Did You Know….that supplementing with zinc can boost thyroid levels so that you no longer suffer from weight problems, sexual dysfunction and low-to-no energy?
Fifty-nine million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid dysfunction. Symptoms include unexplained weight gain, an increased risk of obesity, depression, anxiety, hair loss, lagging libido, infertility and decreased energy.
It is imperative that abnormal levels of thyroid hormones be stabilized so that thyroid-related health conditions do not become chronic, incurable problems Supplementing with zinc is a safe and natural way to boost thyroid levels and help your form of thyroid dysfunction.
The Master Hormone
Dr. Oz refers to the thyroid as the “Master Hormone” because it controls virtually everything in the body. This 2-inch, butterfly-shaped hormone is located in the front of your neck beneath your voice box.
Small, but mighty, the thyroid regulates metabolism, calcium balance and the reproductive system…and promotes the use of oxygen and the production of protein.
A properly functioning thyroid owes it all to zinc. It starts with the hypothalamus—the part of the brain that produces hormones that control weight and body temperature among many other bodily processes.
The hypothalamus releases what’s called the TRH hypothalamus hormone (a hormone that requires zinc). The TRH hormone stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete the thyroid-stimulating hormone TSH. Once the thyroid gets the go ahead from TSH, it releases the hormones T3 and T4, which control a multitude of bodily functions.
Without zinc to trigger the release of TRH, the thyroid remains sluggish, resulting in an under-active thyroid and a condition know has hypothyroidism. When zinc levels are too high, the thyroid becomes over-active, resulting in hyperthyroidism. The key is to keep those zinc levels in check.
Zinc: An Essential Trace Mineral
After iron, zinc is the most crucial trace mineral in the body. It strengthens the immune system, accelerates wound healing, prevents blood clotting, and regulates reproduction, growth and sense of smell.
Unfortunately, as we age, zinc deficiency and subsequent thyroid dysfunction conditions tend to flare up. Watch out for the following signs that your zinc levels are low:
- Slow wound healing
- Reduced appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- White spots on nails
A 2009 study published in Clinical Nutrition showed just how important zinc is to the thyroid. Zinc is needed to switch inactive T4 hormones into active T3 hormones in the body.
The hypothalamus also depends on zinc in order to trigger thyroid receptors into action.
A University of Pennsylvania study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism found that physically active females with low zinc levels were able to raise zinc levels dramatically just by supplementing with 26 mg of zinc glutonate for four months.
T3 and T4 hormone levels in the blood shot up and resting metabolic rate (RMR) raised—a sign of increased thyroid activity.
Supplementing Safely with Zinc
Supplementing with zinc does come with a word of caution: Studies have indicated that increased zinc levels lead to a drop in serum ferritin concentrations—an indicator of low iron levels. It’s important to monitor your iron intake while supplementing with zinc.
Too much zinc has also been linked to copper deficiency—a condition that leads to health issues such as too much T4 hormone in the blood stream, which then activates an over-stimulated thyroid.
Always consult a healthcare practitioner before adding zinc to your supplement regimen.
The recommended dose is typically 30-50 mg of zinc per day. Keep in mind that supplementing with zinc is not a quick fix, especially if you currently have a compromised immune system. If after a few months symptoms aren’t improving, consult your doctor.