Our bodies encounter many toxins, substances, and bugs on a daily basis. The natural systems in our body tirelessly go to work to protect us from them. Sometimes, it needs a little extra help. Perhaps you’ve heard recently about taking the antioxidants zinc or N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) to support immunity during these trying times. Now, and especially with cold and flu season coming up, our immune systems really need that added support. Indeed we may think we’re getting enough nutrients from the foods we eat, but it’s often not enough.
Why Take A Zinc Supplement?
The approach of cold and flu season is a yearly reminder of the critical importance to maintain adequate stores of the mineral zinc. However, zinc has further-reaching effects on human health. Additional zinc supplementation:
- supports healthy inflammatory and antioxidant responses
- aids in speedier recovery from infections
- promotes optimal growth and human development
- supports cardiovascular and neurological health
- may help maintain vision in the elderly
There is overwhelming scientific evidence from around the world highlighting the importance of zinc to human health. Nonetheless, there is also scientific evidence suggesting mild zinc deficiency is common in the U.S. Most affected by this are the elderly. Inadequate zinc stores affect the older population most because certain medications may deplete it and changes in appetite may limit obtaining it naturally.
Other people are affected by their choice of diet. You probably thought you were doing the right thing by eating a vegetarian diet. More fruits and veggies are correct as there are so many benefits to eating plant-based, but unfortunately, it does not bode well for obtaining zinc naturally.
A diet lacking adequate sources of bioavailable zinc (such as red meat) and diets high in dietary fiber (vegetarian or grain-based diets) carry a double risk of zinc deficiency. Certain dietary fibers, calcium, and phytates (present in cereal products, legumes, and nuts) effectively block zinc absorption, while a lack of beef (the richest natural source of zinc) leads to an inadequate dietary supply of this essential nutrient.
What’s more, because beef is also the best source of bioavailable iron, except for certain artificially fortified foods, low zinc and low iron often occur simultaneously. It is important to note that if you choose to supplement both zinc and iron, the two compete for absorption during digestion. If zinc and iron supplements are taken simultaneously, one may inhibit the absorption of the other. Therefore, it’s best to space them out.
Highly Absorbable Zinc is the Ticket
Since the absorption of zinc can be problematic, it is best to find a top-notch supplement such as Zinc Caps from Life Extension. It is sourced from highly bioavailable OptiZinc®, a proprietary blend of the amino acid methionine with zinc citrate. This special zinc methionate delivers 50 mg. per vegetarian capsule. Choose a bioavailable zinc supplement to gain full potency supporting retention and use.
Support Antioxidant Defense and Immunity
Zinc, though technically a mineral, participates in the function of about 300 enzymes and has a range of effects on the immune system. It works hand-in-hand with these enzymes as an antioxidant, to assist in longevity and protection against oxidative stress. Antioxidants fend off free radicals, which in turn should help prevent or reduce the effects that oxidation may have on our bodies.
Astonishingly, there are over 200 distinct viruses that can cause the common cold. Zinc has been studied regarding its actions in cells. Let’s give our immune system some love by adding supplemental zinc to help it be its best!
N-acetyl-L-cysteine (call it NAC, for short) does some pretty powerful things too. It supports immunity, bronchial and respiratory health as it keeps mucus thin. NAC is another wonderful helper to have in your corner this wintry season. NAC’s journey begins with swallowing the capsule and getting absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. From there it goes to the liver and converts to cysteine. The liver uses cysteine to produce glutathione. This is our destination!
NAC and Glutathione
Glutathione is one of the most important naturally occurring antioxidants. It acts as an antioxidant superhero in our bodies. It has the ability to enhance and recycle other antioxidants, which is important in best-protecting cells from free radicals. The body needs adequate amounts of glutathione in order to help reach optimal immune health and assist our liver with detoxification. Again, the more we can do to limit free radicals, the less vulnerable our cells are to oxidative stress. The less oxidative stress we have, the more we contribute to overall health.
Toxins occur every day in our surrounding environments, though our bodies also make them within. We have organs that specifically work to eliminate these toxins like our kidneys and liver. Glutathione supports the body’s ability to eliminate the bad stuff by binding to certain toxins and moving them out of the body. This may be especially helpful as we may start to imbibe a bit more during the holidays. Alcohol can encourage the production of oxygen radicals and glutathione loss from tissues. We can offset those effects on our bodies and liver by taking natural Life Extension N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine. Each capsule delivers 600 mg. and you can take one 3x per day. What’s more, a review of NAC shows it to be a safe and well-tolerated supplement without any considerable side effects. Best of all it’s our ticket to more glutathione!
Furthermore, NAC is now being studied for enhanced immune system support when combined with EGCG, a compound found in Green Tea Extract.
Zinc Caps and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine are both gluten-free and non-GMO.
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National Institutes of Health, A Review on Various Uses of N-Acetyl Cysteine
National Institutes of Health, N-acetylcysteine Attenuates Alcohol-induced Oxidative Stress
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.