Zinc Supplements - Think Zinc !

The immune system is adversely affected by even moderate degrees of zinc deficiency. Severe zinc deficiency depresses immune function.

Why zinc supplements?

Zinc's role in strengthening a women's immune system is rapidly being recognized as critical.
Without enough zinc, the body can't produce thymulin -- a substance which helps make mature T-cells, some of the body's strongest defenders against infections and cancer. The immune system weakens with age, and zinc deficiency may be partly to blame.

Zinc deficiency is now recognized as a common public health problem: nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of inadequate zinc intake.

Zinc deficiency has now been recognized to be associated with many diseases - malabsorption syndrome, chronic liver disease, chronic renal disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, malignancy and other chronic illnesses.

Zinc sulphate appeared to reduce the number of episodes and the recovery time of cold sores in patients in an August 2005 study at the University of Medicines and Surgery, Naples, Italy. Other studies have shown that zinc works well against cold sores.

As new studies reveal the dramatic role minerals play in maintaining health and fighting disease, medical science is recognizing zinc as a natural treatment that can be safe, inexpensive and beneficial for the whole body.

In a new book, Natural Prescriptions, Dr. Robert M. Giller, recommends zinc for over 25 disorders including acne, cold sores, eczema, burns, glaucoma, impotence, tendinitis, PMS, diabetes and macular degeneration. He backs his advice with published medical research and 20 years of clinical experience. Dr. Giller writes that adequate zinc intake can play a role in preventing or slowing the development of many diseases.

A USDA study found that semen volume dropped 30 percent when zinc intake was low. And research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that male volunteers consuming only 1.4 milligrams of zinc exhibited decreased semen volumes and serum testosterone concentrations.

Zinc deficiency has been found to have a severe impact on the male prostate gland. According to David Perlmutter, M.D., zinc deficiency predisposes the prostate to infection (prostatis) which may lead to scarring and enlargement of the prostate gland. Physicians, therefore, are recommending supplemental zinc for overall prostate health. The progressive enlargement of the prostate gland is thought to occur because of an accumulation of the male hormone testosterone which converts into a much more potent hormone that causes prostate cells to multiply.

Oral and esophageal cancers are associated with nutritional zinc deficiency, and a rise in the expression of the enzyme COX-2 is connected with these cancers.

Zinc given orally to zinc-deficient rats reverses the development of precancerous conditions in the esophagus and tongue. These findings suggest that zinc supplements may prevent the development of esophageal or oral cancers. Zinc in the diet comes mostly from red meat and seafood. Up to 10 percent of Americans have a zinc-deficient diet.

Epidemiological evidence show the incidence of esophageal and oral cancers is rising in recent years. As many as 13,000 Americans die from esophageal cancer each year.

Zinc deficiency increases cell proliferation in the esophagus and in the tongue, making both areas susceptible to carcinogens and increasing the risk of cancer development. Rats given a carcinogen while on a zinc-deficient diet developed esophageal cancer. Giving zinc prevented the cancer.

Zinc also plays a role in maintaining vision. In particular, it's needed for night vision and it may also slow the progression of macular degeneration, a disorder of the retina that is the leading cause of severe loss of vision in older women.

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Click on the author's name to view the abstract


Black RE. Zinc deficiency, infectious disease and mortality
in the developing world.
J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5 Suppl 1):1485S-9S.


Crohn's disease


El-Tawil AM. Zinc deficiency in men with Crohn's disease
may contribute to poor sperm function and male infertility.

Andrologia. 2003 Dec;35(6):337-41.

Sturniolo GC, Di Leo V, Ferronato A, D'Odorico A, D'Inca
R. Zinc supplementation tightens "leaky gut"
in Crohn's disease.

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2001 May;7(2):94-8.


Myung SJ, Yang SK, Jung HY, Jung SA, Kang GH, Ha HK, Hong
WS, Min YI. Zinc deficiency manifested by dermatitis
and visual dysfunction in a patient with Crohn's disease.

J Gastroenterol. 1998 Dec;33(6):876-9.


Belluzzi A, Brignola C, Campieri M, Gionchetti P, Rizzello
F, Boschi S, Cunanne S, Miglioli M, Barbara L. Short
report: zinc sulphate supplementation corrects abnormal
erythrocyte membrane long-chain fatty acid composition in
patients with Crohn's disease.
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1994 Feb;8(1):127-30.


Boosting the Immune System


Peake JM, Gerrard DF, Griffin JF. Plasma zinc and immune
markers in runners in response to a moderate increase in
training volume.

Int J Sports Med. 2003 Apr;24(3):212-6.

Dardenne M. Zinc and immune function.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Aug;56 Suppl 3:S20-3.


Fraker PJ, King LE, Laakko T, Vollmer TL. The dynamic
link between the integrity of the immune system and zinc

J Nutr. 2000 May;130(5S Suppl):1399S-406S.


Rink L, Gabriel P. Zinc and the immune system.

Proc Nutr Soc. 2000 Nov;59(4):541-52.


Al-Gurairi FT, Al-Waiz M, Sharquie KE. Oral zinc sulphate
in the treatment of recalcitrant viral warts: randomized
placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Br J Dermatol. 2002 Mar;146(3):423-31.


Maes M, Vandoolaeghe E, Neels H, Demedts P, Wauters A, Meltzer
HY, Altamura C, Desnyder R. Lower serum zinc in major
depression is a sensitive marker of treatment resistance
and of the immune/inflammatory response in that illness.
Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Sep 1;42(5):349-58.


Stehbens WE. Oxidative stress, toxic hepatitis, and
antioxidants with particular emphasis on zinc.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2003 Dec;75(3):265-76.



Wound Healing


Andrews M, Gallagher-Allred C. The role of zinc in wound
Adv Wound Care. 1999 Apr;12(3):137-8.


Igarashi A, Yamaguchi M. Increase in bone growth factors
with healing rat fractures: the enhancing effect of zinc.

Int J Mol Med. 2001 Oct;8(4):433-8.


Nezu R, Takagi Y, Ito T, Matsuda H, Okada A. The importance
of total parenteral nutrition-associated tissue zinc distribution
in wound healing.

Surg Today. 1999;29(1):34-41.


Cancer Prevention


Lee DH, Anderson KE, Harnack LJ, Folsom AR, Jacobs DR Jr.
Heme iron, zinc, alcohol consumption, and colon cancer:
Iowa Women's Health Study.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004 Mar 3;96(5):403-7.


Rishi I, Baidouri H, Abbasi JA, Bullard-Dillard R, Kajdacsy-Balla
A, Pestaner JP, Skacel M, Tubbs R, Bagasra O. Prostate
cancer in African American men is associated with downregulation
of zinc transporters.
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2003 Sep;11(3):253-60.


Ho E, Courtemanche C, Ames BN. Zinc deficiency induces
oxidative DNA damage and increases p53 expression in human
lung fibroblasts.

J Nutr. 2003 Aug;133(8):2543-8.


Cunzhi H, Jiexian J, Xianwen Z, Jingang G, Shumin Z, Lili
D. Serum and tissue levels of six trace elements and
copper/zinc ratio in patients with cervical cancer and uterine
Biol Trace Elem Res. 2003 Aug;94(2):113-22.


Prasad AS, Kucuk O. Zinc in cancer prevention.

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2002;21(3-4):291-5.

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