Follow Studio 41Follow us on Facebook
1 June, 2011
I dont need vitamins – I eat a varied diet!! We here this a lot with our personal training and nutrition clients at Studio41
Oddly enough it is only people who dont study nutrition that make the above statement, the fact is we need supplements as we dont eat varied diets anymore and even if we did eat a varied diet there are simply not the nutrients in the foods that we eat that historically our bodies have evolved on. Lets take a close look at Magneisum and Zinc and the roles they play in the body and how much we need them.
Both magnesium and zinc are required in higher amounts when a person starts exercising and lifting weights; medical literature states that between 54 and 75 percent of the general population is magnesium deficient, and between 58 and 75 percent of the population are deficient in both. However, the athletic population it is closer to 100 percent.
Magnesium is a critical co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body. It is part of every muscle and every nerve cell in the body and is essential to all living organisms. 53% of the body’s magnesium is found in the bones, 27% is in the muscles, 19% is in soft tissues, including organs like the heart and the remaining 1% is distributed in body fluids, like saliva, sweat, spinal fluid, fat tissue and blood cells,
Magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every organ system of the body. With regard to skeletal muscle, one may experience twitches, cramps, muscle tension, muscle soreness, including back aches, neck pain, tension headaches. Also, one may experience chest tightness or a peculiar sensation that you can’t take a deep breath. Other general symptoms include a salt craving, both carbohydrate craving and carbohydrate intolerance.
Zinc is secreted into body fluids as an antiseptic. So colds, sore throats, flu, gastro, ulcers, urinary tract infections, thrush will result in low levels as our bodies use zinc to fight infection. Also zinc lowering substances are – coffee, tea, alcohol, diuretics, ACE inhibitor blood pressure tablets, the Pill and anything containing the yellow, green, orange food additive tartrazine (102).
Zinc has multiple pivotal roles in metabolism. One zinc enzyme is responsible for making acid in our stomach from carbon dioxide. It thus influences the absorption of metal ions such as calcium and magnesium, dependant on this acid.
A simple home test for zinc,is to take a capful of liquid zinc sulphate heptahydrate we have this at Studio41 and swish it around in your mouth. If you immediately notice a bitter taste, you don’t have a zinc deficiency. If you taste nothing or have a delayed recognition of taste, your body needs more zinc.
Body zinc is depleted by high carbohydrate diets – grains, & veges. Calcium supplements and high calcium foods reduce zinc absorption by half. Stress (physical, emotional or chemical) as well as pollutions, pesticides and toxic metals also drive zinc from our bodies. We lose zinc from the body in sweat, urine, faeces, pregnancy and breast feeding.
One of the first signs of zinc deficiency can be disrupted sleep patterns. According to Sherrill, D.L. et al in arch.intern.med. 1998, “Symptoms of disturbed sleep are common in the general population, with overall prevalence rates of between 35% and 41%.”
Those with low zinc tend to eat more frequently. They may have poor concentration, poor short term memory recall, mental apathy, eczema, dermatitis, hay fever, allergies, asthma, frequent colds, sore throats, ear infections, thrush, warts.
The Nut Of It
The nut that provides the most of these important minerals is the Brazil nut. A 1/2-cup serving of whole nuts offers 250 mg of magnesium, or nearly 60 percent of the RDA, and 2.7 mg of zinc, or 18 percent of the RDA. Cashews and cashew nut butter are rich in these minerals. A 1-ounce serving of dry roasted cashews offers 75 mg of magnesium and 1.6 mg of zinc, or 18 and 11 percent of the RDA, respectively. A 2-tablespoon serving of cashew nut butter offers 82.6 mg of magnesium and 1.6 mg of zinc, making it a good food source of both nutrients.
Our body contains only about 3gm. Of zinc. This tiny amount is nearly all in hundreds of enzymes, being used, not just stored away for a rainy day. We store calories, vitamin A and B12 very extensively, but not zinc.
The symptoms of zinc deficiency include increased fat gain around the breast (especially in men), decreased sense of taste, constipation and baldness. It can affect the immune system and fertility. Magnesium deficiency symptoms include constipation, fatigue and sleeping disorders. It is also common for people who are insulin insensitive or diabetic to be deficient, as well as osteoporosis patients. Magnesium deficiency is also related to inflammation and low HDL cholesterol levels.
Correcting Zinc Deficiency
In addition to taking a quality multivitamin, a non-active individual could have sufficient levels of zinc within a couple months by taking 30mg per day in supplement form. An athlete will likely need to take more, as much as 180mg per day in supplement form. If you are taking more than 30mg, be sure to space it out throughout the day, and take it with food. Using multiple forms like zinc picolinate and zinc aspartate simultaneously will help raise levels more quickly.
Correcting Magnesuim Deficiency
Magnesium deficiencies typically take longer to correct. While the Recommended Daily Intake is only 400mg, you have to remember that all recommended daily intakes are set for people who are not deficient. Therefore as most people are magnesium deficient, most people need more than the RDA. To get your levels up to an adequate state you may have to take as much as 2,000mg per day. If you are extremely deficient, jump straight to the maximum dose. Also be sure to take multiple forms of magnesium, as the different forms have different functions in the body. At Studio41 we sell Ubermag which has all forms of magnesium in one supplement.
At Studio41 all our nutrition and personal training clients can take the Zinc tally test and also take Ubermag before they go to bed. Often better sleep is the first thing they report. Allowing us to balance Zinc and Mag through a multivitamin and specific zinc and mag supplements allows us to give our clients better sleep, stronger immune systems and is one one of the many secrets to how we drop weight faster than our competitors.