Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.
June 15 2016. Research described on May 27, 2016 in the British Journal of Nutrition reveals a critical role for zinc indigestion and suggests that even short-term subclinical deficiency have an impact.
While some foods, such as beef, oysters and egg yolks are good sources of zinc, many individuals are at risk of zinc insufficiency.
Daniel Brugger and Wilhelm M. Windisch of the Technical University of Munich gave weaned piglets a diet that contained an adequate amount of zinc for two weeks, followed by an eight day period in which the animals received diets that contained varying amounts of zinc intended to produce early stage zinc deficiency. Pancreatic zinc and digestive enzyme levels measured before and during the intervention decreased in association with lower zinc intake. Impaired fecal digestibility was observed after just one week of insufficient zinc intake, before clinical deficiency symptoms would normally manifest. The current study and others demonstrate the necessity of zinc to the pancreas to ensure proper digestion.
In previous research, it has been observed that clinical zinc deficiency reduces appetite. To explain the phenomenon, “various hypotheses were derived, for example, that zinc deficiency had a direct impact on the vagus nerve,” according to Dr Brugger. “The real reason, however, may be much simpler: the accumulation of undigested food inside the gastrointestinal tract due to zinc deficiency results in feeling less hungry.”
“We proved that there is a direct correlation between the amount of digestive enzymes inside the pancreas and zinc levels in the organism as a whole,” Dr Brugger stated. “Even short intervals of zinc deficiency in the diet should therefore be avoided. Given the similarities between a pig’s organism and the human organism, we may draw the following conclusion when applying our results to the human body: an egg or two more once in a while can do no harm.”