Did you know that having more muscle mass is a predictor of both a longer and functional life?
We hear a lot about longevity and how we can increase our life span if we were to eat, drink or take specific supplements, but it's rare that people take the time to focus on quality of life in particular. Sure, living to 100 years old could be fun and all, but what good would it be if you're not happy and fully dependent on others to just function through the day?
Sarcopenia, a condition in which one experiences a gradual loss of muscle, strength and function, particularly in later years, is one of the leading causes of death due to a fall. Most people don't recover fully and, as result, go down hill from there. That being said, muscle loss can begin as early as 30 years old, so this isn't to say that this is a condition that only affects us in our senior years but also as young as being middle aged!
But don't take this as a sign of discouragement, in fact, this is a GOOD thing because it shows you that even if it starts occurring early, you still have years ahead to work on building back muscle or maintaining it to stay resilient.
So now the question falls into just how can zinc help with maintaining muscle mass for both men and women? Well, aside from nutrition and lifestyle, one key component to both building and maintaining strength is by being able to produce adequate testosterones levels. Yes, even you ladies. Don't freak out, let me explain.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that both sexes have, but men and women vary in levels. Men naturally have higher levels than women, where as women's levels both rise and dip depending where they are in their cycle. Once women enter menopause and men andropause, testosterone lowers a bit, but not terribly. There could be a lot of reasons on as to why testosterone levels may dip drastically for someone, but it's completely manageable if proper diet, lifestyle and intelligent supplementation is applied.
Testosterone is important for so many things such as...
- Helping with fat distribution
- Igniting a healthy libido
- Maintaining bone density
- Sparking energy and mood
- Synergizing cognitive function and brain health
The thing is though that hormones are not just produced out of thin air. There is a process in which they're made from and it all starts with minerals. To help you understand, let's work backwards.
Hormones are chemical messengers that tell cells what to do. But what makes a hormone you ask? Well, hormones usually come from an organ that was stimulated, so in the case of testosterone it'd be the adrenal glands and gonads. Next question would be how did that organ even know how to make that hormone? There is usually an enzyme that triggered this organ to making the hormone, meaning enzymes are the catalysts in accelerating a reaction from a cell. Lastly, what even triggered the enzyme to be produced? A mineral, for minerals are the spark plugs to producing enzymatic reactions in occurring in the first place, which would then signal to an organ to produce a hormone to influence a cell.
So zinc steps into the picture. This strong little mineral has over 300 enzymatic reactions it can muster, but for the sake of staying on topic, one of them includes in helping produce testosterone and building muscle.
Testosterone is primarily made in the gonads of both sexes, but keep in mind that there is always a trickle down effect from both the adrenals and thyroid to signal to the gonads it's "safe" enough to reproduce first. No organ ever works alone, and zinc is imperative for both adrenal and thyroid function, which goes beyond the testicles and ovaries. In fact, it's been shown that with just 30mg of zinc a day, one can increase their levels of free testosterone in serum levels. With more normal levels of testosterone, the better chance someone has at building more muscle and maintaining that strength.
In addition, zinc doesn't just help increase strength per-say, but has also been shown to improve aerobic capacity, which is essentially a measure of the level of oxygen your body is able to supply to your muscles, as well as tissue repair.
With a better ability to get stronger and maintain muscle, the body naturally...
- Increases androgen receptor expression (helps with the utilization of androgens)
- Lowers inflammation
- Reduces adipose tissue
- Increases protein synthesis and utilization of amino acids
- Increases oxidative capacity and mitochondrial function
- Increases IGF-1 (a hormone regulator of growth that can help with both bone and tissue growth)
- Becomes more insulin sensitive
Which ironically enough zinc has been shown to help with most of these things both directly and indirectly as well.
So if you're someone who is struggling to lift a bit heavier at the gym, or looking for a bit of extra help, our Upgraded Zinc may just be the missing link for you!
Try it out and let us know!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach