Two weeks ago I was writing on the topic of collagen deficiency, and suggested adding bone broth to your diet as a fix for it. Last week, the problem of L-glutamine deficiency got me writing more about bone broth as a fix for that. Since we seem to be talking about nutrient deficiencies, let’s carry on and do Zinc deficiency.
First, because something like 2 billion (yes, with a “B”) people worldwide are Zinc deficient.
Second, because we’re all going psycho over a virus with a survival rate of over 99%. Okay we’re not all going crazy about the China Flu, but far too many of us are and we’re doing it out of ignorance and fear. Now, before you all tell me I’m nuts, going off brand and entering the world of politics, I’m not. Here’s a few links to research on Zinc and Corona Viruses. This isn’t about politics, it’s about science.
Now, to be sure, these are older studies, generally about the effects of Zinc and known Corona Viruses, not the new (novel) one at the root of the Kung Flu. Studies on that are in the works, but double blind studies with repeatable conclusions take time.
You know, sort of like the time lag between the major media outlets screaming that Hydroxycholoroquine will do nothing at best, and kill you at worst, and then having to admit that, tee hee hee, oops, it cuts the mortality rate in half.
That time lag saw 50 000 people die, a great many of whom could have been saved if the decision had been left to their doctors, rather than overpaid TV talking heads.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to wait for some blow-dried halfwit legacy admission with a J-school degree, to grant me (Engineering and Physics) permission to take Zinc. I can read the studies myself and conclude that Zinc:
- Boosts your general immune function
- Reduces the duration and severity of lung infections, including the common cold
- Specifically helps the body recover from known Corona Virus infections
- Will, I will assume, help with infection from the novel Corona Virus, COVID-19
Now, I’ve gone way off topic because my kids, my wife, and my sisters are all scared of a virus with a 99% survival rate. You know who isn’t scared, I mean, besides me?
My father, who is in the highest mortality demographic; old, and with compromised lungs. Do you know where dad is, 2 days a week? In the hospital. In surgery. They have procedures in place, he takes precautions, and he lives his life. Without wearing a fucking mask in the car.
So, first, don’t be afraid. If the virus is going to get you, it’s going to get you. Live your life. If you’re under 45, with a healthy immune system and no underlying health conditions, guess what? It isn’t going to get you. The mortality rate of the people I just described is signal noise on the mortality graph.
But did you see the key words there?
- Healthy immune system
- Under 45
- No underlying health conditions.
The only thing you can control there is the first one. If you, like dad and me, are over 45 with lung problems, well, ain’t nothing you can do about that, but you can boost your immune system
Zinc and Your Immune System
There are many things you can do to help your immune system, and I’ve touched on a few of them over the years:
- Control your stress
- Get good sleep
- Regular exercise
- Maintain a healthy weight
- A healthy diet
This last is where we, finally, get to the point. I’ve written about macro vs micro nutrients. Zinc is a micronutrient, critical for proper function of your immune system. Forget whether it will help with the Lung Pao Sicken, it will help generally with overall immune response, and specifically with colds and other lung infections.
How Much Zinc
So how much zinc do you need? Not very much. For men, about 11 mg/day, for women, about 8 mg/ day (unless you’re nursing or pregnant, then you need more, you’re Zinc’ing for two, you know). Check with your doctor or nutritionist for more specifics.
Dietary sources of zinc include meat, tofu, lentils, yogurt, oatmeal and (if you can stomach the vile, slimy, stinky, disgusting things) Shiitake mushrooms.
A good multivitamin will include Zinc, and if you’re hitting a cold hard, you can buy Zinc lozenges for that specific purpose.
Two things to keep in mind.
When choosing how best to get sufficient Zinc in your diet, I would keep two things in mind. First, the dose makes the poison, and too much Zinc for too long can cause toxicity. This is only really possible from over supplementation and leads to point number two.
My personal opinion is that natural source is better than supplementation. There is a great deal of debate over just how much of the minerals in a supplement the body can absorb. You may just be buying expensive urine.
I get my zinc by having a protein rich diet (look above, meat, lentils and tofu) and eating a rather large bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every day. It’s filling, tasty with a bit of brown sugar and keeps you regular.
In looking back over the length and breadth of this little article, it occurs to me that the next few nutrition Fridays need to be dedicated to maintaining a healthy immune system. I look forward to seeing you next week, where we’ll talk about…something.