What is it?
Zinc is a mineral that gets invited to lots of main events in the body. It’s involved in making and repairing tissues and proteins that keep hundreds of enzymes active, including some that control biological aging. Somewhere around 3% of human genes rely on zinc-oid proteins for staying in the game.
Where is it from?
That’s right — oysters! — not to mention shellfish. But that’s far from all. Nuts, seeds (sesame and pumpkin seeds are great), meat, cocoa powder, wheat, whey, wild rice, rice bran, spinach, collards, cucumbers, asparagus, and tomatoes are all members of the zinc-friendly club.
What does it do?
Like being able to see, taste, and smell stuff? Zinc helps keep your senses up to par, but that’s not all.
Zinc deficiency gets more common with aging, but that’s one of the times the brain really craves it, according to popular Functional Medicine neurologist Dale Bredesen, MD.
Zinc is a go-between for blood sugar and the insulin that limits it from getting too high, which increases metabolic stress and encourages biological aging.
Zinc is part of your immune core, and helps keep immune cells zingy yet not hyperactive.
Recent research in human stem cells hints that zinc might benefit the length of telomeres, those protectors of the chromosomes that hold your entire genetic encyclopedia of life.
Zinc contributes to bone formation and integrity.
Your body’s zinc status also affects how well you bring your antioxidant enzymes online when you get clobbered with metabolic stress.
Zinc levels in the brain are highest in the areas where you do your best decision-making, thinking, and stress-responding, namely the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus. This study explains why. Zinc levels also play a role in the olfactory cortex where you do your best smelling!