A zinc deficiency by itself will not make your infertile, but it is an important mineral that nourishes parts of the reproductive system and it is often overlooked. Zinc works with more than 300 different enzymes in the body to keep things working properly. When zinc is in short supply, your cells cannot divide correctly and your balance of estrogen to progesterone can become imbalanced.
In women, zinc plays a vital role in key reproductive areas:
- Egg production: zinc is needed to produce mature eggs that are ripe & ready for fertilization
- Follicles: zinc helps maintain the fluid in the follicles so that the egg can travel through the Fallopian tubes and into the uterus for implantation.
- Hormones: zinc helps regulate estrogen, progesterone & testosterone levels throughout the menstrual cycle.
- Miscarriages: low levels of zinc have been linked directly to miscarriages in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Uterine Fibroids: zinc can also help to reduce the size of fibroids. High levels of Estrogen often cause fibroids, so taking zinc helps to balance the hormones and help bring Estrogen back to normal levels.
In men, zinc is vital in helping get the woman pregnant. It has been shown to improve sperm numbers, sperm shape and mobility. Wow, now you see WHY this mineral is a powerhouse for male fertility. When zinc is low in men the following can occur:
- Immature sperm: the tail and the outer membrane of the sperm are zinc dependent. Without zinc, the sperm wouldn’t have a tail that is needed to swim to meet the egg for fertilization. This is a long journey, so without zinc, fertilization would be impossible.
- Chromosomal problems: low zinc can cause chromosomal errors that lead to miscarriages even if fertilization and implantation have occurred.
Today’s diet is low in zinc due to poor soil. Stress in everyday living also uses up zinc quicker in the body. Smoking and alcohol consumption deplete this valuable nutrient. Cooking can also destroy this mineral so eating zinc rich foods raw can increase this mineral in your body. Some zinc rich foods are: oysters (raw), crab, beef (grass fed), Chicken (pastured), pork (pastured), baked beans, raw pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds (look for tahini).
Too much zinc in your diet can also be harmful. Taking a good vitamin/mineral complex and eating zinc rich foods should be enough.
About the Author: Donna McIntosh has been in the field of health and nutrition for over 30 years. She has her Master’s in Holistic Nutrition, is a Certified Healing Foods Specialist, and holds certifications in Functional Blood Chemistry, Functional Endocrinology and Brain Neurotransmitters. Donna’s real specialty is fertility and she is known as “The Goddess of Fertility.” She loves teaching people about the myths of nutrition that may be blocking their ability to conceive and revealing what she calls the Sacred Foods of Fertility. She has helped many couples improve their health, conceive naturally and have healthy, happy babies! For more information on zinc and other fertility issues, contact Donna at www.theGoddessofFertility.com