This blood test measures Zinc levels. Zinc is a crucial trace element required for the growth and healthy development of all living organisms. Zinc deficiency can lead to immune system dysfunction and impairments in growth, cognitive dysfunction, poor carbohydrate metabolism and hormonal function. Low dietary zinc is associated with hypogonadism, low Insulin Growth Factor-1, low testosterone and low levels of the thyroid hormone Free T4.
Zonulin is a specialized protein secreted by intestinal cells whose job is to be the gatekeeper of the tight junctions (swinging doors)between the inside of the gut and the circulatory system. Elevated zonulin levels can increase intestinal permeability in the jejunum and ileum and is used in this test a biomarker for barrier permeability (how functional are your tight junctions). Tight junctions can be opened or closed or stuck wide open depending on certain triggers (like infections and toxins) that stimulate elevated zonulin.