In the Olympic sport of beach volleyball, two teams face off on a sand court. Each team consists of two players, vying against each other to keep the ball from hitting the sand.
Unlike standard volleyball, where each player has a specific job, beach volleyball teammates share equal responsibility for blocking, setting, hitting and spiking from one play to the next.
Each teammate is highly capable on her own, but working together, they can do far more than when they work alone.
Interestingly, some of the minerals in your body function in a similar synergistic way.
Each mineral can perform its specific jobs, but when certain minerals combine with others, their ability to work in the body is enhanced. In some cases, certain functions require both minerals to work together to get the job done, much like beach volleyball requires a team to play a game.
Zinc and selenium are one of those synergistic combinations.
Zinc plays many roles in your body. It is required for the healthy functioning of all your cells, tissues, organs and bones.
Selenium also supports health in many areas of your body, but it is especially important for the antioxidant support it gives your cells.
Working together in your body, zinc and selenium promote DNA repair and increase each other’s antioxidant power. These two trace minerals work together like a beach volleyball team, backing each other up and working together to do their essential jobs in your body.
Let’s look at what this mineral duo can do to support your good health, starting with zinc…
Rich in Benefits, Zinc Supports Hundreds of Functions in Your Body
Zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in your body, coming in just after iron. It’s found in foods like beef, poultry, shellfish, mushrooms, spinach and pumpkin seeds.
Researchers have discovered hundreds of ways zinc supports health in your body, and every year, they continue to discover more. In the last decade alone, there have been tens of thousands of studies investigating the roles zinc plays in promoting good health.
Researchers have found that zinc provides support for immune function, healthy cell growth, respiratory health and healthy metabolism. It also helps support brain health, and healthy function of your taste, smell and vision.
When it comes to determining if you have enough zinc, however, it can be a little tricky.
Zinc is only present in small amounts in your cells, so plasma or serum levels don’t always accurately measure your true status. The same is true for urine tests and hair analysis.
How to Tell if You Might Be Low in Zinc
Usually, it takes evaluation of your overall health picture to tell if you have a zinc deficiency. Talk with your health care practitioner. Signs that indicate you may have a zinc deficiency are quite varied and include:
- Brain fog and decreased alertness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of appetite
- Leaky gut and gastrointestinal complaints
- Occasional moodiness and feeling blue
- Food doesn’t taste and smell as good as it used to
- Impaired hearing
- Reduced libido
- Occasional loose stools
- Increased food and environmental allergies
- Hair loss, rashes and other skin issues
These signs can also appear with other conditions, which is one of the reasons many people don’t suspect a zinc deficiency. None of these stands out as a “zinc” red flag all by itself.
If you have any of these signs, and neither you nor your doctor can explain why, it’s possible that you may be suffering from a zinc deficiency.*
Because zinc plays such a critical role in immune function, healthy cell growth and a healthy inflammatory response, you want to make sure low zinc levels aren’t interfering with your efforts to maintain good health.*
In some cases, you may be consuming enough zinc for an average person, but certain factors in your life may be making it harder for your body to keep its zinc levels up…
The Impact Stress Can Have on Your Zinc Levels
The demands of modern life cause many people to lead to a stressful lifestyle, loaded with pressures and responsibilities that just don’t stop.
Emotional stress is one of the biggest factors behind zinc deficiency.
When you’re stressed, your body shunts zinc to your brain, organs, muscles and skin to help repair damage caused by the stress.
Your adrenal system can also draw zinc out of circulation when your stress levels get too high.
Adrenal glands help regulate several functions in your body, including your blood pressure and immune system. But they are especially known for their role in releasing the hormones that help your body respond to stress – cortisol and adrenaline.
When you are continually under stress without healthy downtime, adrenal fatigue can set in. This can lead not only to zinc deficiency, but to calcium and magnesium deficiencies as well.
Zinc supports the production of progesterone, cortisol and aldosterone – hormones essential for optimal well-being and a healthy inflammatory response.* It also affects your production of thyroid hormones.
When your body has to deal with chronic stress, the resulting depletion of zinc can lower levels of those hormones, leading to an imbalance.*
The Impact Age Can Have on Your Zinc Levels
Another factor that can affect zinc levels is age. As you grow older, your body’s ability to absorb and utilize zinc declines, so getting enough is especially important.
According to one survey, up to 45% of adults aged 60 and above have zinc intakes below the estimated average requirements of 6.8 mg/day for senior women and 9.4 mg/day for men.
