Without these key nutrients your zinc supplement may be worthless!
Zinc has been receiving lots of attention recently for its ability to boost immunity and increase natural defenses to bacteria and virus infections. Zinc is an essential mineral involved with numerous biological processes in the body, including protein synthesis, proper hormone utilization, reduction of inflammation and proper cell regeneration. All zinc supplements are not created equal as zinc is a mineral and, as such, has very poor absorption on its own. Zinc oxide is the cheapest and most poorly utilized supplement one can take with very little of the active zinc molecule being properly absorbed by the skin. Large particle size and poor absorption usually go hand in hand and with zinc, it’s no different. Zinc sulfate is another form of zinc with limited absorption and poor bioavailability. Zinc absorption largely depends on the type of zinc supplement taken. Chelated zinc takes the molecule and matches it with an organic molecule which allows for better uptake in the intestine. Of all the forms of zinc supplement, zinc citrate and zinc glycinate have the best data for absorption. Thus, it’s important to use the most available forms of zinc to ensure that you are getting the maximum health benefits from your supplement. Once absorbed, however, it is important to realize that the body uses zinc for almost every biological process. Skin, hair, nails, and tissue growth are just some of the biological processes that involve zinc. This essential trace molecule is poorly stored in the body for later use, so it’s important to take zinc on a daily basis. According to Dr. Eric Berg, it is theorized that over 2 billion people are deficient in zinc. Dr. Berg also says in a recent report on zinc that over 2000 biological processes require zinc as a cofactor. To get the maximum immune benefit from a zinc supplement, it is important to understand a key biological process called ionophorification. An ionophore is defined as a substance that is capable of transporting particular ions like zinc across a cellular membrane. Thus, taking zinc alone may not yield the amazing health benefits of this crucial nutrient. For fighting infections from virus and bacteria outbreaks, an essential ionophore cofactor is necessary to transport zinc ions into the area of the cell which triggers cellular immunity. You may have heard of this nutrient as it has been receiving a lot of press recently. The cofactor is a natural plant constituent called quercetin. Without an ionophore, the zinc is likely utilized elsewhere and isn’t going to provide optimal cellular immunity from virus infections. It’s important with a high quality zinc supplement that an ionophore is taken along with it to give maximum benefits when boosting vaccine efficacy and boosting immunity. One of the most potent ionophores, quercetin, is available as a supplement, however, with standard quercetin capsules, there seems to be very little benefit. Quercetin occurs in foods and is present in certain teas and some leafy green vegetables. Unfortunately, quercetin has very poor bioavailability, making the delivery system taken with quercetin of the utmost importance. Quercetin is rapidly cleared in the intestines and further reduced in the liver, which means that to give zinc its immune boosting potency, quercetin needs to be taken in either absurdly high doses (several grams per day) or taken in a proper delivery method. Raw quercetin has almost no activity in cells, so taking a capsule of quercetin, according to a paper in 2009 from Thilakavathy, a noted author yielded “little to no free quercetin in the plasma” when taken orally without additional nutrients. Liposomal quercetin may be an option, but sadly most of the liposomal formulations are simply cheap suspensions, masquerading as liposomes. Liposomes are terribly difficult to manufacture, being almost abandoned by mainstream pharmaceutical preparations, thus it is doubtful that most, if not all supplement companies are mistakenly labeling liposomal formulas when what is being provided is a simple suspension (making the ingredient mix with water). SEDDS formulations, like our patented SENDS formula, are another way to improve absorption and are far easier for supplement companies to achieve; however, this technology is reserved to only a few companies that know the secret of making this technology available. Microparticle and nanoparticle absorption is another way that quercetin may have better bioavailability. While many companies claim to have nanoparticles, this technology is very expensive and requires very specialized equipment that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Microparticle is a less expensive way to increase absorption with data showing nearly an 8 fold increase in absorption. Finally, cofactors can be added to quercetin to reduce the conversion to waste products in both the intestine and the liver and in an ideal supplement, additives like pineapple enzyme and grapefruit 6,7 DHB could, in theory, increase the active form of quercetin in the body. In summary, zinc is an amazing nutrient that can have numerous health benefits, but to target cellular immunity specifically, it’s best to take a bioavailable form of zinc along with an ionophore that promotes the proper utilization by the cells. By combining these nutrients, we may have an effective way to boost natural immunity and boost natural resistance when combined with the vaccine.