What You’ll Learn in This Article
- 13 Incredible Benefits of Zinc
- Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Zinc
- Using Zinc to Balance Your Hormones
- Testing Your Zinc Levels at Home
- 15 Best Food Sources of Zinc
- Nutrients That Affect Zinc Absorption
- The Best Zinc Supplements
Zinc is an essential trace element that’s found and used by every cell throughout your body.
Anytime a nutrient is considered “essential” it means your body needs it to stay healthy but that you can’t produce it and therefore you must get it from your food.
This critical metal is only needed in tiny amounts but if you don’t get enough zinc, the consequences can be grave. This is because your body relies on zinc for growth, maintenance, and numerous biological functions—including hormone creation and balance.
13 Incredible Benefits of Zinc
Your body uses zinc in hundreds of ways but some of the highlights include:
- Significantly supports the immune system by fighting off viruses and bacteria.
- Helps to create DNA in every cell.
- Critical to hormone synthesis and balance (e.g. thyroid, progesterone, cortisol).
- Essential during growth and development in babies and children.
- Provides building blocks for enzymes needed in a healthy metabolism.
- Improves how quickly and how well wounds heal.
- Supports protein synthesis.
- Allows you to smell and taste.
- Prevents age-related vision loss.
- Naturally stabilizes blood sugar.
- Can combat high blood pressure.
- May boost fertility in some.
- Boosts athletic performance through improved muscle repair.
Though deficiency isn’t very common in the United States, simply not getting enough zinc can throw important functions out of whack and make you feel not quite yourself.
Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Zinc
Signs that you might not be getting enough zinc include:
- Loss of appetite
- Hair loss
- Hormonal imbalance (especially low thyroid and low progesterone)
- A weak immune system
- Brain fog
- Unexplained weight loss
- Changes in taste
- Changes in smell
- Low libido
- Poor wound healing
- Digestive issues
- Developmental delays in children
Factors that can put you at risk for having lower levels or poor absorption of zinc include:
- Those who have had gastrointestinal surgery
- Women on hormonal birth control
- Having leaky gut syndrome
- Vegetarians and vegans
- People with sickle cell anemia
Using Zinc to Balance Your Hormones
Zinc’s impact on your hormones is a big deal.
First of all, you need sufficient levels of zinc for your body to create hormones. Then you also need sufficient zinc to maintain proper hormone balance.
Research has found that zinc levels are directly associated with the following hormones:
- Growth hormone
- Thyroid hormones – T3 & T4
1. Helps Thyroid Hormone
When it comes to your thyroid hormones, zinc plays a major role in thyroid hormone metabolism. Specifically, zinc is needed in the conversion of T4 to T3. Research has found that zinc supplementation can support better conversion of T4 to the active T3 thyroid hormone.
Zinc also helps your thyroid hormone receptors in your hypothalamus function properly, so it can accurately gauge whether or not you have sufficient thyroid hormone levels. Because of this, zinc deficiency can cause your body to decrease its thyroid hormone production when it thinks it has sufficient levels. Low zinc levels are thought to be one potential factor that can contribute to hypothyroidism.
2. Supports Autoimmune Conditions
Studies have found that people with autoimmune disease typically have significantly lower than normal zinc levels. This zinc-autoimmune connection is likely due to the fact that zinc is so critical to healthy immune system function and hormone synthesis and balance.
Most women with autoimmune conditions also suffer from inflammation – zinc has shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Bringing down inflammation can help lower the TPO antibodies (often high in Hashimoto’s patients).
3. Helps Progesterone Production
Zinc also helps the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH encourages ovulation and tells your ovaries to produce more progesterone. The ovaries love zinc—sufficient amount of this mineral helps them produce estrogen and progesterone.
4. Increases Sex Hormones
Zinc is especially important for sex hormones and reproduction. In fact, zinc supplementation has been shown to improve male sterility and also reduce pregnancy complications. Studies have also found that zinc supplementation can increase the serum level of sex hormones in the body, which could improve anything from strength, confidence, energy to sexual desire.
Did You Know You Can Test Your Zinc Levels at Home?
There’s an easy way you can test your zinc levels in the comfort of your own home. Simply purchase a bottle of zinc sulfate liquid from Amazon or your local pharmacy, then hold a capful in your mouth, while noticing the following sensations:
- Zero metallic taste—a likely zinc deficiency
- A delayed metallic taste—minimal zinc deficiency
- Immediate but slight metallic taste—adequate zinc levels but could use a little more
- Strong metallic taste—you have sufficient zinc levels
15 Best Food Sources of Zinc
Here are the top 15 best food sources of zinc:
- Grass-fed beef
- Turkey breast
- Sesame Seeds
- Pasture-raised chicken
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
You can learn how to add more hormone-balancing ingredients to your meals with our FREE 19 Estrogen Balancing Superfoods Guide here.
Nutrients That Affect Zinc Absorption
Nutrients that improve your zinc absorption include amino acids, specifically histidine and methionine.