This is especially concerning because of the natural decline in your body’s ability to absorb nutrients as you age, including zinc. As you get older, supplementing with zinc may be a good idea to ensure you are getting enough.
Another important issue to consider is the bioavailability of the zinc you consume. Too little bioavailable zinc can mean more frequent infections and degenerative changes in your body.
Zinc from animal foods like beef, shellfish, eggs, dairy is more bioavailable than zinc from plant foods, and zinc is best absorbed by your body when consumed along with protein.
Here’s something else to keep in mind: Zinc plays an important role in supporting processes in many parts of your brain, including your cerebral cortex, hippocampus and amygdala.*
These regions are responsible for memory, spatial ability, thinking and emotions. Getting enough zinc is important for maintaining healthy brain function, memory and mood.
One of the biggest challenges with zinc for people of any age is that zinc isn’t stored in your body, so you must consume the amount your body needs each and every day.
For people over 60, especially, this can be a challenge.
5 More Reasons You Could Be Low in Zinc
In addition to those 60 and over, and those with high stress levels, there are several other groups who may be at a greater risk of developing a zinc deficiency…
- Those with GI and Digestive Disorders
Gut and digestive disorders can decrease zinc absorption and increase the loss of zinc from your intestinal tract and even your kidneys.
Bioavailable zinc is highest in animal foods, like oysters, liver and pastured beef. Not only are they the best sources of zinc, but eating these foods may also enhance your absorption of zinc from all sources.
Plant sources of zinc are not absorbed nearly as well as animal sources. If you are a vegetarian, you may need to consume as much as 50% more zinc than omnivores.
- Grain, Seed, Nut and Legume Eaters
Many legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts contain phytates, which are compounds that bind to minerals, making them harder for your body to absorb. Vegetarians tend to eat plentiful legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, making this an important consideration for them. But even if you’re not a vegetarian, if you eat a lot of these foods, you may also be at greater risk of a zinc deficiency.
To maximize the bioavailability of zinc in the foods you eat, soak beans, grains, nuts and seeds in water for several hours or overnight and, if possible, allow them to sprout after soaking. The soaking and sprouting process reduces phytates.
- Pregnant and Nursing Women
A developing fetus requires high levels of zinc. If a woman starts her pregnancy with marginal zinc levels, she may be at risk of developing a zinc deficiency. Lactation can also deplete a mom’s zinc stores.
For these two reasons, pregnant and nursing women have a higher recommended daily amount for zinc than other women – 11 mg/day for pregnant women and 12 mg/day for nursing women, versus the standard 8 mg/day.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Zinc plays a key role in metabolizing alcohol in your body. Up to half of alcoholics have low zinc levels. Consuming alcohol decreases intestinal absorption of zinc and increases the excretion of zinc in the urine.
8 Key Benefits of Maintaining Healthy Zinc Levels
From your brain to your bones, to your sense of taste and smell, zinc is involved in hundreds of essential functions in your body. Maintaining healthy levels of zinc helps keep your cells and systems working at optimal levels.
Researchers have found that zinc is important for many essential functions, including.:
- Supporting immune function*
Even mild to moderate zinc deficiencies can depress your immune function and impair your body’s response to invaders. Zinc supports the optimal functioning of white blood cells.*
- Supporting healthy cell growth and replication, and helping to reduce everyday “wear and tear” on your cells’ DNA*
Your cells’ DNA is the blueprint for healthy cell replication. Research shows that even a moderate increase in zinc status can lead to improved repair of DNA strand breaks, along with an increase in serum protein concentrations involved with DNA repair, helping to restore antioxidant and immune functions.*
- Supporting respiratory health*
Studies show that adequate zinc supports respiratory well-being, even during seasonal challenges to your health.*
- Aiding in the absorption of other nutrients and supporting a healthy metabolism*
Zinc performs an intricate dance with other nutrients in your body, as it helps with the absorption of nutrients, including folate from food.* Too little zinc can increase your need for vitamin E. Zinc also acts as a cofactor in carbohydrate and protein metabolism.
- Promoting protein synthesis *
Zinc supports healthy skin and the integrity of your mucosal membranes.
- Supporting healthy bones*
Zinc plays a key role in your bone matrix and regulates the delicate balance between bone building and bone breakdown, which is especially significant as you age.* It also helps with bone mineralization.*
- Helping to prevent cellular damage in your retina*
Researchers have found that zinc may help delay age-related vision loss, possibly by protecting against free radical damage to cells in your retina.*
- Supporting your sensory organ functions, like taste, smell and vision*
Without healthy levels of zinc, the cells in your taste and smell organs can die faster, leading to possible loss of taste and, with it, appetite. For your vision, zinc works together with vitamin A to help your eyes sense light and transmit nerve impulses to your brain.*
This is just a sampling of what zinc does in your body. This essential trace mineral plays more biological roles than all your other trace elements combined.
