1. Zinc deficiency can hit you at any age

    Getting enough zinc? Check your fingernails

    Q: How much zinc should I take if I have white spots on my nails? Some spots are quite noticeable.

    GR: Patients are usually surprised to learn that zinc deficiency is sometimes literally written on their bodies in what might seem like an unlikely place: the fingernails.

    Any little white spots you may see there are most often "zinc deficiency spots." Zinc gets "used up" the most when a large mass of cells is rapidly growing and dividing, which happens to the greatest extent during puberty, so teenagers are particularly at risk for zinc deficiency and insufficiency.

    But unlike many of the other aspects of puberty, this isn't one that you can simply thankyour lucky stars to be finished with. Zinc deficiency can happen at any age!

    And it's important to keep in mind that zinc deficiency or insufficiency more often occurs without the telltale "zinc spots."

    The best food sources of zinc by far are oysters. I don't know about you, but I just haven't been able to develop a taste for them, so I usually rely on herring and other seafood, eggs, liver (yes, organic only), and beef, all of which are all good sources of zinc.

    The best vegetable sources of zinc include sunflower seeds, nuts, mushrooms, and whole grains.

    It's important to note, however, that in the early 1960s, the USDA published a map showing that 31 states had insufficient levels of zinc in their agricultural soils for optimal crop growth -- and the situation has only worsened in the 40 years or so since!

    You don't need me to tell you that if there isn't enough zinc in the soil for optimal crop growth, then there certainly won't be enough zinc in those crops to ensure optimal health in the people eating them.

    Regardless of how many of the zinc-rich foods you decide to incorporate
    into your diet, I always recommend my patients take 25 to 30 milligrams of zinc (picolinate or citrate) in supplement form, two to three times each day.

    Since prolonged use of zinc can lead to a deficiency or insufficiency in copper (and vice versa), it's best to also take 2 milligrams of copper (from sebacate).

    Many good multi-vitamin/mineral combinations already contain these amounts, so there may be no need to buy additional supplements. But it's a good idea to check the quantities on the label of your multi to be sure.

    A word of caution: It is possible to "overdo" it when it comes to zinc. Excessive quantities of it, in fact, can increase a man's risk of prostate cancer.

    Check with your doc first before starting any new supplements of zinc (or anything else).

    Want me to answer your question next? Drop me a line at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com and check out next week's Q&A edition of eTips.

    P.S. My friends at Real Advantage Nutrients and I are very excited to share a new breakthrough in prostate and sleep health with you in the coming days. This new breakthrough can help you pee like a firehose... sleep through the night ...and finally say 'goodbye' to that nagging urge to go. More details coming soon...

  2. Zinc slows cell damage

    Keep your DNA from snapping in two with this miracle mineral

    "It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage."

    I love that line from Raiders of the Lost Ark. We tend to think of aging simply as time marching on... another birthday, another trip around the sun.

    But when you get right down to it, the aging process isn't really about the number of candles on your birthday cake. Aging is more about the toll that those years take on your body -- the wear and tear that you feel not only in your joints, but also the damage you may not notice all the way down to the cellular level.

    But according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there's a miracle mineral that can slow down that aging process and keep your cells strong.

    You see, your body works hard to repair the damage that naturally occurs in the DNA inside your cells; but as you get older, your cells tire out (just like you do).

    That means they're less able to repair themselves -- and that makes you more vulnerable to infections and diseases.

    Now, we know that zinc has the power to boost your overall health and prevent infections, but researchers recently found that upping your daily zinc intake can actually slow that DNA damage down.

    And all it takes to reduce the breakage of your strands of DNA deep inside your cells is an increase of just 4 mg of zinc a day.

    These findings make a lot of sense, if you consider how essential the mineral zinc is to so many bodily functions. It can keep your vital organs functioning properly... it can protect your eyes from macular degeneration... and, gentlemen, it can even help keep your prostate healthy.
    It's also a great inflammation-fighter -- and, as you know, inflammation is frequently a root cause of a lot of the oxidative damage that occurs inside your body right down to the cellular level.

    I try to avoid having my patients supplement with zinc, since too much of a good thing can actually be pretty bad here. But your doc may want to boost your intake, if you turn out to be deficient. (And zinc deficiency IS common among folks over the age of 55.)

    Just don't try to go it alone when it comes to zinc -- unless, of course, you feel like you're coming down with a winter cold. In that case, some zinc lozenges can be a life-saver.

    In general, you'll be getting enough of this miracle mineral if you eat a lot of Paleo-friendly foods that are rich in zinc -- like oysters, chicken, red meat, chick peas, and even yogurt.

    Modest increase in dietary zinc reduces oxidative stress and damage to DNA, study shows

  3. Zinc boosts immune system in seniors

    A new study out of Tufts University has found that people older than 55 can greatly improve their immune system by supplementing with the often overlooked mineral zinc.
  4. How men become dependent on Viagra

    Men without erection problems who take drugs like Viagra recreationally end up dependent on them for erections later on.
  5. Sex mineral zinc can help men and women in the bedroom

    Zinc can help boost the sex lives of men and women alike by improving both erectile function and vaginal lubrication.
  6. Common food additive in autism link

    The feds want you to believe the dramatic 78 percent rise in autism cases over the past decade is nothing more than a bookkeeping trick. There aren't more autistic kids -- just more docs who've learned to recognize the condition. Baloney!
  7. Sex, lies and... celery?

    The fastest way to ruin your sex life is with a vegan diet, and that's the truth. But the bunny-huggers at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals want you to believe that beans, sprouts, and soy will turn you into some kind of sexual superhero.
  8. The flu that wasn't

    When did we become such big babies? Every little sneeze and sniffle has turned into a big drama -- and now, just about everyone who gets sick assumes they have the flu.
  9. Vitamins boost IVF success

    Imagine that -- good nutrition can help a woman get pregnant.
  10. Zinc the link for pneumonia prevention

    Vegans aren't just missing out on good health... there's now solid evidence that a meat-free lifestyle can leave seniors open to pneumonia and even death.

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