Looking for a simple solution for period and hormone problems? Consider the humble mineral zinc.
Zinc is an important nutrient for women’s health and is effective treatment for acne, PCOS, period pain, vaginal dryness, and many other symptoms.
Zinc for women’s health
- Period pain. Zinc was found in one clinical trial to work as well as the pill for period pain. It works by reducing inflammation and prostaglandins and is also an important part of immune-modulating treatment for endometriosis.
- Irregular periods. Zinc helps to regulate the menstrual cycle by nourishing healthy ovarian follicles and therefore promoting ovulation.
- PCOS. Zinc is one of several natural androgen blockers that can reduce testosterone and improve androgen symptoms such as acne and hirsutism (facial hair).
- Acne. Zinc is effective for acne and works by blocking androgens, killing bacteria, and slowing the production of sebum and keratin.
- Perimenopause and menopause. Zinc helps to maintain collagen and tissue health and can relieve the vaginal dryness of menopause.
- Thyroid disease. Together with iodine and selenium, zinc is essential for the synthesis and activation of thyroid hormone and can prevent the hair loss associated with thyroid disease. Zinc promotes thyroid hormone, which, in turn, promotes the better absorption of zinc.
- Mood. Zinc supports the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that dials down cortisol and the stress response.
Zinc absorption can be impaired by alcohol, stomach medication, hypothyroidism, and hormonal birth control.
Symptoms of deficiency include:
- hair loss
- impaired immune function
- white spots on the fingernails.
The test for zinc deficiency is plasma zinc with a normal reference range of 11-23 umol/L or 70-150 ug/dL).
Dose and safety
A safe and effective dose of zinc is 30 mg per day. The best types include zinc citrate, picolinate, or bisgylcinate and should be taken directly after a large meal because zinc on an empty stomach can cause nausea. More than 80 mg per day can deplete copper.