On the other hand, a few nutrients are known interfere with zinc absorption include:
Phytate is often found in corn, rice, and cereals and has been shown to very strong in inhibiting zinc absorption. If you have insufficient zinc levels, it’s important to consider the factors that could be interrupting absorption, especially if you believe you’re getting enough zinc in your diet or through supplementation.
The Best Zinc Supplements
When it comes to taking zinc in supplement form, it’s best to choose an option that’s highly bioavailable. That’s why we use zinc picolinate in our Zinc.
You’ll support your immune system and hormone health with our Zinc, which comes with enough for a two months supply. It’s made with non-GMO ingredients, and free from gluten, dairy, soy, yeast, sugar, and colors.
There are many high-quality zinc supplements available online these days, just make sure you’re getting them from a reputable source and beware of fake supplements.
To learn more about how to balance your hormones with supplements (and which to take), you can download our FREE Supplement Guide here.
How Much Zinc Should You Take?
An adult should be getting at least 40 mg of zinc per day. If you’re taking a zinc supplement I recommend around 30 mg for anyone interested in balancing their hormones.
It is possible to take too much zinc, especially in the form of supplements. If you accidentally take too much as you think you could experience:
- Abdominal cramping
- Poor appetite
If you take the recommended dosage and aren’t unknowingly getting an abundance of zinc from your diet, you should, for the most part, be OK.
For anyone trying to restore balance to their hormones, zinc is a nutrient that should be taken into careful consideration. You may even want to have your zinc levels tested with your doctor. Remember, if you find you are deficient for zinc, it could be due to the many factors that interfere with absorption. Consider this before you pile on zinc supplements unnecessarily.
Learn more with Overcoming Estrogen Dominance
“The body has an amazing ability to heal. We just need to give it the right resources.”
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, my goal is to empower and give you the tools to take control of your hormones and health.
More than 70% of women experience estrogen dominance. The symptoms range from lumpy and fibrocystic breasts to thyroid nodules, hot flashes, fibroids, uterine polyps, painful, heavy or irregular periods to infertility and miscarriages, from mood swings to insomnia, weight gain to fatigue.
So many women have experienced the pain and frustration that comes when they feel their symptoms and complaints are dismissed or minimized. This is particularly true for women who are experiencing the symptoms of hormone imbalance. Even when doctors do offer treatment, it’s typically in the form of prescription medication or invasive surgical procedures.
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, I hope to show that those extreme interventions are often unnecessary, and to give women a roadmap to reverse estrogen dominance using food, herbs, supplements and natural protocols to rebalance hormones.
To get your copy of Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, go here.
Thank you for writing this (and for writing the hormone book which I just started reading)! I have been diagnosed with low progesterone, low estrogen, and slightly low T3 by a functional medicine practitioner (using blood test results) and he’s prescribed bio-identical hormones and desiccated thyroid. However, I’ve been hesitating to take those because I’m concerned about their safety and because my H. pylori blood test came back positive and I’m deficient in some vitamins/minerals (B12, iron, probably B6), so I suspect I’m also low on zinc. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to get rid of the infection first and increase nutrient absorption, and then re-test to see whether my hormone levels have improved before trying the hormones?
Also, I’m wondering if you’ve been able to successfully treat your H. pylori naturally. I’ve seen one of your H. pylori videos on YouTube, but haven’t been able to find an update.
HI Aga, I think your intuition is guiding you well with healing your H.Pylori first. Until your digestion is healed, you will likely have nutrient absorption issues. ~ Jen HB Support
Iam trying to gain my sense of smell and taste back using zinc as one of my sources! I had Covid and lost my smell and taste before that I had a very strong smell so not sure what makes that happen! I have two different brands how do you know what’s best?
We have a couple of awesome articles that I recommend you check out.
Wishing you a speedy recovery!
Also, Magdalena remains symptom free from H.Pylori, here is the video (you may have seen) that walks through her protocol. ~ Jen Hb Support
I have read recently that kombucha can kill H. Pylori. If that is true that would be a natural way to treat it.
We have not found this to be the case with Kombucha. Magdalena recommends getting an H. Pylori protocol from a trusted practitioner. ~Deanna HB Team
My daughter in law has a high Testosterone level. Would zinc and/or magnesium help lower her issue? Which foods would you recommend as well?
Hi Sue, I would recommend she look at Magdalena’ program Cooking for Balance, as we always recommend starting with food, healing digestion, and then adding supplements once the digestion is healed. Here is a link for you. https://hormonesbalance.com/cfb/~ Jen HB Support
Could you please explain what ionic minerals are? I could not find any chemist or biologist online explaining ionic minerals.
Hello, I have tried to take zinc supplements (Zinc Picolinate 15mg) , just one capsule a day, and I experienced really bad stomach cramps so had to stop. It was quite a low dose so not sure if I could find a brand of supplements with any less than 15 mg? Thanks
Try the liquid that Magdalena was talking about. That way you can control the dose.
I tried the test above for the home test of zinc levels, my husband and I both did a dropper full of the zinc recommendation from Amazon. We both had a very strong metallic taste and burning of our mouths and tongues – I think you should include that as a warning
Thank you for this feedback Melanid. Please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for further support.
