Thursday, November 6, 2008

Zinc, Acne and Good Health

According to the American Zinc Association, zinc seals and protects skin:

"Zinc is essential for healthy skin. As a drying agent and astringent, zinc oxide has been used for generations to soothe diaper rash and relieve itching. And zinc is a natural sun screen, protecting chapped lips and skin from the sun's harmful rays. Zinc sulfate is effective in treating some cases of acne. And in a water-based solution, zinc sulfate helps remedy cold sores. Zinc also improves healing of wounds, like surgical incisions, burns and other skin irritations. Used as an anti-inflammatory, zinc soothes skin and skin tissue. Poison ivy, sunburn, blisters and gum disease are all improved when treated with zinc. It is even a natural insect repellent. And zinc stimulates the transport of Vitamin A from the liver to the skin, helping to protect body tissue from damage."

Sounds like it would do a lot of good besides the acne benefits mentioned in medical research results. Read the research article.

Zinc - Essential for Human Health

Zinc is an essential trace element for humans, animals and plants. It is vital for many biological functions and plays a crucial role in more than 300 enzymes in the human body. The adult body contains about 2-3 grams of zinc. Zinc is found in all parts of the body: it is in organs, tissues, bones, fluids and cells. Muscles and bones contain most of the body’s zinc (90%). Particularly high concentrations of zinc are in the prostate gland and semen.

Zinc is necessary for growth and cell division, fertility, menstrual problems and PMS, and the immune system. It's vital for skin, hair and nails; taste, smell and appetite; and is used in the treatment of anorexia.

Zinc is also used as an anti-inflammatory agent and can help sooth the skin tissue, particularly in cases of poison ivy, sunburn, blisters and certain gum diseases. Zinc may also protect from night blindness and prevent the development of cataracts.

Sources of dietary zinc are red meat, poultry, fish and seafood, whole cereals and dairy products. Zinc is most available to the body from meat. The bioavailability of plant-based foods is generally lower due to dietary fibre and phytic acid which inhibit the absorption of zinc.

As a vegetarian for almost 30 years, zinc is a dietary supplement I use. Zinc Lozenges can also be used especially for those who tend to get a lot of colds. Research on sublingual administration of zinc to be very effective against colds. Read The Handbook for Curing the Common Cold.

Mild zinc deficiency symptoms include dry and rough skin, dull looking hair, brittle finger nails, white spots on nails, reduced taste and smell, loss of appetite, mood swings, reduced adaptation to darkness, frequent infections, delayed wound healing, dermatitis and acne.

Since I take Chelated Zinc tablets in a formula that helps with assimilation of it by adding herbal and mineral co-factors.

The upper limit for zinc is set at 40 mg per day for adults over 19. Doses up to 30 mg per day are generally well tolerated. Be sure to take zinc with a meal. If taken on an empty stomach it can and probably will make you throw up.

Reference: American Zinc Association

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