The Many Roles of Zinc


Zinc Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions - SelfHacked

Zinc is one of the most widespread metal ions in the brain and  is an essential mineral used by more than 300 enzymes in the human body.  There are over 3,000 proteins in humans that have functional zinc-binding sites – meaning that Zinc assists in building something, breaking something down, or regulating certain pathways in every cell in the body.

Zinc provides cell structure, regulates communication between cells, influences gene expression, supports a healthy immune system, and promotes normal growth and development.


High intake of zinc causes the intestines to produce copper-binding protein called metallothionein.  Metallothioneins work very closely with zinc to detoxify metals such as copper.  Proper absorption and metabolism of copper requires an appropriate balance
of both zinc and manganese in our diet.

Zinc also helps other nutrients to work in the body. For example, zinc is part of a protein that transports vitamin A into the bloodstream so our cells can get it.  Zinc also is needed in the absorption of folate.

Zinc and copper

Copper−Zinc Superoxide Dismutase: Theoretical Insights into the Catalytic Mechanism | Inorganic ChemistryCopper and zinc are antagonists, which means they work against one another and compete for binding sites. Excess zinc can lead to a copper deficiency and excess copper can lead to a zinc deficiency. When there is an imbalance in these two metals, this can lead to health problems.  In fact, the copper to zinc ratio might just be a marker for inflammation that predicts your overall risk for mortality.

Part of the normal immune response depletes infected tissues of zinc to starve the pathogens from getting any of this essential metal, while also moving the zinc to other locations to support the immune response.

Copper levels increases to also assist in the immune response, as it has been known to regulate macrophage (white blood cells, especially in response to infection) pathways. Many of these changes are not related to nutritional or supplemental intake of the metals.  


Iron interferes with the absorption of copper and zinc, causing a change in the zinc to copper ratio in the blood.  Having a good level of iron will make sure there is a cooperation in balancing these two elements.

Strive to meet your iron, zinc, and copper intake from food rather than supplements.  For example, if a pregnant mother takes iron supplements it may alter the absorption rate of zinc, disrupting the balance that is needed.






Here at American Wellness we focus strongly on the balance of these two metals in our basic work up as we want to ensure they are in complete balance and harmony.  Your life depends on it!  Come in and lets find out how well you are doing to ensure balance in your precious metals.  Make your appt. today!

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