What if I told you that you can boost your immune system easily by consuming a simple trace mineral found in many foods?

Fellas, what if I told you this same trace mineral can help boost your testosterone and sperm quality?

I know. I know. You would say “SIGN ME UP!”

What I’m talking about here is the wonderful and powerful trace mineral, ZINC! Zinc is a constituent of at least 3,000 different proteins in your body and a component of more than 200 different enzymes. In fact, zinc is involved in more enzymatic reactions in your body than any other mineral. Zinc increases your production of white blood cells and helps them fight infection more effectively. It also increases killer cells that combat cancer, helps your immune system release more antibodies, supports wound healing and much much MORE.

Bulletproof Your Immune System

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With so many herbs and supplements on the market, it’s easy to lose sight of the basics for robust immune defenses.

Your body needs zinc every day in just the right amount, because too much can be as harmful as too little. Your body has no way to store zinc, so it depends on a daily supply through diet.

If your body has inadequate zinc stores, you will experience increased susceptibility to a variety of infectious agents. Your white blood cells simply can’t function without zinc. Zinc affects multiple aspects of your immune system, including neutrophils, natural killer cells, phagocytosis, cytokine production, antibody production, and even gene regulation within your lymphocytes. Zinc is involved in many basic cellular functions including DNA replication, RNA transcription, cell division and activation, and stabilization of cell membranes.

Some studies show that zinc may reduce the duration of your cold by 50 percent.

The Cochrane Review found that zinc reduced both the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold.1 And using zinc preventatively helped prevent colds, leading to fewer school absences and less antibiotic use by children. Zinc is the hallmark molecule for thymic proteins, which are immune substances made by your thymus gland. Without zinc, you lack this immune defense. Zinc salts are deadly to many pathogens. Viral gastroenteritis is slowed down by the ingestion of zinc due to direct antimicrobial action of the zinc ions in your gastrointestinal tract.

If You’re Pregnant, Zinc is Even MORE Important

Close-up of a pregnant woman doing yoga.

There is rarely a more nutritionally demanding time during a woman’s life than pregnancy (and later breastfeeding), when the intake of nutrients from foods and supplements are needed not only to keep her body running but also to nourish and support her rapidly growing baby. Because zinc is required for proper cell division, it is vitally important to get adequate zinc during this time. Low zinc levels have been associated with the following:

  • Premature birth

  • Low birth weight babies

  • Growth retardation

  • Preeclampsia

One study found that zinc supplementation in pregnancy resulted in babies with significantly larger head circumference and higher birth weight.2

High Grain Diets Directly Linked to Zinc Deficiency

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As you probably already know from reading my blog, I’m a huge advocate of a low carb, high fat diet. High grain diets can lead to a number of health problems, including severe zinc deficiency, which in turn can lead to rickets and dwarfism. According to nutrition expert Dr. Loren Cordain:

“It is thought that the high levels of phytate in unleavened whole grain breads cause a zinc deficiency, which in turn is responsible for hypogonadal dwarfism, along with other health problems associated with zinc deficiencies. In Europe, where immigrant Pakistanis consume high levels of unleavened whole grain breads, rickets among their children remains a problem.”3

Here’s why; grains are high in phytic acids (as are legumes, seeds, and soy) and phytic acids are known to impair your absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. You are at high risk if your diet is high in unrefined grains, legumes, soy protein, and calcium, and low in animal protein.

Protein assists with zinc absorption. Animal proteins increase zinc absorption in general. Vegetarian and vegan diets, often high in grains and legumes, contain more phytic acid and may increase your risk for zinc deficiency. This is just one of many reasons I don’t recommend eating a lot of grains.

ELEVATE YOUR LIBIDO

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Zinc is important for sperm quality and crucial for man’s best friend; testosterone. I say “man’s best friend” but in reality women too need the right amount of testosterone. So it’s understandable from a scientific viewpoint that oysters would be good for your sex drive #aphrodisiac. A protocol I’ve been following religiously is high quality zinc, magnesium, and vitamin b6 before bed on training days; it’s one of the many protocols I’ve followed to boost my testosterone by almost 400% in less than 5 months! More on the brands I used below.

DIETARY SOURCES OF ZINC!

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  • Oysters

  • Grass Fed Beef

  • Grass Fed Lamb

  • Spinach

  • Pumpkin & Squash Seeds

  • Free Range Organic Turkey

  • Raw Cashews

  • Raw Organic Cocoa & Dark Chocolate

  • Free Range Organic Chicken

  • Quinoa

 

ZINC SUPPLEMENTS

Zinc-Pills

Supplementing your diet for as little as six weeks has been shown to cause a marked improvement in testosterone among men with low levels. 4

Likewise, research has shown that restricting dietary sources of zinc leads to a significant decrease in testosterone, while zinc supplementation increases it5 — and even protects men from exercised-induced reductions in testosterone levels.6

There are a number of forms of zinc available on the market, some better than others. Your body does not easily absorb zinc, unless the zinc is first attached to another substance. Chelation is a process sometimes used to attach zinc to other substances to make it more absorbable and bioavailable. In chelation, the organic molecules have been electrically charged, which allows them to attract the zinc. One advantage of chelated forms is you won’t get antagonism with calcium, which can be an issue for zinc salts, such as zinc sulfate.

Zinc sulfate is one of the inorganic forms of zinc, or zinc salts. These are not as biologically effective as chelated forms. Zinc sulfate can cause stomach irritation. Another inorganic variety is zinc oxide, which is the form of zinc used in many sunscreens.

Other good forms of zinc include zinc gluconate, which is made essentially by fermenting glucose; zinc acetate, made by combining the zinc with acetic acid; and zinc citrate, made by combining the zinc with citric acid. It’s advantageous to take a supplement with a variety of forms, if possible.

BRANDS I USE AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND ARE: Life Extension Zinc Caps

So there you have it. Add some zinc into your life! If you have any questions feel free to comment below.

Also, feel free to share this on Facebook, and tweet it away! I would appreciate it.

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References and Sources:

1. http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD001364/zinc-for-the-common-cold

2. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/274/6/463.abstract

3. http://www.mercola.com/article/carbohydrates/paleolithic_diet.htm

4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7271365?

5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8875519

6. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/zinc-supplementation-protects-sedentary-men-exercise-induced-decreases-testosterone-and

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