Used in all your cells, it’s a building block for about 3,000 proteins and required for over 300 enzymatic reactions.
However, just like with other minerals, there is the possibility of danger from getting too much zinc. Excessive amounts of zinc can reduce your immune function and lower your “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
Plus, too much zinc can adversely affect your healthy copper levels as well as your hearing and taste. So, balance is key.
Zinc Plus Selenium – Precisely Balanced with Selenium and Copper
With scientists continually making new discoveries about the essential roles zinc plays in your body, more people are recognizing the importance of making sure they maintain healthy zinc levels.
We want to help make this goal as easy to reach as possible. So, we’re pleased to bring you Zinc Plus Selenium, a scientifically balanced zinc supplement formulated to reflect the latest research and recommendations.
A high-quality zinc supplement can play a key role in maintaining healthy zinc levels, but the type of zinc, as well as the amount you take, both have an impact on its effectiveness.
Knowing this, we formulated Zinc Plus Selenium with 15 mg of zinc bisglycinate chelate, a high-potency form of zinc with superior absorption potential.
This special form combines a zinc molecule with two glycine molecules to help it cross your intestinal wall. Plus, it helps protect the zinc from competing minerals and phytate binding so your body can actually use it.*
Because it’s high potency, you don’t need as much as you might with a less potent form.
And at 15 mg, you receive the ideal daily dose – not too much and not too little but just the right amount. The combination of form and dosage make it the “Goldilocks” of zinc.
We enhance the advantages of this highly absorbable form of zinc by combining it with two other valuable trace minerals – selenium and copper – to bring you Zinc Plus Selenium.
This balanced formulation helps maximize the benefits of zinc for your body.
Selenium – Your First Line of Defense Against Harmful Free Radicals*
Zinc plays a crucial role in many body functions. But its action is helped and strengthened by a synergistic relationship with another trace mineral – selenium.*
Selenium was discovered nearly 200 years ago. Since then, scientists have determined that it’s the fourth most abundant trace mineral in your body.
They’ve found that selenium may support cardiovascular, cognitive and thyroid health. And they’ve discovered that it plays a very important role in your cell heath.
Selenium provides first line defense against the build-up of harmful free radicals, neutralizing them through its powerful antioxidant action.*
It’s also a key component of glutathione peroxidase, a powerful antioxidant enzyme that plays a leading role in fighting free radicals in your cells.
While researchers have long believed that selenium’s role in glutathione production is the primary reason it’s important to cell health, more recent studies show there may be another significant function of selenium…*
It protects your DNA not only by fighting free radicals but also by boosting the DNA repair mechanisms in your body.
It turns out that it doesn’t matter what form of selenium you choose if you just want glutathione production.
However, if you want to optimize the support selenium can give your cells, the form makes a big difference.*
We Included the Right Form of Selenium to Help Strengthen Your Overall Cellular Health*
The number one reason why many health practitioners recommend taking selenium is to protect your cells and support normal cell health.
But some forms of selenium provide more measurable benefits than others.
In multiple studies evaluating the effectiveness of selenium in promoting normal cell growth and development, one form stands out from the rest.
A specific form of standardized selenium-enriched yeast has proved to be the most effective form, beating out all the others, including sodium selenite and popular selenomethionine.
High-selenium yeast provides the full protein form of selenium, with all the amino acids, rather than being a single amino acid like selenomethionine, the form commonly used in supplements.
Selenium yeast gives you two things that selenomethionine doesn’t: selenocysteine and methylselenocysteine. These complimentary forms of selenium offer significant benefits for your cellular health.
High-selenium yeast is made from a non-pathogenic, non-GMO Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strain. It goes through a fermentation process that replicates the natural way plants absorb and transform minerals from the soil into a more bioavailable form.
That means the form of selenium you get in Zinc Plus Selenium is closest to the form found in the top food sources of selenium, Brazil nuts and pastured meats.
Plus, this healthy yeast has the ability to accumulate and incorporate selenium into the protein structure, which enhances the antioxidant properties that fight oxidative stress in your body.*
In fact, studies show this unique form of bioavailable selenium significantly reduces the biomarkers for oxidative stress. These biomarkers are an important gauge of healthy aging.*
As your cells age, your body’s response to oxidative stress, caused by free radicals, fades, with your antioxidant production slowly losing its ability to keep up. The resulting damage can speed up the aging process.
