it comes to supporting your immune system, you might have heard about vitamin C, vitamin D, and perhaps been told to take a multivitamin ‘just for good measure’. But have you ever thought about minerals? While there are several minerals that offer immune support, one stands out above the rest: zinc. However, I never encourage you to just supplement blindly as, unfortunately, not all supplements are created equally!
Zinc is an essential mineral that our bodies can't produce on their own, so we need to get it from our diets. As I have mentioned many times before, due to soil degradation, heightened stress, increased ‘shelf time’ for fresh produce, processed diets, and poor digestive health (to name a few reasons), we often do not get all the zinc our bodies require from diet alone. Plus, zinc is one of the first minerals we get depleted of when we’re under stress or fighting some sort of virus or infection. But, before we get to supplementation, let’s discuss more about why we need it.
Zinc is the second-most abundant trace mineral in our bodies and is responsible for over 100 enzymatic reactions, playing a key role in genetic expression, cell division, and growth. Pretty impressive, right?
Even though our bodies typically contain 2-3 grams of zinc at any one time, we need a regular supply to keep everything running smoothly. The best way to do that is by eating a healthy diet and taking a zinc picolinate supplement or a supplement that contains a good dosage of zinc picolinate, like the Daily Essential Formula. You can get zinc from foods like red meat, poultry, oysters, and beans and nuts, with oysters being the highest food source of zinc, but even then, you’re unlikely to be hitting your zinc targets, unless oysters are a common appetiser for you!
Don’t believe me? Run an at-home hair tissue analysis and find out for yourself! If you are indeed consuming oysters regularly, I would worry about pollution in the shellfish, so you need to make sure you are eating wild fish, bought from a reputable store or fishmonger. Although, I believe this advice isn’t relevant to too many people, so I will return to speaking about zinc picolinate supplements and why we need it for immunity!
So, why should you consider zinc for immune support? Well, several studies have shown that maintaining proper levels of zinc is essential for optimal immune system function. Zinc helps activate certain white blood cells that control our body's inflammatory response during times of immune stress. Additionally, the antioxidant properties of zinc can help mitigate oxidative stress and promote healthy immune responses.
Not only that, but zinc can also support wound healing and has benefits for connective tissue, reproductive, prostate, and eye health.
The anti-inflammatory properties of zinc have also been the reasons for its successful use in many skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema!
Why Is Zinc Picolinate Best?
Zinc picolinate is a highly absorbable form of zinc that your body can easily utilise compared to other forms of zinc. The absorption process of zinc in your body is complex and involves the transfer of zinc through your intestinal membranes, into your bloodstream and ultimately into your individual cells. Zinc is also an essential component that supports metabolism in your body.
A study was conducted to compare the absorption rates of different forms of zinc. Scientists measured zinc levels in the hair, skin, and urine of test subjects as these areas contain the highest concentrations of zinc in the human body. The study, published in the journal Agents Actions, found that zinc picolinate had superior absorption rates in test subjects when compared to zinc citrate or zinc gluconate. In fact, after a four-week period, the study revealed a significant increase in zinc levels in the group that received zinc picolinate supplements. On the other hand, there was no significant change in zinc levels for the test subjects that received zinc citrate, zinc gluconate, or a placebo supplement.
This is exactly why the Daily Essential Formula contains Zinc Picolinate, rather than its less absorbable forms.
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