Zinc Protects the Reproductive System from ‘Gender-Bender’ Chemicals

Zinc is such a super-hero.

It has protective effects from many of the toxins we’re being bombarded with, on a daily basis. That includes the ‘gender-bender’ chemicals that disrupt and create havoc on our hormones.

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is structurally similar to diethylstilbestrol (DES), the drug given to millions of pregnant women from 1940’s – 1980 that greatly increased the risk of sexual disorders and cancers in their offspring (and their offspring’s offspring). Although BPA is less estrogenic than DES, it is probably more pervasive in our environment, due to widespread use.

Bisphenol-A, found in many plastics (including baby bottles and children’s drink bottles/lunchboxes) and epoxy resins is one such chemical. BPA has been shown to be toxic to the reproductive system, especially in males. Studies on rats shows that zinc deficiency increases toxicity of BPA on the male testis. Zinc has also shown to be protective against neuro-behavioral disorders caused by BPA toxicity.

Another endocrine-disrupting class of chemicals are those known as phthalates, also ubiquitous in the environment, in vinyl furniture, fragranced products (air fresheners, personal care products, shampoos, nail polish, detergents, soaps, etc). One of the ways we are being bombarded by phthalates is via our clothing – polyester (otherwise known as polyethyl terephthalate) in particular.

A study on rats, published last year (2020), showed that zinc supplementation protected from the endocrine toxicity caused by phthalates.

Although zinc is a super-hero, it must be kept in balance with another super-hero mineral, namely copper. Check out this case study on what can happen if you supplement with isolated zinc. Fortunately, she was able to recover most of her symptoms, but this person, who was poisoned by their zinc-based tooth adhesive material was not so fortunate.

It is far better to get zinc from food sources, such as oysters and red meat. Oysters are, by far, the world highest known source of zinc, but they also contain copper. Beef liver is another good source of both zinc and copper. If you are not a fan of the taste of either, you can take it in capsule form, which can be found on the NourishMe Organics website (use code ‘nourishme’ at checkout, to get 10% off)

Zinc Deficiency Causes Meat Aversion & ‘Fussy Eaters’

Researchers have known since the 1970’s that zinc deficiency causes a loss of appetite and/or abnormal food preferences.

There have been studies that showed zinc-deficient mice chose a diet that was virtually 100% carbs, while zinc replete mice chose a balance of carbs, protein and fats.

Zinc is involved in over 300 different enzyme reactions in the body, including building and repairing tissues, cell division,(why zinc needs are greatly increased during pregnancy, infancy and the growth spurts of childhood and young adulthood), reproductive maturity/fertility (why zinc is important during puberty), regulating neural activities, including mood, behaviour, and sensory experience, production of stomach acid and integrity of gut lining.

In animal studies, creating zinc deficiency is a reliable way to induce anorexia and depression, because deficiency not only lowers appetite, but affects mental processes and perception.

Think about those most likely to be averse to meat (protein). It is pregnant women (especially in the first trimester when the developing embryo requires zinc to grow) and vegans/vegetarians. Now, don’t @ me, just hear me out. Plant-based diets are usually very low in zinc, and what little zinc is consumed, is often not absorbed because of the presence of oxalates, phytic acid and other antinutrients in certain plants (grains, seeds, nuts, leafy greens, etc), that block absorption of zinc.

Think about those most likely to be labeled ‘fussy eaters’. It’s young children, whose growing bodies are burning through the zinc. Not only do they hardly want to eat, but when they do, it’s usually carb foods – bread, pasta, potatoes, biscuits, noodles…

It creates a vicious circle, where carbs don’t provide zinc, and the worsening deficiency causes more carb cravings…and around it goes.

If you’re a smoker, or exposed to secondhand smoke, you’re more prone to zinc deficiency, because cadmium (found in cigarettes) competes for absorption. And if you’re zinc deficient, you’re more vulnerable to the effects of cadmium and other heavy metals, because you don’t have zinc to oppose them.

Best way to raise zinc levels is through food sources, since supplementation will deplete copper.

World’s highest known source of zinc is oysters, followed by beef as a distant second. If you don’t like the taste of oysters, then capsules are an option (dried and ground oyster)

Low Libido Is Not The Problem…

Low libido is not the problem. It is the body’s way of protecting itself from a pregnancy that it cannot properly nourish. (Yes, even if you don’t actually want to get pregnant, anyway).

Our bodies are always talking. The question is…are you listening?

Women are more sensitive to stress, and that makes complete sense from a biological standpoint. We are the bringers of new life into the world, so naturally, our body is sensing its environment at all times. Is it safe to bring new life into the world? Or is food and resources scarce?

If there is barely enough energy/nutrients to meet the bare minimum requirements that your vital organs need to function, you can hardly expect a raging libido that increases your chances of getting pregnant.

If you are regularly under-eating, dieting (cutting calories excessively), or over-fasting, your body senses famine, and therefore begins to conserve resources and energy. Since libido and ovulation are not necessary for your survival, your body will cease those, in order for the scarce amount of energy and fuel to be directed to vital organs.

Our libido is naturally low/er while breastfeeding, for this very reason. Because your body is already expending energy to grow a small human, and not in an *ideal* position to gestate another (though it can and does happen).

Rather than trying exotic herbs and powders to “fix” your libido (it doesn’t need fixing, it’s working exactly as it’s meant to), look at the bigger picture. What does your body really need? Nourishment? Minerals? Rest? Time for dysfunction to regulate itself? Do the adrenals and thyroid need support? All the above?