Zinc popped up on the internet radar during the height of the Covid hysteria in March and April. It went viral when Dr Vladimir “Zev” Zelenko touted it as a highly effective treatment for Corona when used with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.
Regardless of what anyone thinks of the above treatment, what is a fact is that zinc is essential to the body. It exists in almost all cells and is required for the activity of over 300 enzymes. Since its discovery in 1869, scientists have determined that zinc is essential to all life on the planet.
Zinc deficiency increases the chance of death. This study deals with children from poor countries, but it is obvious that anyone who is deficient in zinc is putting himself at risk for increased infection or disease. Of course, diabetics tend to be more at risk for infection and disease anyways, so being low in zinc is unacceptable for me.
What Does Zinc Do?
When someone has an infection, zinc produces proteins that help the body’s immune response. But zinc is also brought to the area of infection. Once the infection is fought off, zinc stops the protein production. It acts as a sort of on/off switch. The body’s immune response to infection is inflammation (this is good inflammation); however, if one has a zinc deficiency, the inflammation does not go away once the infection is beaten. The on/off switch doesn’t work. A lack of zinc makes the immune response break down. Don’t believe me? You can read more here and here and here.
Zinc Rich Foods
Our bodies cannot store zinc, so we must ingest it regularly. Here is a list of zinc rich foods that paleos can eat:
- Red meat
- Seeds (hemp, pumpkin, squash and sesame)
- Nuts (pine, almonds, cashews)
- Cheddar cheese
- Dark chocolate
Given how important zinc is, I err on the side of caution and take 10 or 20mg a day as a supplement.