Struggling to lose weight? You might have a zinc deficiency
Questions answered in this article:
- What's causing my weight gain?
- What's the relationship between zinc, thyroid and my body weight?
- How does zinc and blood sugar hormones affect weight management?
- What's the role of zinc in reproductive hormones and weight?
- How does zinc affect the way I burn fat?
- How does zinc contribute to my muscle development?
- Should I incorporate zinc into my weight management protocol?
Does your ideal weight seem out of reach? You are not alone - the most common New Year's resolution seems to always include losing weight or exercising more. However, losing weight may be challenging due to the many possible reasons for weight gain.
Can a single supplement help you burn fat? It would be great if there was one supplement that worked for every single person, but there are many other components that are necessary for losing weight and building muscle. While weight gain can be stubborn for a variety of reasons, zinc is a mineral that can improve several of the root causes.
What's causing your weight gain?
To start decreasing your body fat in a healthy way, it is important to determine why your weight gain occurred in the first place.
Here are some common reasons for weight gain:
- Diabetes or unbalanced blood sugar levels
- High cortisol (the stress hormone)
- Perimenopause and menopause
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Depression or anxiety
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Food/meal habits (e.g. large portion sizes at meals)
- Lifestyle changes (e.g. decrease in activity / calorie expenditure)
- Some medications
It is natural for your weight to increase as you get older. Not only does your metabolism and energy expenditure decrease, you likely aren't as active as you once were. And that's okay! However, if you notice a sudden weight gain that does not make sense with your lifestyle habits, there may be an underlying condition that affects your metabolism abnormally. To get to the bottom of your weight gain, consult with your healthcare practitioner such as a Naturopathic Doctor.
The link between zinc and your body weight
Many hormone-related conditions are overlooked as a cause for weight gain. Let's dive into important hormones and how a deficiency in zinc might affect weight management.
Zinc and thyroid hormones
Your thyroid plays a strong role in weight management because it helps regulate cellular energy, body temperature and most importantly, your metabolism. In short, the thyroid organ is responsible for your body's ability to use and store energy.
Along with other trace elements such as copper and selenium, zinc is one of the major minerals needed to make T3, the active form of our thyroid hormone. Low zinc levels can impair thyroid hormone production, resulting in elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, and in turn, a decrease in resting metabolic rate. Due to this change, weight gain around the belly is a common sign of low thyroid hormone or hypothyroidism.
Zinc and blood sugar hormones
It is normal for blood sugar levels to increase after eating. When your blood sugar level rises, the hormone insulin is released to help your cells use the blood sugar as energy. The problem arises when insulin is not sufficiently produced, or when. your body does not respond to the insulin release. Without this blood sugar hormone, the sugar is stored as fat and leads to weight gain.
A deficiency in zinc has been linked to diabetes, obesity, high triglyceride levels and blood sugar imbalances. All of these may contribute to increased waist circumference and body mass index (BMI). Zinc is needed to make, store and manage the function of insulin - having adequate zinc levels can help your cells use sugar as energy instead of storing it as fat!
Zinc and reproductive hormones
Zinc is an important mineral needed for balanced sex hormones and a healthy menstrual cycle. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance where the ovaries develop multiple small follicles disrupting normal monthly ovulation. This often results in irregular or infrequent periods, as well as weight gain.
Women with PCOS have been shown to have lower zinc levels, which. may be associated with abnormal lipid blood tests. Many women with PCOS are also insulin resistant. In contrast, zinc supplementation has showed that women with PCOS were able to lower their serum total cholesterol, LDL-C, triglycerides and TG/HDL-C ratios. Moreover, zinc can help reduce PCOS symptoms such as decreasing hair loss, inflammation, PMS and weight gain.
Zinc's role in weight loss
Zinc affects how you burn fat
Along with a healthy diet, zinc supplementation can reduce inflammation, insulin resistance and reduce appetite, leading to weight loss. Zinc has been shown to improve many weight gain symptoms such as high cholesterol, triglycerides, oxidative stress, lipid profiles and hunger hormone levels (leptin). It is an essential mineral needed to address the root cause and ensure you are able to start burning fat rather than storing it.
Zinc contributes to your muscle development
Zinc is everywhere in the body - including the skeletal muscles! It is needed to regenerate muscular tissue. Exercise and zinc work hand-in-hand to increase muscle growth. This mighty mineral is used for muscle development, while exercise activates pathways to modulate zinc levels in the muscle. Studies show that zinc levels increase immediately after exercise and may be involved in the muscle regeneration. Muscle cells use up more energy, so the more muscle you have, the more you will burn fat. Both diet and exercise are essential components of weight loss.
Incorporating zinc into your weight management protocol
A well-rounded weight management plan with zinc will help you cover all the bases to stubborn weight. In addition to consuming adequate zinc in your diet, Zinc Bis-Glycinate 25 may also be used. This gentle, superior form of zinc is a great daily dose that improves metabolism and hormone imbalances.