Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome and Zinc Deficiency
Mitral valve prolapse syndrome is another connective tissue disorder with possible links to zinc deficiencies. Some researchers feel MVP syndrome is a mild form of Marfan syndrome. MVP syndrome is more common in women than men. The characteristic features of the disorder include:
- Low body weight
- Mitral valve prolapse (which has been linked to hyaluronic acid abnormalities in heart valves, a zinc dependent biochemical)
- Small breasts
- Stretch marks
- Poor wound healing
- Defective connective tissue
- Pectus excavatum
All of the above conditions associated with MVP syndrome have also in some way been linked to zinc deficiencies. Mitral valve prolapse is an age dependent condition, which interestingly, also usually first appears in women around puberty or a few years later, the same time that zinc requirements increase to support sexual development.
One Naturopath's life story
My Experience: Inherited Connective Tissue Disorder or Zinc Deficiency?
"I had finger nails completely riddled with white spots growing up and so did other members of my immediate family. My husband's mother told me she had lots of white spots on her finger nails growing up. Her mother called them her "little friends". Some friends! Like his mother, my husband's fingers were riddled with white spots. Our kids had a few white spots on their nails, too, until we changed their diets. Now they only get the white spots back around holidays or vacations, when they don't eat as healthy as they should.
My husband and I were both very thin as children. We both have pectus excavatum (a feature of rickets), stretch marks and we both had problems with facial blemishes until we were about 40, when we changed our diets to get more zinc. Then our faces suddenly cleared up completely. (We started getting more zinc after I read the book Super Nutrition for Women.)
I've been diagnosed with a few variations of incurable inherited connective tissue disorders, including mitral valve prolapse syndrome. My husband, with many of the same symptoms as me, had a genetic exam once, too, and was completely ruled out from having any connective tissue disorder at all. Yet, if my problems were caused by an incurable genetic disorder, and my husband doesn't have one, then how come my husband has so many of the same features as me? How did the doctors who diagnosed me know I had an incurable disorder when they never checked me for a zinc deficiency, which has many identical symptoms?
I don't think I ever really had any incurable disorder at all. I think I was low in zinc for much of my life until I changed my diet, and that a tendency to be low in zinc ran in my family and my husband's family. I just probably had more of a deficiency than he did. I do wonder how many other people have been given a diagnosis of an incurable disorder (or from my email, no diagnosis at all!) when perhaps what they really had was a correctable nutritional deficiency, with a genetic predisposition. I went to an Ehlers-Danlos syndrome meeting once (and only once because none of the people there had any interest in nutrition). One thing I remember from that meeting is that one of the people there who had been diagnosed with EDS had acne and his finger nails were riddled with white spots, just like I used to have. I do wonder sometimes if, like me, he actually had zinc and other nutritional deficiencies and not an incurable genetic disorder." Name withheld.