Are you Getting Enough Zinc?

A recent study has shown getting adequate zinc in your diet may lower diabetes progression risk. The individuals who received 20 mg zinc had lower fasting glucose levels as well as lower glucose levels 2-hours after eating. Insulin Resistance also significantly decreased and beta-cell function improved.

Could increasing the zinc in your diet help prevent or control diabetes for you? Zinc has been link to diabetes in multiple research studies showing the benefits of both supplementation of zinc and increasing foods with a higher concentration of zinc.
Here are some food sources that are well balanced with the other nutrients necessary for proper absorption of zinc: 

The minimum amount adults need is 8 mg a day for females and 11 mg a day for males. [More needed during pregnancy (11-12 mg) and lactation (12-13 mg)]. The maximum recommendation is 40 mg.

Zinc is involved in enzyme activity and plays a role in the regulation of the immune system, reproductive system, health of the skin, vision, and nutrient absorption in the gastrointestinal tract (GI).

Low intake or absorption is associated with increased risk for diabetes, cancer, poor appetite, loss of taste/smell, metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance, and depression/anxiety, to name a few.

There are many other vegetables (especially green vegetables) that contain zinc as well, just in smaller amounts. Beef and shellfish also contain significant amounts of zinc, however the fat in these products create inflammation making it harder for the zinc to be absorbed. Beef and shellfish also contain higher copper levels which compete with zinc for absorption sites in the GI and the high protein content can bind the zinc so that it is not absorbed.

The take home message: eat a variety of plant sources of zinc. If you cannot do that than take a zinc supplement with a meal.

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