Greetings iMedDo newsletter subscribers! This month I meditate on the elemental mineral zinc. Turns out zinc is a fundamental key mineral of life and in this episode I will dive into zinc biochemistry and share some selected thing about zinc that I think are important for you my dear readers to know. So sit back and appreciate the zinc! Time to THINK about ZINC!
WHAT IS ZINC ?
Zinc is element number 30 on the periodic table which is also a mineral nutrient used in the human body as well as it has many other uses in coins, galvanized steel and a variety of other products including sunscreen, baby powder, pigments, supplements and more.
WHY DO I CARE ABOUT ZINC?
My main interest in zinc is nutrition. I’ve seen zinc added in multivitamins and stand alone zinc supplements and I want to know answers to basic questions of do we need zinc? How much, and what is the best way to get it be it diet, multivitamin or stand alone supplement? Additionally, I use zinc plated nails in construction while doing roofing (my wife & building off-grid contained earth structure in our free time is fun), and my wife has recently started using zinc sunscreen (zinc oxide) , and I want to make sure it’s safe. More than that though, as a biochemist I’m interested in zinc through my interest in colloidal gold, via the copper pathway which is balanced by zinc and seems to be somewhat controlled through iodine. Basically, learning more about zinc will help me better explain the how and why some of the positive health effects of iMedDo supplements which I hope is an interesting topic to you my readers as well.
PART ONE: THINGS I WANT YOU TO KNOWN ABOUT ZINC:
WHERE DID NAME ZINC COME FROM?
The word “zinc” is believed to come from a German word “zinke” for tooth or prong perhaps because the raw zinc can look a bit jagged or tooth-like (see cover art depicting pointy zinc).
Zinc is an important nutrient. You need it but like many mineral nutrients it is possible to get too much of it as well. Long story short, I am recommending 35 mg/day in bioavailable form (monomethionate) which is about ~3x higher than government recommended daily dose (12 mg), but is still within government recommended maximum dose (40 mg/day). Many studies show health benefits especially for older people with higher dosages of zinc (60 mg, 90 mg etc) but if you use high zinc for extended period of time it can start blocking copper absorption. Women need higher dosages of zinc when pregnant & breastfeeding. Government dosages recommend lower for women 8 mg than men 12 mg but higher 11 mg and 12 mg when pregnant and breastfeeding (making it same as for me i.e. 12 mg). However, that’s probably wrong and too low so I’m recommending 35 mg for everyone men and women in general for now until I get more information. Because there is a lot of variation about zinc dosing out there please do your own research. I will commend that the European upper limit of zinc at 25 mg is in my opinion way too low and I’m agreeing with DrPop & American government upper zinc limit of 40 mg with the caveat that that’s not a hard upper limit, you can get more even much more for short amount of time no problem.
ZINC MULTIVITAMIN OR STANDALONE?
You should endeavor to get enough zinc in your diet but also I think you should get zinc in your multivitamin (I am recommending DrPop’s Power Source Once multi which has 35 mg zinc in bioavailable monomethionate form). I don’t think you need a standalone zinc supplement in general though you might need it in certain situations when sick (cold, rona etc). If you do a zinc standalone on top of your multivitamin (only when sick or zinc deficient), I recommend 15 mg ionic zinc (sulphate) in coconut oil (NutraFitz Naturals brand). I do not recommend 50 mg zinc (citrate) tablets. Note because 50 mg is above upper limit of zinc but because zinc citrate does not absorb very well compared to other forms of zinc supplements. My previous multivitamin only had 15 mg zinc in it in citrate form so my new Power Source One multi is a big improvement with 35 mg in maximum bioavailable form.
*iMedDo Distributors can get Power Source One multivitamins from me at 25% off! I’m privately offering Power Source One multvitamins to all iMedDo customers as well or you can buy them directly from DrPop at PowerSourceOne.com, but please buy them from me or through iMedDo distributors if you want to support iMedDo Foundation. Multivitamins are not my main focus but they make a nice complement to iMedDo Detox System, so if you want them just know they available.
VEGETARIANS & VEGANS
Because seafood and meat are good sources of zinc, it is thought that vegetarians and vegans are more at risk of zinc deficiency, so if you are a vegetarian or vegan be sure to watch your zinc intake levels in diet to make sure you getting enough or if not is more important that you supplement zinc in multivitamin (or standalone zinc supplement). You can also get zinc in nuts.
I found it interesting that a top source of zinc is in oysters. Oysters are also considered to be an aphrodisiac. Zinc connection? I don’t know.
