Zinc (Zn) Review Article
ZINC PLUS vitamins of B complex group capsules for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Capsules Zink PLUS contain mineral Zn and vitamins of B complex group. Read more bout B Vitamins. Zinc represented in form of citrate. Zinc is very important nutrient in the integrity and strength of various body structures, such as bones, skin, hair and nails (white spots on the nails may reflect a lack of zinc). Mild acne may respond to zinc supplementation. Biotin is especially important to the development of keratin. Biotin helps fortify and nourish hair & nails. It is important vitamin for structure and stability of hairs and nails.
Each capsule contains: 5 mg Zinc, 1,4 mg B1, 1,6 mg B2, 2,0 mg B6, 1 mkg B12, 150 mkg Biotin, 200 mcg Folic Acid, 18 mg Niacin, 6 mg Pantothenic acid. More about B vitamins. Continue reading...
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Zinc and Immunity
Aside from its several functions in the body, perhaps the most important and relevant function of zinc as a supplement is its role in immunity. Zinc is necessary for the immune system in several levels, from the maintenance of the integrity of the skin, to gene regulation of lymphocytes. It is also important for the development and normal functioning of neutrophils, macrophages and natural killer cells (NK cells). T and B cell proliferation, as well as acquired and humoral immunities are all affected by this trace element (Shankar and Prasad, 1998).. Even apoptosis is affected – zinc deficiency initiates apoptosis.
Clinical trials have supported these findings. In a study by Beck and colleagues (1997), they found that Tcell activity is reduced during zinc deficiency According to Shankar and Prasad (1998), zinc deficient patients have increased susceptibility to infections. Serum levels of zinc decreases sharply in microbial (Sugarman, 1983).
Zinc is a trace element that is essential in the body, because of the several functions it does, as stated. Though only small amounts are needed, the body does not have a mechanism for storage of zinc – as such, replenishment from the diet is necessary. The UK reference nbutruent intake for males and females of zinc is 9.5 and 7.0mg daily (Sweetman, 2009). Zinc is found rich in meat and meat products.
Zinc deficiency occurs during malabsorption syndromes parenteral feeding, or excessive loses of zinc due to trauma, burns or protein wasting. A rare genetic disorder called acrodermatitis enterohepatica can cause zinc deficiency. Abstaining from meat, such as vegetarians and vegans, may also cause zinc deficiency.
Deficiency in zinc includes stunted growth, dermatitis, poor wound healing, teratology (abnormal cell development), anergy (impairment of the immune system to react against foreign substances) and neuropsychological impairments (Sandstead, 1994). Poor appetite, mental lethargy and immune disorders, as well as gonadal growth inhibition was also observed (Prasad, 1995).
As stated, deficiencies in zinc levels have led to serious immunological dysfunctions. Some have even died of infections by the age of 25 (Prasad, 2008). Even mild human zinc deficiency has been observed to produce imbalances in cell-mediated and humoral immunity (Solomons, 1998).
Water soluble zinc salts are approved for use as supplements to correct zinc deficiencies, such as those earlier stated, and in pregnancy. It is also used for the treatment of other conditions related to zinc deficiency, which may include age-related macular degeneration, diarrhea and growth retardation without endocrine abnormaities (Sweetman, 2009). Zinc is also used as copper absorption inhibitors, such as seen in Wilson’s disease and zinc poisoning. Topically, zinc is used for different skin conditions (like acne vulgaris), mainly due to its astringent properties. Some are also used as mouthwashes.
In a study by Sandstead (1994), they stated that an interaction of zinc and copper results to lower copper absorption and impairment of copper-dependent reactions. In addition to copper, fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin absorption is decreased. Folic acid, an important vitamin for pregnant women, impairs zinc metabolism, as well as penicillamine, phosphorus containing preparations and tetracyclines (Sweetman, 2009).
Several preparations of zinc supplement are given in combination with vitamin C or ascorbic acid as a vitamin and mineral combination. It is combined because of the perceived synergistic actions for flu, wound healing and improved immune system.
Zinc and Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water soluble compound known as an antioxidant. It reacts with harmful free-radicals (reactive oxygen species) in the body preventing possible damage to the tissues. Ascorbic acid is also of grave importance in the immune system. It acts as a coenzyme in hydroxylation reactions, mainly of prolyl- and lysyl-residues of collagen, improving wound healing, similar to zinc (Dreizen, 1979). With improved wound healing, entry of microbes in the body is prevented. Vitamin C was also found to improve lymphocyte proliferation, improve the activities of NK cells, promote chemotaxis and delayed hypersensitivity reactions (Wintergerst, 2006). In terms of flu or the common colds, vitamin C reduces the intensity, improves the symptoms and decreases the duration of the disease.
Zinc, as stated, has a pivotal role in immune response. In addition, several studies have related the efficacy of zinc in the management of the common cold. In a review made by Hulisz (2003), he had concluded that zinc is of great value in reducing the duration and severity of the symptoms of the common colds when administered within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. If given for at least five months, the incidence of cold was also reduced, as well as the requirement for antibiotic therapy (Singh and Das, 2011).
With both zinc and vitamin C having an important role in the enhancement of the immune system and in the treatment of the common cold, it can be concluded that they can be used together. Both vitamin c and zinc can be synergistically used together – a very good rationale for giving them in combination. In the study by Wintergerst (2006), they had found that adequate intake of a combination of the two improved the symptoms of respiratory tract infections like flu, and have reduced the incidence of pneumonia malaria and diarrhea. In an animal study made by Bhar and colleagues (2003), they found that supplementation of vitamin c in combination with zinc improved wound healing, antibody response and growth performance.
Adverse effects, Contraindications
The most common adverse effect of zinc administration is gastrointestinal disturbances, which include abdominal pain, dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastritis amd gastric irritation. Giving zinc with food reduces the occurrence of these adverse effects.
Prolonged use of zinc, especially in high doses leads to copper deficiency, sideroblastic anemia and neutropenia.
Beck, F. W., Prasad, A. S., Kaplan, J., et al., 1997, Changes in cytokine production and T cell subpopulations in experimentally induced zinc-deficient humans
Bhar, R., Maiti, S. K., Goswami, T. K., et al., 2003, Effect of dietary vitamin c and zinc supplementation on wound healing
Dreizen, S., 1979, Nutrition and the immune response – a review
Hulisz, D., 2003, Efficacy of zinc against common cold viruses: an overview
Prasad, A. S., 1995, Zinc: an overview
Prasad, A. S., 2000, Zinc in human health: effect of zinc on immune cells
Russel, R. M., Cox, M. E., and Solomons, N., 1983, Zinc and the special senses
Sandstead, H. H., 1994, Understanding zinc: recent observations and interpretation
Schwartz, J. R., Marsh, R. G., and Draelos, Z. D., 2005, Zinc and skin health: overview of physiology and pharmacology
Shankar, A. H., and Prasad, A. S., 1998, Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection
Singh, M., and Das, R. R., 2011, Zinc for the common cold
Solomons, N. W., 1998, Mild human zinc deficiency produces an imbalance between cell-mediated and humoral immunity
Starcher, B. C., Hill, C. H., and Madaras, J. G., 1980, Effects of deficiency on bone collagenase and collagen turnover
Sweetman, S. C. ed., 2009, Martindale, The complete drug reference 36th ed, London: Pharmaceutical Press, 1999-2000
Sugarman, B., 1983, Zinc and infection
Wintergerst, E. S., Maggini, S., and Hornig, D. H., 2006, Immune-enhancing role of vitamin c and zinc and effect on clinical conditions.
Antioxidants and Vitamines
Zinc (Zn) Review Article