Healthy regards, HB Team
I tried the above test. I had a very strong taste in my mouth after a second or two but couldn’t really identify it as metallic. Any thoughts on that?
Hi Denise, to be sure, you may want to have your zinc levels tested with your doctor. If you need help locating a functional medical practitioner in your area, here is a good tool:
~ Jeanne HB Team
[…] super helpful for acne and for managing general inflammation – see #6) and it’s also important for general hormonal balance. Zinc deficiency can worsen […]
How would a medical doctor check if I produce enough stomach acid? I need 2 to 3 capsules of betain hcl from pure encapsulattion. I am not sure how to explain the doctor that my findings shows that I am low in stomach acid.
Sorry wrong article
Thank you for this article. I’d like to find out if zinc would lower estrogen in women with already low estrogen?
Studies have shown that the formation of estradiol (aggressive estrogens) from testosterone was significantly greater with a zinc-deficient diet. However, it may be best if you consult with a functional medicine doctor, before deciding if zinc is right for you.
Also, you may be interested in trying out the free program preview of Estrogen Reset. https://hormonesbalance.com/er/
Healthy regards, HB Team
I have read that zinc reduces cortisollevels, is this so. Because I have low cortisol, so i would not want that.
Studies have shown that zinc can help to stabilize serum cortisol levels over time, and that intake has been shown to temporarily inhibit cortisol secretions. It may be best to speak with a doctor to see if zinc supplementation is a good fit for you. Please note, it is possible to have high and low cortisol levels at the same time. It’s not unusual in Stage II of adrenal fatigue to experience, for example low cortisol levels in the morning (this is why you need 2 cups of coffee to get you going) and high cortisol at night which can interfere your sleep as you may be feeling wired and tired.
Healthy regards, HB Team
Hey Taylor. I have tested myself and my AM cortisol level was right on the low side of normal of 5.5 at 0800. My 16oo level was normal at 10.3. I am taking zinc picolinate 30mg because I honestly have been shedding my hair like crazy and have been battling allergies and thrush. I read that zinc would help a lot with all of it. What is your opinion?
This article may be beneficial to you. https://hormonesbalance.com/articles/causes-of-hair-loss-in-women-and-potential-treatments/
[…] Zinc deficiency alone was associated with alopecia (hair loss) in an article published in the journal, SKINmed. Hair loss stopped within 3 weeks of high dose zinc supplementation and in 4 months there was no evidence of alopecia at all. In another article, a combination of zinc deficiency and biotin deficiency was associated with alopecia and total body hair loss. Zinc is needed for several hormones to function properly. Read more about how zinc affects your hormones here. […]
[…] Using the Mighty Zinc to Balance Your Hormones […]
does zinc make testosterone higher in women i have high testosterone so i want to lower that and get more estrogen ?
High testosterone is a metabolic disorder that is usually caused by high sugar levels. Have you tested your fasting glucose, HA1C or insulin? They may be elevated. If you are seeking supplementation, instead of zinc, you may be interested in checking out our Sugar Balancing Kit. https://hormonebalancenutritionals.com/collections/frontpage/products/sugar-balance-kit
[…] dass die nötige Dosis erreicht wird. Zink ist ebenfalls an der Produktion der primären weiblichen Geschlechtshormone Östrogen und Progesteron beteiligt. Es hilft auch, den Menstruationszyklus zu steuern und fördert […]
Hovering around Stage 6 and 7
Great article, but there’s something missing: the importance of a proper zinc-to-copper ratio. Check out the following articles about this: (1) livestrong.com/article/511087-how-to-take-copper-with-zinc/
The ideal zinc-to-copper ratio is 8:1.
[…] this mighty micro-nutrient can calm TPO antibodies (often higher in Hashimoto’s patients). Both testosterone and growth hormone need the support of this tiny but mighty nutrient to perform their best for […]
Hi ,I had issues regarding irregular bleeding throughout the month all last year . I was under gynaecologoy at the hospital and have undergone biopsys ,smear tests scans and cameras to check cervix and womb . All results came back clear and eventually i was prescribed hormone tablets . I did some research ,however and started taking zinc supplements 15 mg per day and all the abnormal ,irregular bleeding stopped ,however it started again recently so i upped the zinc supplement to 30mg per day .Is this harmful or will it be beneficial in the short term until my hormones calm down again ? I am 46 years old and believe i am entering the perimenopause .
Hi Theresa, 30mg of zinc is fine to take while you get your hormones back into balance. You might also want to look into supporting your hormones with some magnesium glycinate as this can sometimes also be a large part in hormonal irregular bleeding. ~HB Support
Hi, I’m looking for more natural ways to treat precocious puberty for my daughter (almost 7yrs old). Any suggestions or referrals are welcome!
Hello Tayyaba, most importantly is to make sure she is not exposed to xenoestrogens through healthy and beauty products, plastics in food containers, microwaving foods, plastic water bottles, pesticides and more. Remove sugar, dairy and gluten and help her digestion heal and work for her body. Good luck