Zinc: A Crucial Mineral for over 300 Reasons!

Zinc: A Crucial Mineral for over 300 Reasons!

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Zinc: A Crucial Mineral for over 300 Reasons!

Zinc is a critical nutrient that many people are deficient in.  Zinc is needed for hundreds of enzyme reactions in the body and is extremely important for our health. It is very easy in this day and age to become zinc deficient because of a few factors. We tend to “waste” zinc while we are stressed, so we burn through it quicker.  Vegetarian and vegan diets are very low in zinc, but the SAD diet is also very low in zinc. We need sufficient stomach acid to even digest and utilize zinc, so even if people are getting enough of it they might not be absorbing it well. Although even with sufficient stomach acid, we do not absorb zinc very well!  Heavy metal toxicity (especially mercury and cadmium) can interfere with zinc absorption.



Zinc is needed for at least 300 different enzyme reactions in the body. Some of the most important things we need zinc for include:

  • Digestive enzymes
  • Proper growth
  • Eye Health
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Immune system health: T-cells, macrophages, eosinophils
  • Insulin production
  • Adrenal hormone production: Cortisol, Aldosterone, Progesterone, Testosterone
  • Wound healing
  • Maintaining healthy skin
  • Detoxification binding proteins: Metallothionein, Glutathione, Ceruloplasmin


Zinc Deficiency Symptoms:

  • slowing of growth and development
  • skin rashes
  • chronic and severe diarrhea
  • immune system deficiencies
  • impaired wound healing
  • diminished appetite
  • impaired taste sensation
  • night blindness (because Zinc and retinol have a direct relationship)
  • swelling and clouding of the corneas
  • behavioral disturbances


How to Test and Treat Zinc Deficiency

The best ways to asses zinc status are a hair tissue mineral analysis, and blood tests (both plasma and RBC zinc are helpful).

Supplemental zinc can cause issues for many people.  Too much isolated zinc can actually create a copper deficiency over just the span of a few weeks.  Too much zinc inhibits the production of a copper-binding protein called metallothionein. Metallothionein traps copper and prevents it from being absorbed. Also, the longer you supplement with zinc, the less zinc you actually absorb. The recommended amount of zinc will vary person to person as well, so there is no general recommendation on the amount of zinc you may need.  Males generally need more zinc than females because of zinc’s relationship with testosterone.

Getting zinc from food is the best.  From Linus Pauling: “Zinc bioavailability (the fraction of zinc retained and used by the body) is relatively high in meat, eggs, and seafood because of the relative absence of compounds that inhibit zinc absorption and the presence of sulfur-containing amino acids (cysteine and methionine) that improve zinc absorption. The zinc in whole-grain products and plant proteins is less bioavailable due to their relatively high content of phytic acid, a compound that inhibits zinc absorption.

Oysters and beef are two of the highest foods in zinc.  Make sure that your meat is grass-fed and free of added hormones and steroids and that your oysters come from a reputable, clean source. Some other foods high in zinc are turkey, pumpkin seeds, crab and beans. Perfect Supplements has an AWESOME plant based protein that has pumpkin seeds in it- super easy to use and it tastes pretty good.

If eating oysters is not your thing, you can also look into capsules- just look for clean brands like Earthley’s!


We want to make sure that we have sufficient stomach acid to properly utilize our nutrients. Check out my post on stomach acid here! Balancing copper also helps to let zinc level out- we don’t advocate for using high doses of zinc to balance copper, but when we go straight for true copper balancing then zinc is able to stabilize over time.

Zinc’s antagonists include supplemental calcium and iron- both things I do not recommend anyway!

Want to read more about zinc? Check out this article from the Linus Pauling Institute.

Zinc helps make folate more bioavailable.  Zinc is needed to convert retinol (Vitamin A) to retinal.  A deficiency in zinc an lead to low levels of bioavailable vitamin A as well.


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Welcome to Sassy Holistics! My name is Kristin, and I'm a Holistic Health Coach. I've been on the path to help people achieve better health using whole food nutrition, mineral balancing, and holistic healing principles for almost 7 years now.

The body is a whole and we must treat it as such! I have my Bachelor of Science in Natural Health Sciences, certificates in Herbal Studies from Herbal Academy, and I am constantly learning more about health to help my clients and followers.

My goal is to help you unleash your own inner healer! You already hold the power to heal inside you. My role is as a guide to help you realize this potential.

6 thoughts on “Zinc: A Crucial Mineral for over 300 Reasons!”

  1. Hello.
    I took 500 mcg of molybdenum and with grapefruit. And for the past 3 week I have had. Vision issues, joint and shocking every-time I fall asleep. Sleep only a couple hours a day. Bad dissociation, brain fog. ADHD symptoms compulsive thinking, no appetite or motivation to do anything except figure this out, loss of hair, no sex drive. My copper lever and ceroplamin came back normal, but my zinc came back really high. When I take or eat copper I feel sometime better and sometimes bad. And when I take zinc I feel better as far as mood, focus and motivation but than really bad joint, nervous system issues dissociation issues. Do you have any idea what this is? And any ways to correct this? I was perfectly healthy before. Workout 4-5 times a week. Had a very good diet. very sociable. Now I can’t do anything, lost my job and can barely take care of my daughter. And this one instant of molybdenum and grapefruit has caused all this. I know molybdenum is a copper antagonist and can also raise zinc but any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. Hi Medrick! I had commented back the other day with your first note on this issue- did that not come through? I hope it does this time! Isolated supplements can cause so many odd issues for people! Molybdenum is a big copper antagonist, but copper is one of the most complex minerals to truly fix- you might actually need to work on some adrenal or nervous system healing in order to undo the damage that this caused.
    Nervous system healing: https://www.sassyholistics.com/holistic-nervous-system-healing/
    Adrenal healing: https://www.sassyholistics.com/our-favorite-adrenal-adaptogens/

  3. Hello Kristen. No it never went through. Thank you! I will look into this! Do you think the molybdenum caused my high zinc blood work maybe that could be the issue? And do you offer personal coaching for nerves and adrenals?

  4. Thanks! Ordering now! How long does the testing normally take? Is there anyway to find testing near me?

  5. Most HTMA pracs work all over, so I am not sure if you’d be able to find one locally! But usually from the time you order to the time you get your consult it’s about a month since we mail the kit, you mail it to the lab, and then we have to wait for results.

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