Activity of the most studied minerals in Nutritherapy – Zinc



  • Activity of the most studied minerals in Nutritherapy - ZincThe hardest to absorb of all minerals (even harder than iron)
  • Key mineral for all anabolism: appetite, taste (taste is a zinc protein), gene expression, protein synthesis
  • Zinc supplementation in anorexia nervosa has been shown to have positive effects by British researchers
  • Almost all DNA tools use zinc as a coenzyme; all the factors that trigger the genes are zinc dependent (switch from DNA to RNA, from RNA to proteins, DNA duplication by DNA polymerase (“DNA photocopier”), stability and DNA repair …)
  • Central mineral in immunity: multiplication of white blood cells, antibodies, probiotics) – but should not be given during a bacterial infection or an ENT infection likely to bacterial superinfection because a growth factor of bacteria.
Health Care

Supplementation studies

– at 12 years => improvement in growth, reduction in respiratory infections, mortality

– improves anti-infectious defenses and greatly reduces mortality in developing countries

– significant reduction in ear infections (-33%)

  • Protector of thiol groups (-SH), sensitive sites and activators of enzymes, transporters, receptors, glutathione, the universal detoxifier, but also antioxidant and igniter of white blood cells
  • Anti-inflammatory by several mechanisms, including antagonism with iron and copper
  • Antitoxic (protects against heavy metals: Hg, Pb, Cd) – a zinc deficiency increases vulnerability to heavy metals
  • Neuroprotective (modulates NMDA receptors with magnesium and antioxidants)
  • Necessary to trigger apoptosis (the second defense against cancer cells because it is part of the “garde-chiourme” protein P53)

Intakes are insufficient in more than 80% of the population, 100% in adults and seniors

  • However, its absorption decreases with age
  • This explains why 100% of seniors are deficient, which accelerates the degradation of tissues and organs (accumulation of oxidative and inflammatory catabolic damage and decrease in repair capacity, anabolic reconstitution), vulnerability to infections, acceleration of neurodegeneration …
  • The pill, excess iron, heavy metals antagonize zinc
  • Vegetable zinc exists but is very poorly absorbed
  • Phytates (phytic acid in bran, corn, bean sprouts) block the absorption of zinc, so semi-wholemeal sourdough bread because the sourdough predigests phytates
  • Conclusion: if the entire population is technically dependent on daily zinc supplementation, with high anabolic subpopulations with increased needs: pregnant women, small children, rapidly growing adolescents, athletes, perioperative, trauma …. vegetarians and vegans should supplement even more regularly
  • Cysteine ​​(thiol group) has a high affinity for zinc and facilitates its absorption

RDA: 15 mg

The zinc salts shown to be the most bioavailable are zinc citrate and zinc picolinate

To recover a zinc deficit , give twice the RDA (30 mq) for an average of 2 months for children, 3 months for adults, 6 months for seniors – before returning to the RDA (15 mg / d)

> cessation of bacterial or ENT infection and resumption 8 days after the end of the infection

Think about overuse populations:

Like pregnant women – studies show that 100% of them do not have the RDI and that more than 75% of them receive less than 10 mg of zinc per day through the diet, this at the time when we need it most (impact on brain development in utero, overall development, immunity, vulnerability to heavy metals,… we suspect that this lack of zinc increases the risk of dyslexia and other neurobehavioural disorders).

Very increased needs also in children and adolescents in strong growth The lack of zinc reduces the capacities of development, including cerebral and makes it vulnerable to infections. If the growth curve is low, zinc should be the first line intervention.

Importance of zinc in athletes who needlessly stuff themselves with protein, while they lack zinc to build muscle.

Importance of zinc for male fertility (no sperm multiplication without zinc) and role in the metabolization of androgens Studies: experimental zinc deficits lead to a drop in testosterone and spermatogenesis, supplements allow + 385% of pregnancies and + 318% of children born!

Importance of zinc in the reconstitution of tissue: fractures, osteoporosis, sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass in the elderly, but also in people with inflammatory pathologies, chronic infections, cancers, etc.)


1- in diabetes insulin depends on zinc for its conformation

2- co-enzyme of many enzymes (+200) which depend on zinc: including de! Ta6 desaturase essential for the metabolization of essential fatty acids and the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins

3- restoration of the digestive barrier: multiplication of enterocytes and probiotics

4- absorption of the polyglutamate form of vitamin B9 (folates)


Oysters, seafood, organic liver, eggs, lean meats and fish (but all animal sources are increasingly polluted – favor organic meats and small fish – seafood is less and less recommendable. – beyond that we consume far too much animal proteins, inflammatory at the expense of vegetable proteins, anti-inflammatory – cf. Less Meat – towards a transition for the benefit of health, the animal world and the environment).

Unfortunately, vegetable zinc is not very bioavailable which leads to recommend the taking of a daily nutritional supplement containing zinc citrate with all compatible minerals (neither iron nor copper), vitamins – recently we added protective active ingredients ( N-acetylcysteine, glutamine, polyphenols, lycopene, lutein…). There is hardly any indication for zinc on its own.

The most complete to date are Physiomance Multi (Thérascience) and Multigenics (Multidyn in France) Senior.


  • brittle or split nails (the synthesis of keratin, a protein depends on zinc)
  • white spots on the nails, ridged nails
  • hair loss or slow growth
  • dry skin
  • slow healing
  • frequent infections


  • Growth children
  • Intellectual development
  • Cerebral dysmaturity, dyslexia …
  • Ageusia, an extremely late sign of lack of zinc
  • Male infertility
  • Pregnancy (fertility, embryo development, fetal and brain maturation)
  • Hyperpigmentation of pregnancy because zinc blocks copper which explodes due to the explosion of estrogen and which causes more melanin
  • To allow the rise of antibodies in case of vaccination
  • Vulnerability to infections
  • Allergic and inflammatory pathologies
  • Barrier and digestive flora restoration
  • Scarring, fractures, trauma, peri-surgery
  • Most dermatological pathologies: eczema, acne, psoriasis …
  • Heavy metal protection
  • Overweight (essential for regaining muscle mass)
  • Prevention and co-treatment of osteoporosis, sarcopenia
  • Prevention and co-treatment of cognitive decline and dementias
  • Prevention and co-treatment of cancers (P53 = zinc protein)
  • Wilson’s disease (equivalent to hemochromatosis for copper) – high doses of zinc block copper


Zinc is the most important mineral for the immune system, but, paradoxically, it can promote bacterial overgrowth during infection

It is therefore necessary to suspend its intake during a bacterial infection (angina, otitis …) and during ENT infections mixed with viral, which are easily the subject of bacterial secondary infections. It can be resumed a week after the end of an infection. On the other hand, zinc has documented antiviral effects. It is therefore given during purely viral infections, without risk of bacterial superinfection.

Iron and copper antagonize the absorption of zinc in supplements (not in animal proteins or in separate protein / fiber niches).

No need to overdose the zinc to bring it back up because it will be blocked in the digestive tract: maximum 2x the RDA is 30 mg, 45 mg in the event of obesity, possibly more in the event of Wilson’s disease or heavy metal poisoning

To correct zinc deficits, you need relatively long corrective cures (2 to 6 months)

Author Jean-Paul Curtay

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