Zinc has long been known as an essential element for healthy skin, a healthy immune system, and balanced hormone production in the body. It is well known for being an effective ingredient in suncreen (which doctors recommend so prominantly) and cold remedies.
You may be surprised to know that zinc is one of the best promoters of skin healing. Doctors have long known that oral zinc supplements help heal bed sores (which is why they are given to bed-ridden patients in hospitals), skin ulcers, cold sores, canker sores, cuts and burns, and many other skin ailments. Physicians often recommend zinc supplements because it is an essential components in the proper functioning of enzymes that are required by the body to repair skin wounds, as zinc plays a key role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in your body.
Zinc is also effective in the treatment of skin irritation, diaper rash, and dermatitis. It is the main active ingredient in diaper cream and dandruff shampoo. Zinc pyrithione is the main ingredient in dandruff shampoo and can also be supplemented orally (under the advice of a physician).
Another amazing benefit of zinc is the treatment and prevention of acne. Zinc (only in the form of zinc gluconate or zinc sulfate) can potentially help to heal acne breakouts, reduce redness and inflammation caused by acne, and can effectively reduce oily skin. Doctors say zinc may help ance by reducing androgenic hormonal effects on skin that contribute to acne breakouts. This means that zinc balances hormones and helps to regulate the skin’s oil gland activity. In one study, Zinc supplements were shown to be nearly as effective as anti-biotics in the treament of chronic acne.
Doctor Oz recently noted on his show the importance of zinc in promoting overall healthy functioning on the body. According to Doctor Oz, your body has no way to store zinc so it is therefore necessary to consume zinc daily to ensure proper bodily functioning. While Zinc can be obtained through diet by eating oysters, meat, poultry, whole grains, crab, lobster, and beans, most Americans eat enough to get their daily recommmended allowance of the essential mineral.
Physicians recommend up about 30 mg of Zinc Gluconate. Doctors warn not to exceed more than 100 mg of supplemental zinc a day as these upper levels could become toxic. Zinc supplements can cause upset stomach and nausea. If this occurs, try taking the supplement either before bed or after a big meal.
Vegetarians also need to be aware of zinc deficiency, as zinc is mostly obtained from animal foods in the diet. It is probably a good idea for vegans and vegetarians to supplement zinc under the supervision of their physician.
Also, copper is a well know competitor of zinc. Excess levels of copper hinders the action of zinc in your body. Whatsmore, with the prominents use of copper piping and widespread use of birth control pills (very high in copper), copper toxicity and therefore zinc deficiency has become more commonplace. If you have high levels of copper in your body, then you may need to take zinc in as high as 300 mg a day for before you will get results. But please consult your doctor before considering these types of high doses of zinc.