Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium and Taurine (ZMST) are essential nutrients for individuals. Because of our modern lifestyles, these nutrients are often deficient in the Western Diet and have been depleted from our soils and not found in adequate levels in our foods. The deficiency of these nutrients can lead to a host of disorders that include cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, sleep disorders, mental health problems and even musculoskeletal problems like osteoporosis and muscle aches and pains.
Magnesium (Mg2+) is the second most abundant intracellular mineral, after potassium, and is the fourth most abundant cation in the human body. This essential mineral is needed for a broad variety of physiological and biochemical functions.
What does a Magnesium Deficiency look like?
How does Magnesium Work?
As a co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, which often depend on energy production (yes ATP), Mg2+ is involved in many biochemical pathways of key importance, including the breakdown of macronutrients, oxidative phosphorylation, DNA and protein synthesis, neuro-muscular excitability, and regulation of parathyroid hormone secretion.
So basically almost every time you break something down to raw materials and building blocks or build something new in your body there is a requirement for magnesium to allow that to happen.
The metal zinc is nowadays well known to be essential for a well-operating human body. However, knowledge about zinc homeostasis, zinc deficiency, and related diseases is comparatively new.
What Zinc does for us
As mentioned earlier with magnesium, the zinc and magnesium enzymes are needed almost every time you break something down to raw materials and building blocks or build something new in your body. It is a structural component in proteins and it is involved in numerous cellular functions include, but are not limited to, cell proliferation and differentiation, RNA and DNA synthesis, stabilization of cell structures/membrane, as well as redox regulation, and apoptosis.
Many chronic diseases have been associated with zinc deficiency, such as: type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and depression. There are also links between zinc deficiency and acute and chronic several infectious diseases such as shigellosis, acute cutaneous leishmaniosis, malaria, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, measles, and pneumonia.
The roles of Zinc in the body
There are numerous roles for zinc in the human body. Zinc cannot be stored and has to be taken up via food daily to guarantee sufficient supply. A large number of especially inflammatory diseases, but also aging, pregnancy, lactation, and vegetarian or vegan lifestyles are associated with zinc deficiency. Also, like with most minerals, a crappy diet will also lead to a zinc deficiency. Zinc is especially important during periods of rapid growth, both pre and postnatally, and for tissues with rapid cellular differentiation and turnover, such as the immune system and the gastrointestinal tract. Critical functions that are affected by zinc nurture include pregnancy outcome, physical growth, susceptibility to infection, and neurobehavioral development.
The effects of zinc in the body
Essential trace element used by over 300 enzymes in the body
The adult body only contains 2 to 3 grams of zinc
Zinc is found in ALL parts of the body
90% of body zinc is found in muscle and bones
High concentrations found in semen and prostate
Aids healthy hair, skin and nails
Vital for cell division such as pregnancy and normal growth and development
Important for fertility, sperm production, prostate health and healthy testosterone levels
Zinc is essential to balance female hormones and prevent premenstrual problems
Essential component for the immune system
Reduces oxidative stress by making antioxidants
Improves insulin sensitivity
What are the symptoms of Zinc deficiency?
Magnesium and zinc need selenium to function properly.
Selenium deficiency is often the rate limiting factor for zinc and magnesium function. Meaning if selenium is deficient the zinc and magnesium supplements can’t work properly. Selenium belongs to one of the trace elements essential for human health and life. In the body, selenium is involved in numerous processes
Muscle and bone development
The biological functions of selenium result from the occurrence of the selenocysteine amino acid in proteins. The research has revealed that about a hundred selenoproteins can be found in our organisms. The most important of them are the antioxidant enzymes – glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase, as well as selenoprotein P, responsible for the storage and transport of selenium.
How do we normally consume Selenium?
Selenium levels of the soil determines the concentrations in plant foods. Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, especially young barley seedlings, green vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, and button mushrooms are excellent organic sources of selenium in regions with adequate selenium content in the soil.
Selenium yeast is an excellent source as well. Where yeast acts like a sponge and sucks up the selenium in the water. The yeast is then killed and not acting like a live yeast that can colonise and grow inside you but acts as a source of nutrients.
Animals that consume selenium containing plant-based foods, especially, fish, seafood, beef, and poultry are good sources of selenium from areas with adequate supply.
Remember, you only get adequate selenium in your diet of the soil is rich in selenium and around a billion people are deficient in the world.
Selenium deficiency occurs when there is inadequate dietary intake of selenium, typically due to a scarcity of selenium sources in a given region. The American Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) daily minimum requirement of selenium for optimal biological functioning is 70 and 55 micrograms (mcg) per day for men and women, respectively, per April 2000 recommendations. However, this level is considered low based on other studies, and some literature sets the minimum requirement at 90 mcg daily per adult.
The Symptoms of Selenium Deficiency
Symptoms of severe selenium deficiency are primarily related to heart muscles and joints. Moderate deficiency leads to increase in infertility in men, prostate cancer, and neurological diseases. Manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis, shortened fingers and toes or growth disorders in regions endemic to shortages in selenium in the soil should raise suspicion regarding selenium deficiency, especially in children 5 to 13 years of age. It is the constellation of symptoms that will, unfortunately, point to making the diagnosis, as there is not a specific finding that will allow the clinician to hone in on the fact that the patient is selenium deficient.
The roles of Selenium in the body
Taurine is one of the most abundant free amino acids in mammals. It is considered a basic regulator of cell homeostasis controlling calcium and magnesium channels helping to reduce calcium influx and magnesium release from cells and subsequent excretion. Taurine increases intracellular magnesium.
The beneficial effects of taurine are attributed to osmoregulation (regulation of cell volume), anti-oxidant effects, anti-inflammatory, calcium modulation, cell membrane stabilization and neuromodulation (brain health) and plays an important role in the conjugation of bile acid.
Taurine holds magnesium in cells
Calcium rushes into cells to activate them or induce an action like a thought or a muscle contraction. Magnesium is released from the cell to switch this off. Once released from cell the magnesium can be excreted and that is one mechanism behind magnesium depletion and the end result is too many on switches (calcium influx) and not enough off switches intracellular magnesium to be released.
Taurine works with ion channels to hold magnesium in cells and preventing the calcium influx and subsequent magnesium release and loss.
ZMST is an essential supplement for optimal health that most individuals will benefit from. It contains the proper ratios of key nutrients and proper therapeutic dosages of magnesium so many people are deficient in. It contains magnesium in the best form (citrate) and in divided dosages for optimal absorption. ATP Science’ ZMST can be taken long term because the dosage is optimised to reduce or eliminate any gut problems associated with some magnesium supplements.