Zinc is one of those minerals that have been discovered necessary to hold off the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Most older people and those with dementia and other mental disorders have been found to be deficient in zinc. In most studies zinc has been shown to improve mental capacity in elders.
To get zinc into your blood stream you need to have a specific acid that is excreted by the pancreas. This acid is called “picolinic acid” When food containing zinc or zinc supplements reaches the small intestine, duodenum, the pancreas excretes picolinic acid. This acid binds with zinc and moves it across your intestine wall and into the blood stream.
Picolinic acid is created in the liver and kidneys from the amino acid tryptoph. This amino acid then moves into the pancreas. If you have diabetes or if your pancreas is overworked or weak, you will not be excreting enough picolinic acid and will not be providing enough zinc to your brain. You will need to supplement your diet with zinc.
The type of zinc you need is one that is bound with picolinic acid. This type is called “zinc picolinate.” There are other type of zinc supplements such as zinc citrate and zinc gluconate, but there are not absorb as good as zinc picolinate. If you cannot get zinc picolinate then the next best is zinc gluconate.
The body has many uses for zinc and this can contribute to a deficiency of zinc in the blood for the brain. The body uses zinc for helping,
- in chemical reactions with enzymes
- with antioxidants to prevent arteriosclerosis
- with DNA to prevent dementia or Alzheimer’
- with cells activity
- kidneys to maintain acid base balance.
- with carbon dioxide removal
- make pancreatic enzymes
- your liver to detoxify alcohols
- and the list goes on and on.
Here are some of the foods to add to your diet to get more zinc.
beef, lamb, cheese, yeasts, oysters, Shrimp, herring, sunflower seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, wheat germ & bran, Mushrooms, Spinach, Squash, Asparagus, Collard Greens, Broccoli, Chard, Miso, Maple Syrup.
Zinc can be toxic in excessive amounts. A safe amount to take is 20 – 25 mg per day. Do not take more than 40 mg per day. Toxic effects are stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea.
Add these foods and zinc picolinate to your diet in an effort to starve off dementia and Alzheimer’s. There are a few more special nutrients that you should include in your diet to prevent degradation of your mental thinking.