Zinc: The secret to weightlfiting success
From article in NBAF Mag (Feb 96, http://nbaf.com):
Double blind studies have shown that supplemental zinc can increase blood levels of testerone.
Zinc! Not much is written about this super supplement. You won't see any big ads for zinc. Why? Because you can purchase zinc supplements just about anywhere, for just a few dollars a bottle. Dollar for dollar your won't find more bang for your buck. Zinc is a must for serious trainers, and for general health as well.
Testosterone, the most effective anabolic our bodies naturally produce, is known to be closely interrelated with zinc. Although much study still needs to be done, it appears that zinc, at the cellular level, may govern testosterone metabolism. It is also thought to control the metabolism of testosterone in the prostate, which is one of the organs most proliferant in zinc.
A major indicator of this is in zinc's effects on male potency and sex drive. Moderate deficiency can lead to regression of the sex glands in men, and just a mild deficiency causes a low sperm count. (Zinc has been shown to be useful in the prevention and treatment of male infertility.) Low zinc levels are shown to lead to decreased sex drive, cause a loss of appetite and even emotional problems. Double blind studies have shown that supplemental zinc can increase blood levels of testosterone and the follicle-stimulating hormone in men with just very mildly deficient zinc levels -- and most people, when tested, are shown to be defficent. Trainers, let me repeat, males, with just mild zinc deficiency, will increase their plasma levels of testosterone with supplementation! This is a clearly proven medical fact! For about 25 cents a week you can take what may be the most powerful legal and natural 'anabolic' supplement.
Very little zinc is present in the 'modern' diet. Zinc is now almost non -
existent in crop land, so foods which use to contain high levels of zinc no
longer do. Also, if you are taking 'multiple' supplements that have zinc
included, these are probably doing very little good. The type of Zinc
included in these supplements, and added to some food products, is absorbed
very little, if any, by the body. No - you do not have to by some 'special'
Zinc supplement - the 'good' kind can be found at just about any grocery
store, or anywhere else that sells supplements, and it's very cheap.
(See recommendations at the end of this article.)
Another aspect of zinc, important to trainers, is it's role in glucose tolerance. Zinc is closely 'involved' with insulin. In test with rats, when zinc is removed from their diet, glucose intolerance develops. In (human) studies, of diabetics, it has been shown that many have problems absorbing zinc, and over excrete it as well. The reasons for this are as yet unknown but indicate a possible link.
Yet another important fact for trainers is the effect of zinc on wound healing. In one study on a group of patients recovering from wounds, one group received 150 milligrams of zinc daily, and a control group received no supplemental zinc. The group that received the zinc were completely healed in 46 days. The control group took eighty days for complete healing. This is important to weight trainers, as this type of training causes 'damage' which requires 'healing' for muscles to grow larger or stronger.
Additional research has also shown that zinc is essential for cell-mediated immunity, may help to inhibit several types of cancer, including prostate, and is useful in preventing, (not curing), the common cold. Zinc appears to help prevent a vision loss in the elderly called macular degeneration, and zinc even plays a role in taste and smell. There is some evidence that zinc may have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Zinc plays an important role in a number of other bodily functions as well, and is being studied for it possible use in preventing, or curing, a number of other maladies as well.
RECOMMENDATIONS: The RDAs for zinc are: 15 milligrams for men, 12 for women, 3 for infants, 10 for children ages 1 to 10, 15 for pregnant women and 16 to 19 for those nursing.
Older people may require higher amounts as our ability to absorb zinc decreases with age.
Athletes may require more as sweating can cause a significant loss. Those on diets may have an increased need as well.
It is generally agreed and recommended that adults, especially athletes, take 30 milligrams daily. Many people take up to 50 milligrams a day, and this is considered safe, but higher levels than this are not recommended and could have adverse effects on health.
It is a good idea to take supplement copper whenever zinc is taken, about 1 milligram of copper for every 10 of zinc. It is also suggested that you take 50 to 200 micrograms of selenium as well.
The best food sources of zinc include brewers yeast and wheat brand or germ (this may be the reason that many bodybuilders have had good results with these), whole grains and, of course, oysters.
Buy Zinc here: Best Prices on Zinc Supplements
Supplemental zinc can be bought individually, is sold by most companies, and is 'cheap'. Amino acid chelates of zinc may be a little better than others but can be expensive - the 'cheap' stuff should be just as effective. Stay away from zinc sulfate as this can cause stomach irritation. Zinc gluconate is a good type, and is absorbed well. The types of zinc used in many multi-supplements are often absorbed poorly, if at all. This is partly due to the fact that most 'compressed' supplements are poorly absorbed, some not at all.
Reference Material: Ann. Intern. Med., Br. J. Derm., Drugs Under
Experimental and Clinical Research, J. Am. Med. Assoc., J.N.C.I.,
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Fed. Proc., Am. J. Clin. Nutr..
Walter Eddy, NBAF VIDEO CLUB, email@example.com