Even men with asthma are seeing results with this cheap supplement
This one supplement can help fight off allergy symptoms
Zinc deficiency has been tied to countless health problems.
This is not surprising nowadays because we now know zinc to be involved in hundreds (or more) physiological processes.
It is implicated in cutaneous problems, inadequate sexual development, susceptibility to infections etc.
“Although it has been known for more than six decades that zinc is essential for the growth of micro-organisms, plants, and animals, until 1961 it was believed that zinc deficiency in humans could never occur. It is now clear that nutritional deficiency of zinc is widely prevalent and its morbidities are severe” -Prasad (2003)
Zinc is found predominantly in red meat and oysters. It is present in all animal foods, in various amounts.
But oysters are by far the best source. And not many people eat oysters regularly.
A well known research finding is that serum levels of zinc have repeatedly been found to be lower in asthmatics when compared to non-asthmatics.
To illustrate the importance of zinc in a specific case related to asthma, let’s look at a study by Morgan et al. (2011).
The purpose of this study was to establish the influence of zinc supplementation of the inflammatory response in the lungs following an exposure to a common allergen.
There are many such allergens in the modern environment, from the natural pollen and seasonal influences, to the more nefarious effect of indoor air pollution.
Dust, mold, toxic compounds all can trigger breathing difficulties.
Even in people who don’t normally suffer from asthma, “attacks” can occur spontaneously.
In this study, it was found that zinc supplementation in the form of zinc gluconate following exposure to an allergen decreased airway inflammation in mice:
“In this report, we describe a role for zinc supplementation in modulating the innate immune response to a common allergen in vivo which is characterized by cellular infiltration and cytokine release into the airways of mice. In addition, we found that zinc supplementation is sufficient to decrease airway hyperresponsiveness and serum IgE levels suggesting an important therapeutic treatment..” – Morgan et al. (2011)
This effect was seen following relatively high dosage of zinc gluconate, which produced a measurable increase in serum zinc levels in the treated mice.
The authors conclude:
“Zinc gluconate is an inexpensive medication, readily available and administered both parenterally and orally. With the severity and prevalence of asthma on the rise, our data suggest the possibility of a readily available, easily dosed, and cost effective manner to aid in the suppression of airway hyperresponsiveness.”
Supplementing with zinc
Zinc gluconate is one of the better forms of zinc for supplementation because it is relatively less contaminated with heavy metals (such as cadmium) when compared to other sources of zinc.
Supplementing with zinc may be a good idea even if there are no concerns of asthma symptoms.
A deficiency is implicated in many diseases and can be built over several decades, profoundly influencing health outcomes.
50 to 100mg of zinc gluconate mixed in applesauce, or yogurt for example, can be a good approach for supplementation.
Usually, it is not necessary to supplement for extended periods of time, and incorporating zinc-rich foods like red meat and oysters can then supply the necessary zinc once the deficiency has been overcome.
My personal approach is to only eat zinc containing foods. Supplementing can result in copper deficiency. Eating a can of boiled oysters each week may be helpful (do not eat if you are allergic.)
Supplementing with a little zinc is a seemingly very simple and affordable strategy to mitigate the risks of asthma symptoms
Morgan, Carrie I et al. “Zinc supplementation alters airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness to a common allergen.” Journal of inflammation (London, England) vol. 8 36. 7 Dec. 2011, doi:10.1186/1476-9255-8-36