When you’re looking to increase your bone density, chances are you’ve been focusing a lot on your calcium intake, among other things. That’s important, of course, but there’s a little-known mineral that is rarely related to bone health.
It’s one of the Foundation Supplements in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program and it can also be found in many foods, which are listed in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Unfortunately, this mineral is more often than not ignored by Mainstream Medicine.
I’m referring to zinc, which plays a very important role in promoting bone density and boosting immunity. And I can’t wait to share this information with you, because you’ll probably never hear it from your doctor.
Today you’ll discover why zinc is crucial to bone mineralization and I’ve also included a zinc-rich recipe from the Save Our Bones companion cookbook, Bone Appétit, that takes just minutes to prepare.
How Zinc Helps Your Bones
Zinc deficiency can cause stunted growth in children, because it is so vital for cellular division and activation. This same ability to influence and regulate cellular function applies to zinc intake in adults, including those with low bone density.
You see, zinc is required for the proper functioning of an enzyme called alkaline phosphatase. This enzyme has a pH of 10, so it’s very alkaline, and it helps osteoblasts do their bone-building work.
Zinc is also crucial for Vitamin D to get into cells where it can work to build bone. In addition, zinc is actually found in the hydroxyapatite mineral crystals, which make up about half of your bones’ weight.
A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that those with osteoporosis had low levels of zinc in their blood and bones. 1
Warning: Mainstream Medicine Will NEVER Mention How Prescription Drugs Prevent Zinc Absorption
Your doctor will most likely never tell you this: certain commonly-prescribed drugs can decrease levels of zinc in the body. And this might amaze you: the most popular osteoporosis drugs can do that too! Here’s the list:
- Bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Reclast, Atelvia, and their generic counterparts, when applicable.
- Antibiotics, specifically tetracyclines and quinolones, inhibit zinc. The reverse is also true: taking zinc supplements fewer than two hours after taking the antibiotic may make the antibiotic less effective.
- Diuretics may decrease zinc levels by increasing the amount of zinc excreted in the urine.
- Acid-reducing drugs such as Prilosec and Pepcid can deplete the body of zinc.
- ACE Inhibitors such as Enalapril maleate (Lexxel, Teczem, Vaseretic, Vasotec) and Captopril (Capoten) attach themselves to zinc molecules, which “bind up” the zinc and prevent it from getting into the tissues where it is needed (such as bone). 2 A 2007 study concludes that “treating heart failure patients with ACE inhibitors may result in zinc deficiency.” 3
So if you’ve taken any of these drugs in the past or are taking them now, getting adequate amounts of zinc is especially important.
Zinc and Your Immune System
It’s cold and flu season in the northern half of the globe. Zinc is therefore especially appropriate to discuss this time of year, because it boosts immunity and can even shorten the duration of a cold. 4 Zinc increases white blood cell production and boosts their ability to fight infection. Zinc also stimulates your immune system to release antibodies and promotes wound healing.
Your thymus gland produces important immune compounds call thymic proteins, and zinc is a vital component of these proteins.
Simply put, your immune system depends on zinc to function properly. And during cold and flu season, it’s especially important to keep your immune system in top shape.
How Much Zinc Should I Take?
While the Recommended Daily Allowance is 8mg for women and 11mg for men, we recommend getting at least 25mg a day of amino acid chelated zinc. Below, you’ll find a list of foods that are high in zinc, and I’ll share a zinc-rich, bone-healthy recipe as well.
Foods High in Zinc
Your body does not store or manufacture zinc, so it needs to be ingested daily. Foods highest in zinc include the following:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
Here’s a recipe I want to share with you that includes both pumpkin seeds and beef, two rich sources of zinc. It comes from the Quick Picks section of the Bone Appétit cookbook, which features recipes you can whip up in 20 minutes or less.
Roast Beef Salad
- 4 cups blended greens or lettuce, shredded
- ¼ cup sweet red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, (adjust to taste)
- 4 ounces sliced or cubed beef, cooked (preferably roasted)
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Toss greens, onions, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well with oil and garlic.
- Cut roast beef into bite sized pieces and toss in with vegetables.
- Mix together olive oil and lemon juice, and pour on salad.
- Sprinkle seeds on top of salad.
If you don't already have Bone Appétit, this is just one of the 200+ recipes in the cookbook that helps you eat your way to healthier bones. You also receive three limited bonuses with your order: the 30 Day Meal Planner, Blender Magic, and Calcilicious.
The 30 Day Meal Planner gives you 30 days of pH-balanced menu ideas, so cooking for your bones is easier than ever. Blender Magic is a collection of bone-building smoothies that pack a lot of nutrients into a healthy, delicious drink that’s quick to prepair. And Calcilicious is a handy collection of delicious recipes that are 100% dairy-free and calcium-rich, so you can boost your intake of bioavailable, organic calcium whenever you need to.
Till next time,
1 Atik. “Zinc and senile osteoporosis.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 1983.
2 Golik A, Zaidenstein R, Dishi V, et al. “Effects of captopril and enalapril on zinc metabolism in hypertensive patients.” J Am Coll Nutr. 1998;17:75-80.
3 Trasobares, E., et al. “Effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE i) on zinc metabolism in patients with heart failure.” J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2007; 21 Supple 1:53-5. Epub 2007 Nov 19. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18039498