ZINC IN CONSTRUCTION
You might have heard of “galvanized steel”. Steel is made from iron and iron can rust/oxidize over time. To protect iron, zinc is used to plate the iron (galvanized steel). I handle zinc coated roofing nails all the time and I was curious if this is a problem or not. It’s not. I don’t think you will get too much zinc from standard zinc uses in construction.
ZINC JELLYFISH TOXICITY
I recently visit the Chattanooga aquarium with the Tennessee chapter of the American Chemical society for a backstage tour. Their life support specialist mentioned something very interesting about zinc I want to share. He said the City of Chattanooga puts zinc in their tap water so that it will plate out and protect the iron pipes. And because of this, I guess since they use purified city water, they have to periodically test the aquarium water for zinc levels. If it gets too high the jelly fish will stop eating and will start wasting away. I thought this was very interesting as oftentimes looking at mineral levels in sea life gives clues to human life via evolution. Sure enough I found a paper on how jellyfish uptake then excrete both zinc and copper in an attempt to maintain an optimal level. How jellyfish optimum zinc levels compare to human is an interesting line of questioning.
ZINC IN SUNSCREEN
There is a new mineral type sunscreen that uses zinc oxide. It’s not toxic but if you use it too frequently the risk is that you might get too high in zinc. My wife tried it and said that zinc suncreen was hard to get off. It felt less oily than regular sunscreen with powdery finish and doesn’t wash off in water, but felt stuck to her skin for 2-3 days. I’m interesting in trying zinc sunscreen is definitely less toxic than some older sunscreen formulations (titanium heavy metal, carcinogenic chemicals).
ZINC IN PIGMENTS
Zinc oxide is white in color an is used as a white pigment in paints. I like to paint miniatures and no doubt my white pain contains zinc didn’t realize.
ZINC IN BABY POWDER
Zinc oxide is white powder is used in baby powder to help with diaper rash. I assume babies using baby power are less likely to be zinc deficient if they absorbing it on their little butts but that’s worth looking into more.
*ZINC PENNIES ARE TOXIC IF SWALLOWED!!!!!!
Did you know that US pennies starting in 1982 are no longer made of copper but rather are made of zinc with a coating. The surest way to get overdose on zinc is to swallow one of these zinc pennies. Stomach acid is able to to dissolve some of the zinc resulting in stomach ulcer, zinc overdose and even death! Get rid of US pennies they are like poison pills waiting to hurt your small children or pets if eaten! All copper or all silver coins are not a problem, but the zinc ones are toxic. Usually will exit in 24 hrs but if the swallowed coin gets stuck it can be fatal.
*ZINC BUTTON BATTERIES ARE EXTREMELY TOXIC IF SWALLOWED!!!!
The little round batteries that are as small as or smaller tan a penny which use zinc or lithium in them are extremely toxic and can be fatal if swallowed. Keep them secure and view them as poison they can kill your loved one if swallowed. To counteract the battery companies coated them with a bad taste so hopefully they will be spit out but be careful.
PART TWO: ZINC BIOCHEMISTRY
Zinc defies many generalizations as has many unique properties. It is a metal that is more important in biology in proteins than many vitamins and it is even a signaling molecule in it’s own right in the ionic form. Zinc is intricately related to many other mineral pathways in the body including copper, SILVER, GOLD, iron, oxygen, IODINE, selenium, calcium, magnesium and more.
Zinc is disrupted by heavy metals cadmium and mercury.
There is an important zinc related protein involved in heavy metal detox called metallothionein. It can bind zinc, copper, and many more metals both good and bad and things that disrupt it are bad for health (cadmium & mercury heavy metals in particular).
Part of why iMedDo System works so well for heavy metal detox is beneficial effects of silver, gold and iodine on restoring metallothionein functional composition of zinc and copper after it binds to heavy metals.
FEATURED ZINC BIOCHEMISTRY REVIEW ARTICLE: MARET2013.
I found an biochemistry nutrition review article about zinc which I want to highlight as I learned a lot from it about zinc biochemistry that I want to share.
Zinc biochemistry: from a single zinc enzyme to a key element of life.
Wolfgang Maret Adv Nutr. 2013 Jan1;4(1):82-91.
ZINC IS A KEY ELEMENT OF LIFE
I didn’t fully appreciate how zinc is a key element of life .
Not only is zinc in 10% of the proteins in the human body ~3000/30,000.
Zinc as Zinc (+2) ion (Zn(II)) is a signaling molecule in its own right comparable ubiquitous importance as calcium signaling.
ZINC IS A PROANTIOXIDANT
“Zinc is generally considered to be an antioxidant. However, it is redox inert and thus can serve such a function only indirectly. Thus the term proantioxidant is more appropriate.” Maret 2013.
