How To Get The Proper Zinc-Copper Ratio And Why It Matters For Your Bones And Your Health
When it comes to mineral supplementation, a very important aspect tends to get overlooked: how a mineral balances with other supplements. The fact is, if you rely solely on the Establishment’s overemphasis on calcium, you can unknowingly cause an imbalance that can actually harm your bones and overall health.
The mineral we’re going to discuss today is seldom mentioned in relation to osteoporosis, but it’s a very important nutrient your bones need to renew and rejuvenate. What’s more, another mineral can act as its antagonist if taken in too great a quantity.
So today you’ll learn about the important bone health and overall health benefits of zinc and copper, both of which are Foundation Supplements, and how to balance them so you can maximize their effects.
Let’s get started!
Why Zinc For Bones?
If you look for zinc supplements in the store, you’re likely to find them among the cold and flu remedies, not with the bone supplements. But zinc is actually required during every single step of the complex process of bone metabolism and remodeling.
Let’s take a look at the very important functions of zinc as it relates to bones:
- Zinc acts as a cofactor during bone formation by regulating enzymatic activity in several metabolic processes (such as the regulation of collagen and elastin crosslinking), and osteoblast activity itself.
- Zinc naturally inhibits osteoclasts (bone-destroying cells) while increasing osteoblasts (bone-building cells).
- Zinc is part of a crucial trio with manganese and copper that work together to form Superoxide Dismutase, a vital enzymatic antioxidant.
- An enzyme called alkaline phosphatase needs zinc in order to function properly. Alkaline phosphatase boosts osteoblasts’ bone-building activity.
- Zinc is present in bone itself – it’s found in hydroxyapatite mineral crystals which account for 50% of your bones’ weight.
- Vitamin D must have zinc to get into bone cells.
Zinc And General Health
Zinc is important for overall health as well. There’s a reason you find zinc supplements with cold remedies in the store – a zinc deficiency reduces the efficiency and activity of the immune system.
Your skin health is also influenced by zinc. Diets low in zinc play a part in skin conditions such as acne and even canker sores.
Too little zinc can result in a loss of taste and decreased appetite, and in fact, low zinc levels are often found in those with anorexia.1
Your eyesight is also affected by zinc; it works with Vitamin A to facilitate your ability to see light and send necessary nerve impulses to the brain.
While it’s possible to obtain this mineral from foods, sometimes the best way to ensure that you’re getting enough zinc is with a supplement (more on this later).
Foods High In Zinc
Here are some of the foods highest in zinc, many of which are Foundation Foods.
- Grass-fed beef*
- Sesame seeds*
- Pumpkin seeds*
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)*
- Sunflower seeds*
- Sesame seeds*
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)*
- Sunflower seeds*
- Lima beans*
So many delicious Foundation Foods are rich in zinc that if you’re following the Save Our Bones Program, you’re well on your way to getting plenty of this mineral. It’s crucial, however, that zinc be balanced with copper, which is also important for general health and bone health. Copper is a Foundation Supplement that’s necessary for collagen manufacturing, and it works with zinc and manganese, as mentioned earlier.
But copper is only needed in trace amounts (the RDA is a mere 0.9mg a day), and too much copper can undermine your zinc levels and cause unpleasant symptoms.
Zinc And Copper: A Vital Balancing Act
Copper is abundant in a wide variety of foods (we’ll take a look at those foods in a moment) and in tap water (many plumbing systems use copper pipes). Copper jewelry is also popular. But that means it’s abundant in the environment, and therefore fairly easy to take in too much. And when excessive copper is coupled with too little zinc intake, copper can build in the tissues.
Too much copper can manifest in a number of unpleasant health problems, ranging from chronic fatigue to nausea and even mood disorders.2 And of course, such an imbalance also prevents proper bone remodeling.
If your diet includes abundant zinc, however, and you are eating moderate amounts of high-quality protein, excessive copper can be metabolized and excreted via the bile.3
Foods Rich In Copper
The following foods contain copper, and they are all Foundation Foods. You’ll notice that many of them are rich in zinc as well – another reason why a nutritional plan that emphasizes whole foods is the most balanced.
You needn’t worry about getting too much copper from the above foods if you’re supplementing with zinc and if you’re following the Program, which includes the right proportions of protein, grains, and zinc-rich foods.
What About Zinc Supplements?
It’s a good idea to supplement with zinc if you’re following a pH-balanced diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables rather than meats. In addition, heavy intake of grains, whole or refined, can skew the balance in favor of copper.
Refined grains have nutrients removed, disturbing the copper-zinc ratio, and whole grains contain phytates which interfere with zinc absorption (copper absorption is not as affected by phytates as zinc).4 Because the nutritional plan in Save Our Bones Program is pH-balanced, it does not emphasize grains, which is another way it helps maintain a healthy zinc-copper balance.
The RDA for zinc (8mg for women and 11mg for men) is likely too low to offset the abundance of copper in our diets and environment, so supplementation with a good quality amino acid chelate, such as zinc orotate, is a good idea. The tolerable upper intake level, or UL, for adults is 40 mg, which means that you can take up to that dosage without worries.
It’s Important To Know Which Supplements Help Your Bones, Because Your Doctor Won’t Tell You
It’s clear: you can’t rely on the Medical Establishment to inform you of all the necessary nutrients that your bones need. As Savers know by now, Mainstream Medicine focuses solely on calcium and occasionally Vitamin D, but no nutrient works in isolation. Such an approach can cause more harm than good.
That’s why it’s so crucial to understand what vitamins and minerals you need to build bone, and how they work.
The Save Our Bones Program contains vital, detailed information about each Foundation Supplement, and it’s all backed by more than 200 scientific studies. The Program is based on research and sound information, not trends or conventional “wisdom.”
Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss
Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Save Our Bones Program.
The Save Our Bones Program’s nutritional plan brings everything into balance!
Till next time,
1Molokwu, Caleb O., BS and Li, Yang V., MB, PhD. “Zinc Homeostasis and Bone Mineral Density.” Ohio Research and Clinical Review. Fall 2006. Volume 15. PDF. http://airccse.com/ijbes/papers/1114ijbes04.pdf
2Ross, Julia, The Mood Cure. Viking Penguin, New York, NY, 2002. p. 303
3Pfeiffer, Carl C., PhD., M.D., Mental and Elemental Nutrients, Keats Publishing Inc., New Canaan, CT, 1975, p 222
4Lee, DY and others. Enhancement of CU bioavailability in the rat by phytic acid. Journal of Nutrition. 1988 Jun;118(b):712-7.