How important is zinc today? Critical

Dr. John Briggs

How important is zinc today? Critical

4 mins
November 4, 2020

With the current focus on immunity and the coronavirus, zinc has been in the headlines more than ever. In a recent article in Medscape news, the headline reads: “Lower Plasma Zinc Levels Associated With Increased Risk of Death in COVID-19 Patients.” A statement in the article said, Having a plasma zinc level lower than 50mcg/dl at admission was associated with a 2.3 times increased risk of in-hospital death (95% CI 1.06-5.01; P=0.034) compared with the patients with a plasma zinc level of 50mcg/dl or higher.

Zinc is rarely checked in routine analysis, and often times goes undressed in caring for patients. Usually, we see symptoms which could point us in the direction of low zinc.

One of the most blatant of symptoms which go unknown is that of loss of taste or smell. When a patient shares with me that they have lost the sense of taste or smell, I immediately assume they’re lacking in zinc.

The fact that loss of taste and smell are symptoms of COVID, we see where marginal levels of this mineral can then result in a drop sufficient to cause loss of these senses. Zinc is critical in it’s role in immune surveillance and therefor needed in any infection, particularly in viral infections.

With Covid, I never lost my sense of taste or smell, and recovery was quick and complete, suggesting that my base levels of zinc are sufficient to assist immune function. Zinc is used by your body daily and the amount usually lost just in one day’s metabolism is approximately 6 mg. Therefore, we need to obtain this mineral daily.

Zinc is one of the minerals required to prevent macular degeneration. For this reason, when I am assisting patients with visual damage and deterioration, I rely on one of my favorite supports, Iplex, which contains this critical nutrient along with other eye specific nutrition.

The production of insulin is highly dependent on zinc, which sheds more light on why diabetics are at a greater danger with the coronavirus. If they are diabetic due to nutritional deficiencies, it’s easy to see that low zinc levels are consistent with their disease. Especially if the management of their diabetes is not focused on restoration of their nutritional well-being.

Zinc functions as a cofactor in over twenty enzymatic reactions and acts as a binder in maintaining the structural configuration of some non-enzymatic molecules. Besides it’s requirements for insulin activity, it’s required for protein and DNA synthesis, wound healing, maintenance of Vitamin A levels and usage, the structure of bones, enzymatic reactions required for the skin’s normal oil gland function (Why it’s important in the management of acne), and of course in its function for immunity.

Besides the symptoms of taste and smell loss, we can often see white spots on the fingernails that can signal a zinc deficiency. I have a solution in the office that can be held in the mouth to assess whether a person has adequate zinc levels. If there is no sense of taste on holding it in the mouth, it’s a very strong indicator of zinc deficiency.

Often times, Vegetarians and Vegans are lacking in sufficient levels of zinc. The reason for this is that most zinc sources are meats. There is a degree of zinc in pumpkin seeds, which is why this is something often advised for prostate problems. (The prostate is supposed to contain some of the highest levels of zinc and sperm has the greatest concentration of zinc of all body fluids).

Zinc is essential for the growth and normal functioning of the sex organs and for the normal, healthy functioning of the prostate. It increases the rate of burn and wound healing.

Zinc is considered useful in reducing cholesterol and in the treatment of cirrhosis and fatty liver syndrome. This is greatly due to it’s function as a cofactor in alcohol dehydrogenase which works in the liver to detoxify ethanol, methanol, ethylene glycol, and other alcohols. This is very important today with the abundance of chemical elements in our environment.

Due to modern farming techniques, soils are greatly depleted of trace minerals including zinc. Dr William Albrecht helped reveal the devastation on our generation due to highly depleted soil conditions. This is why it’s critical to supplement your diet with appropriate minerals. A favorite of mine is Trace minerals B12. You can obtain from me at https://drjohnabriggs.standardprocess.com/products. Another supplement which is even higher in specifically zinc is Zinc Liver Chelate. In cases of severe zinc deficiency, I recommend six of these daily until taste and smell return to normal.

If you’ve missed any of my articles or wish to review, please go to my Blog page https://drjohnabriggs.com/blog.html.

About Dr Briggs

Dr Briggs is a 1980 graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and has been practicing naturopathic medicine in the northwest corner of Oregon since his graduation. His practice involves diagnostic and therapeutic modalities which have stood the test of time and the challenges of diverse disease. We believe that each person exists dynamically as a spirit being, possessing a soul made up of their mind, will, and emotions, living in a body which requires specific care and nutrition. To address only the physical needs is to ignore the real person, and frequently, the real issues. We strive to address all your issues (spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical) with compassion and wisdom.

This article was orginally reported by
Dr. John Briggs

Dr. John Briggs is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.