Prostate Cancer and Zinc Deficiency
One-third of the world population is at risk of zinc deficiency and is attributable to a fifth leading risk factor for disease in the developing world.
Providing micronutrients and minerals including zinc, to humans is one of the four quick-win solutions to major global problems identified.
The highest concentrations of zinc are located in the prostate gland and sperm in men, and in red and white blood cells. The retina of the eye, the liver, and the kidneys all have high concentrations of zinc, with small amounts existing in the hair.
Zinc is an integral part of the male hormonal system and studies reveal zinc deficiency can cause prostate enlargement.
Zinc is required by men to produce testosterone. As men age into their 50s and older, there is a natural decline in zinc.Therefore zinc deficiency can lead to less testosterone production in men and hence show up with the symptoms associated with low testosterone.
This is because the prostate tissues are highly dependent on zinc to maintain its health and integrity. Zinc increases sperm count and sperm motility. High zinc levels also mean lower levels of estrogen and prolactin thereby reducing the risk of prostate disease and impotency.
Signs and symptoms
Signs of zinc deficiency include diarrhea, and wasting of body tissues. A lack of zinc can contribute poorer eyesight, taste, smell and memory. A deficiency in the mineral zinc can cause dysfunctions in mutiple organs.Nail problems, such as white spots, transverse lines,(see picture) or poor nail growth.
Cognitive and motor function in zinc deficient children is evident ,especially during times of growth and development when nutritional needs are high, such as during infancy and puberty.
This makes zinc an essential nutrient paticularly for overall male health on multiple levels,but women as well.
Frequent colds or infections,slow healing of wounds, lower appetite,inflammatory bowel disease,irritable bowel syndrome,decreased sense of taste and smell, poor skin condition, dryness and rashes, hair loss,poor sex drive, reduced fertility, diarrhea, inflammation of the nail cuticles, growth retardation, heightened allergies levels, hyperactivity, anemia,PMS, pre-eclampsia in pregnancy and post-natal depression,pre-menstrual syndrome or irregular menstrual cycle.
The easiest way of treating zinc deficiency is to increase your consumption of foods rich in zinc.
Pumpkin seeds contain one of the most concentrated non-meat food sources of zinc but the zinc from meat sources is also very good. Grains are not so good as they used to be because of depletion by commercial accelerated growth managment and genetic modification of wheat,barley and oats today.
Oysters are the food highest in the zinc mineral, with other excellent sources being beef, lamb, pork, crab meat, turkey, chicken, lobster, clams and salmon.
Good sources of zinc include dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese as well as yeast, peanuts, beans, whole grain cereals, brown rice, whole wheat bread and potatoes.
Taking a good quality zinc mineral supplement will also help. They come in two forms: zinc sulfate and zinc gluconate, with doses ranging from 25 to 300 milligrams per day
The RDA for zinc for adults is about 10-12 mg per day for men and 8-10 mg per day for women.
It is important to appreciate overdosing on zinc can cause other conditions like vomiting, nerve pain, numbness or tingling in arms and legs and sometimes poor balance so its important to recognise this if you are considering taking a supplement.