Why Does Low Zinc Mean Low Stomach Acid Production?
Part of the defense system against excessive metal absorption, most notably mercury, cadmium, and copper, is related to a protein called metallothionein.
This protein is mostly made up of the amino acid cysteine and contains 7 zinc atoms.
The sites of this metalloprotein (a protein that contains a metal ion cofactor) suggest it is important as a filter for toxins while also playing a role in copper overload, dysbiosis, skin problems, and gastritis with wheat and dairy intolerance.
What is fascinating about this metalloprotein is its connection to zinc and stomach acid.
First of all zinc is secreted by every cavity and orifice in the human body because it acts as a lubricant and an antiseptic.
Impressive studies have shown zinc blocks cytadherance (the adherence of cells to a biological surface, especially to endothelium) by viruses that would like to invade us.
This explains several interesting phenomena.
Low zinc levels are associated with vaginal thrush after menstruation.
Zinc is supposed to be secreted in vaginal fluid to 'disinfect' the vagina while the cervix is open.
This also explains the phenomenon that is buzzing through the natural health community—Candida Albicans.
Candida likes blood and will flourish if there is no zinc to kill it off.
Zinc is required for white blood cell production and low zinc levels will allow viruses to penetrate and infect cells.
Very low zinc levels will allow chronic infection by intracellular organisms like mycoplasma, Rickettsia's, and chlamydia.
Zinc is also required for correct DNA transcription which is fundamental to the synthesis of all proteins, enzymes and hormones.
The functions of zinc are numerous and I just mentioned a few of the basics about this amazing mineral.
Now getting back to zinc and stomach acid which is an interesting relationship as you need these fundamental ingredients zinc, vitamin B1, and B6 to produce stomach acid.
Hence, low zinc = low stomach acid!
Adequate stomach acid levels stimulate pancreatic secretion of picolinic acid which is a prime binder for the trace elements of zinc, selenium, chromium, manganese, boron, molybdenum, and vanadium.
This means with low stomach acid you will not send a signal to the pancreas to stimulate this relatively unspoken acid called picolinic acid, which allows these trace elements to be absorbed into the blood stream, so that these trace elements can make their journey to their target sites in the cells to do their cellular jobs.
Now, here is the zinc HCL conundrum plaguing modern man.
If you do not make stomach acid you do not absorb zinc, if you do not absorb zinc you do not make stomach acid!
Wow, the importance of getting our nutrients back online while focusing on increasing stomach acid can have a huge profound impact on our health.
An HTMA is an amazing tool that gives the clinician insight into the patient's stomach acid levels and their overall zinc status in the body when this test is interpreted correctly.
With HTMA, we can devise sound nutritional plans to turn our health around with protocols based on the right nutrients and supplements that address individual deficiencies and toxicities.
When we put that together with proper support for digestion, assimilation, and foods that support our healing journey, then we have a real opportunity for healing.