The Zinc, B6, and Anxiety Connection:
Do you ever experience uncomfortable feelings when you’re out in social settings, hate crowds, and or hate small talk? These feelings, along with others like introversion, are all considered symptoms of social anxiety. Social anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions, but research now indicated that these uncomfortable feelings many of us experience in social settings, might actually have a biochemical component, specifically a zinc and vitamin B6 deficiency. The food you eat not only affects the physical function of your body, but also the mental. Your digestive system not only helps you digest your food but also guides your emotions! So, when you have either too much or too little of a specific nutrient, your mood and thinking can be negatively affected.
Hemoglobin is a crucial component of your blood, it’s the molecules that carry oxygen to your tissues. There are small components on hemoglobin, known as HPLs, which attach to zinc and B6 molecules and carry them to be excreted in our urine. When HPLs are overactive, this causes zinc and vitamin B6 deficiencies. These molecules play an important role in neurotransmitter production, like serotonin, and they can directly affect behavior and mood. Studies have shown that individuals who suffer from chronic anxiety, had very low levels of zinc and that their anxiety improved with zinc supplementation. There’s further research that the addition of B6 supplementation with zinc improved anxiety symptoms even more!
Furthermore, if you’re under stress, your body shunts zinc and B6 away to your adrenal glands, rather than your stomach, which is why you don’t digest while under stress. Zinc is super important in the body as its aides 200-300 different enzymes which help the body function efficiently. So, if you experience chronic stress and/or anxiety there’s a chance you are also zinc deficient!
Other signs that you may have low zinc levels include:
Poor sense of smell and taste
Stretch marks on the skin
White flecks on nails
It's honestly amazing to learn about how interconnected our body and mind are. With all this new research, it might be time to consider if certain personality or mental attributes are actually due to a nutritional deficiency. It’s important though that if you are zinc and or B6 deficient that you take them in supplements in order to raise your levels. Diet is obviously super important, but so is taking the correct supplements based on your body’s needs!
If you are looking to get your blood work done, here are a few ways to order your own labs without having to go through a doctor: 1. Ulta Labs 2.Direct Labs 3.My Med Lab For food sensitivity and adrenal tests.
If you're interested in learning more about your bio-individuality what foods are right for you, I would love to help! Feel free to reach out! You can request a free consultation here