This exceptional form of selenium could help change all that if you’re low, potentially helping to boost your body’s antioxidant production.
Selenium Deficiencies Vary Widely by Location… What’s the Selenium Status of Your Region?
Like with zinc, your selenium levels can be tricky to measure. One clue to possible low levels or deficiency might be right in your backyard – or the region where you live.
If you live in Nebraska and the Dakotas, levels of selenium in your soil are high. If you’re eating locally grown and pastured-raised food (which you should do no matter where you live), chances are you’re getting enough selenium.
But other U.S. and Canadian regions aren’t so fortunate. These areas are considered either low or deficient in selenium:
- The Great Lakes region
- Parts of the Atlantic Coast
- The Southeast United States
- The Southwest United States
- The Pacific Northwest
- The Intermountain West
- Western Canada
If you live in these regions and eat locally grown and produced food, you may be at greater risk of having low levels of selenium. The same is true for many parts of Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Russia and China, where soil levels are also lower.
Low soil levels affect both plant foods and some of the best animal sources of selenium, like pastured beef, turkey and chicken.
Other top food sources for boosting your selenium intake include Brazil nuts, sardines, halibut and yellowfin tuna.
It’s good to be cautious with tuna because of its mercury content. Even halibut has moderate amounts of mercury and should be consumed on a limited basis.
6 Signs That Could Mean You Need More Selenium
Of course, your body itself is often the best indicator of whether you need more of a nutrient. If you’re deficient in selenium, you may notice one or more indicators…
- Are you losing more hair than normal, including on your legs and underarms?
- Are the beds of your fingernails turning white, in place of your normal skin color?
- Are you feeling more tired than usual, either physically or mentally?
- Are you having greater difficulty focusing or remembering things?
- Are you dealing with underactive thyroid symptoms?
- Are you getting sick more often?
While these signs can be related to other issues (including a zinc deficiency), they are also associated with low levels of selenium.
We’ve included just the right amount of yeast-based selenium in Zinc Plus Selenium – 200 mcg – to match the levels researchers used in leading studies. And it’s in the optimal ratio to zinc.
Copper Adds the Final Element for Just the Right Mineral Balance in Zinc Plus Selenium
Your body has an elaborate system to maintain balance between trace minerals, especially zinc and copper.
When you get the right amount of these minerals from your diet, balance tends to take care of itself. However, when you supplement minerals, you have to be careful not to throw off nature’s delicate balance.
We kept this in mind when formulating Zinc Plus Selenium, so you can enjoy the full, balanced benefits of all three minerals.
Taking a zinc supplement helps increase your zinc, but it can also reduce your levels of copper, another important micronutrient. This is especially true with zinc and copper as they compete for absorption in your gut, with copper losing out if it’s not supplemented along with zinc.
Copper deficiency can lead to an abnormal low white blood cell count and increase your risk for infection. A shortage of copper can also affect your lipid metabolism and lower your “good” HDL cholesterol, putting your cardiovascular health at risk.
Every time you take a zinc supplement without copper, including a simple zinc lozenge for a cold, you could be contributing to a zinc-copper imbalance in your body.
Whenever you take a zinc supplement, it’s a good idea to take a very small amount of copper at the same time.
Our Zinc Plus Selenium makes that easy to do. It includes 0.250 mg of copper in its preferred form, copper glycinate chelate.
This amount is scientifically calculated to provide just the right balance to the zinc and selenium, maximizing the benefits for your health.*
An Easy Solution for Making Sure You Have Enough of These Important Trace Elements
Zinc and selenium offer far-reaching benefits for your health. Like a beach volleyball team, they work together to support and facilitate essential functions that keep your mind and body in robust health.
Your age, eating preferences and stress levels don’t have to determine your zinc and selenium levels. You can enjoy the far-reaching benefits of these important trace minerals no matter your situation.
With Zinc Plus Selenium, you get bioavailable forms of zinc, selenium and copper to help you maintain a healthy trace mineral balance to support your:
- Healthy cell growth and replication*
- Healthy immune response*
- Brain and cognitive health*
- Respiratory health*
- Healthy metabolism*
- Strong, healthy bones*
- Vision and eye health*
As scientists continue to make new discoveries about the ways zinc and selenium work in your body, our understanding of their importance continues to grow.
Put this dynamic mineral team to work for your health. Order Zinc Plus Selenium today, and enjoy the wide-ranging benefits of these powerful trace minerals.