ZINC SENSITIVE TO ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS
“Zinc signaling is rather sensitive to environmental factors. Acute & long term exposure to chemicals that interfere with zinc buffering should be a major concern for health” Market 2013.
ZINC CAN CONTROL CANCER
“Role of Zn(II) ions … well documented … part of the spectrum of actions of zinc in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and cell death.” Maret 2013.
Cancer cells proliferate, differentiate from normal cells and escape controls of cell death, and it’s obvious to see that zinc signaling disruption can promote caner just as zinc signaling restoration has potential to halt cancer by giving signal not to proliferate, not to differentiate and promoting cell death.
Likely anti-cancer properties of silver, gold and iodine are inter-related with zinc signaling pathways. The one that is obvious is metallothionein protein.
It’s not as simple as taking more or less zinc, you’ll have better results taking silver, gold and iodine to desuppress zinc pathway from heavy metals for example with metallotheionein.
ZINC IS NOT ACTUALLY A TRACE MINERAL!
Zinc is said to be the most abundant trace mineral besides iron. But according to the features article zinc is not technically a trace mineral at all:
“The concentration of cellular zinc is rather high, almost as high as that of ATP. Therefore, at a cellular level, zinc can hardly be considered a trace element.” Maret 2013.
ATP means adenosine triphosphate the energy molecule. So if zinc concentration in the cell is almost as high as ATP that’s very interesting indicating zinc is extremely important for the very foundation of how biology works.
ZINC THE VITAMINERAL
“Zinc is used as a cofactor in proteins much more frequently than most vitamins” Maret 2013. So to me zinc is a super-vitamin though technically it’s a mineral. I like combining the word vitamin and mineral and calling zinc a “vitamineral” =). [iodine, silver and gold are also vitaminerals =)]
ZINC, CALCIUM, MAGNESIUM IN CELL SIGNALING
“Zinc (Zn), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg), the three major redox-inert metal ions involved in cell regulation, cover many orders of magnitude in concentrations and affiliations. Among the three, free zinc(II) ions are controlled at the lowest concentration.” Maret 2013
ZINC FINGERS, WAVES AND SPARKS
Zinc does she crazy stuff in cells including grabbing DNA like fingers “zinc fingers”, and during cell cycle does some weird stuff called the “zinc wave” and the “zinc sparks” in cell division with zinc and calcium signaling working together. (See Maret 2013 for more detail).
ZINC SIGNALING TIMESCALES
Maret made a point that the zinc waves happen on a minutes timescale and zinc sparks happen on a seconds timescale indicating that zinc signals can be very diverse in timing. So zinc and zinc buffering concentrations in the body can be used for all sorts of nonlinear & time delayed responses in cell can get very complicated. I used to measure very short millisecond ms times in graduate school using a technique called fluorescence correlation spectroscopy which could be used to attach fluorescent proteins to study fast calcium signaling and is interesting as same approach could be used to look at time differences in zinc signaling. Think I’ll call up my old advisor I think he would be interested in talking about that.
ZINC & INSULIN
“Zinc(II) ions are secreted together with insulin from beta cells.
ZINC & BREASTMILK
“In mammary epithelial cells, exocytotic vesicles contain zinc(II) ions and supply the milk with zinc.
“One target of the released zinc(II) ions is the postsynaptic N-methly-D-aspartate receptor, which zinc inhibits at low nano moles per liter concentrations” Maret 2013.
“Zinc(II) ions also modulate the activities of other neuroreceptors, and there is reuptake with functional effects in the presynaptic cell” Maret 2013.
ZINC IN BRAIN, PANCREAS, MAMMARIES
“Zinc(II) ions also occurs in other non synaptic vesicles and are released from cells by exocytosis from these vesicles that are loaded with zinc(II) ions by different zinc transporters, ZnT3 in neurons in the brain, ZnT8 in pancreatic beta cells, or ZnT2 in epithelial cells of the mammary glands”.
ZINC ALL OVER THE PLACE: GLANDS, PROSTATE, BONES
“Cellular release of zinc(II) ions has been observed in a number of exocrine and endocrine glands. Somatotrophin cells in the pituitary gland, pancreatic acing cells, beta cells of the islets of Langerhans, Paneth cells in the crypts of Lieberkuhn, cells of the tubuloacinar glands of the prostate, epithelial cells of the epididymal ducts, and osteoblasts all secrete zinc(II) ions.” Maret 2013
ZINC STORAGE IN THE BODY: MORE IN VESICLES THAN IN PROTEINS
“Zinc is mainly stored in vesicles rather than in protein with a high zinc-binding capacity akin to ferritin in iron storage.”
I’ve talked about ferritin protein transporting in iron in several newsletters now see one on iron as well as talked about lactoferritin in breastmilk last month. Point is most metals like copper and iron in body are ferried around in proteins whereas, since zinc is a signaling molecule, it is in vesicles that can be released to locally increase the concentration fast. Compare to neuromuscular junction where calcium signaling vesicles released to stimulate muscle contraction after an action potential. Looks like zinc can be used for similar vesicle signaling as calcium which is impressive. But there is zinc stored in proteins too, like metalothionein zinc can locally release zinc for signaling.
ZINC BUFFERING AND MUFFLING
Zinc is buffered and muffled in the body lol.
“Cellular zinc buffering is thus a combination of the cytosolic zinc-buffering capacity and the zinc-muffling capacity based on the activities of transporters that remove zinc(II) ions from the cytosol to an organelle or to the outside of a cell” Maret 2013.
ZINC PROTEIN: MTF-1
There is protein called Metal-response element-binding transcription factor-1 (MTF-1) that is the only known eukaryotic zinc(II) ion sensor.
(That’s impressive if 3000 zinc proteins that only 1 is a zinc ion sensor for sure).
Sensing is thought to occur through a pair of its 6 zinc fingers with lower affinity for zinc than the other zinc fingers.
MTF-1 is essential for life as without is lethal to knockout mice.
Oxidation of the sulfur donors leads to zinc release, wheres reduction of the oxidized sulfurs leads to zinc binding.
METALOTHIONE (MT) IN THE EYE
Composition of MT in eye tissue is Zn6Cu-MT. 6 zinc ions and 1 copper ion.
Zinc has been used since roman times for eye problems.
MT IN THE LIVER
MT has a higher copper content in the liver.
[Gold in the liver also helps with detox as replaces copper in MT.]
Liver = Live -Ra. The sun of life is gold.
CADMIUM POISONING AFFECT MT
Cd5Zn2-MT 5 molecules of cadmium displacing copper and four of the zinc. (Should be Zn6Cu-MT for example. )
SILVER GOLD DETOX HYPOTHESIS OF MT
Silver bumps Cd out of Zn binding sites and Au bumps Cd out of Cu binding site.
Ag5Zn2-MT or Ag4AuZn2-MT then restores to Zn6Cu-MT or stays Zn6-Au-MT or some combination Ag4Zn2Au-MT etc.
More copper or gold in liver MT’s. 10% supposed to Zinc with not all sites bound can bind more zinc or other metals.
Zinc is an extremely important key of life that is used everywhere in the body and is tightly controlled. If zinc gets to high or too low and escapes the control from dysregulation then bad things can happen. Practically speaking the only way you are going to overdose on zinc is if you swallow a zinc penny or zinc battery which can be lethal. There is a risk of taking too much zinc if you do high zinc supplements all the time, but practically speaking is very hard to do. Most people are zinc deficient and don’t known it as even if you do tests for zinc won’t show it as body tightly controls zinc levels and will look normal even if low. My advice is to try to get zinc in diet but also as a catch all to make sure you getting enough zinc to take a great multivitamin which has zinc in it, but I don’t think you need to take a zinc standalone supplement except for short duration if sick. Biochemistry of zinc is very complex as is used in 10% of the proteins in the human body & zinc ions are important signaling molecules in their own right used seemingly in every part of the body. See featured zinc biochemistry article Maret2013 for more details. Ultimately, zinc is WAY more important in biology and human health than you may have have realized, and detoxing heavy metals with iMedDo System is a great way desuppress zinc pathways by removing cadmium and mercury heavy metals which are known to dysrupt zinc signalling.
My believe is that many people have disrupted zinc pathways, but just taking more or less zinc is not necessarily the solution. For some people taking more zinc does help, but ultimately you need to detox the heavy metals blocking the zinc pathway. Being able to describe the zinc pathway with metallothionein protein and how silver & gold desuppress the protein from cadmium and mercury in more clarity was a wonderful result of this zinc meditation.
Another theme I got from this meditation on zinc is further clarity on child safety. Pregnant and breastfeeding need more zinc, children need more zinc, but beware the zinc pennies and zinc batteries swallowing hazard for children Also beware the vaccine for children, the unsafe poison will no doubt deplete and disrupt zinc levels which is a topic I was not able to cover in this episode but is something I known is true and that you should be ware of. Looking at how zinc signaling works in the heart and how gold works with zinc in lieu of copper is a major research interest of mine and I hope to talk more about it in the future.
I only scratched the surface on zinc, but I hope I impressed upon you my dear readers the importance of the topic.