Zinc Produces Superior Eggs for Healthier ChildrenGuest Post By Byron Richards
Several new studies show how important zinc is to reproductive health. These studies indicate that Zinc may aid in the creation of a superior-quality egg that is more likely to be fertilized and produce a healthy child, as well as improve the future cardiovascular health of your child.
"Zinc helps the egg exit from a holding pattern to its final critical stage of development," said O'Halloran, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern. "It's on the knife's edge of becoming a new life form or becoming a cell that dies. It only has 24 hours. Zinc seems to be a key switch that helps control whether the egg moves forward in its development stage."
For years I have given zinc to women who said they had trouble getting pregnant, with a typical "thank you" phone call several months later. Here is some science that proves the point.
Zinc works in hundreds of enzymes relating to growth and metabolism. While a woman may have enough zinc to get pregnant a very important question is: Does she have adequate zinc to give her child a best chance at future health? Another new study shows the extreme importance of this topic.
In this animal study researchers tested the effects of zinc deficiency during pregnancy and lactation on the future health of kidneys and blood pressure regulation. They found that a lack of zinc in these earlier phases of life caused high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and poor kidney function later in life. While restoring zinc status later in life helped reduce triglycerides it could not fully correct the problems with poor kidney function that resulted in higher blood pressure.
This study shows that zinc adequacy during pregnancy and lactation helps optimize the growth and function of kidneys. If a person fails to take advantage of this during development, the kidneys will be a weak spot in metabolism as a person grows older, leading to high blood pressure and higher rates of kidney disease.
On the flip side of this coin, an earlier study showed that giving pregnant women 15 mg of zinc per day resulted in children who had better muscle development between ages 4 months and 12 months. This indicated that zinc adequacy during pregnancy has a profound affect on the thriving ability of an infant.
Another animal study showed that zinc supplementation was able to guard against the adverse effects of alcohol during pregnancy, including still births and mortality in early life. This is a significant finding. Similarly, there is another study that illustrates how zinc protects against damage to the digestive tract from alcohol. This is especially important since a young woman who is consuming alcohol may not know she is pregnant.
Collectively these studies point to the extreme importance of zinc adequacy before, during, and following pregnancy. Its use could have a profound effect on the future health of our nation.
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