Zinc may help to address the following conditions:
acne
Some researchers believe acne to be a zinc and essential fatty acid deficiency disease. Temporary doses of 100 mg of zinc have been recommended to clear acne stemming from deficiency in this vitamin.
aging
Symptoms of zinc deficiency may be confused with slowed healing due to the aging process. The happy result is that when healing is slower than it should be, zinc supplements may correct the problem.
human immunodeficiency virus
Zinc deficiency is common among patients with HIV/AIDS, and is associated with increased vulnerability to opportunistic infection. Restoring zinc levels (with doses up to 100 mg per day) has been shown to increase CD4 counts and stabilize immune function.
alcoholism
Zinc depletion exacerbates the destructive effects of alcohol, and alcohol depletes existing stores of the mineral. Conversely, supplemental zinc has shown a protective effect against alcoholic liver lesions.
allergies
Bringing zinc intake to adequate levels can address food allergies and other immune system malfunctions.
Alzheimer's disease
Evidence suggests that maintaining adequate zinc levels is important to Alzheimer's patients, although supplementation is not always helpful. Excess zinc may actually advance the disease process by inducing nerve death.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Changes in zinc metabolism that result in low zinc levels have been linked to the development of neurological diseases such as ALS. Unfortunately, zinc supplementation does not affect the course of ALS, but there is speculation that maintaining optimal zinc levels might help prevent its development.
anemia
Sickle cell anemia depletes the body of zinc, making supplementation important for those afflicted by this disease. However, zinc competes for absorption with iron, copper, and manganese so that oversupplementation may contribute to iron deficiency and other anemias associated with mineral depletion.
arteriosclerosis
Zinc deficiency may result in arteriosclerosis; low levels have been reported in the brains of subjects suffering from hardening of the arteries.
arthritis
Zinc deficiency can be found in most cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Zinc supplementation is most helpful when combined with a small amount of copper, with the recommended ratio of zinc to copper being 8:1.
blindness
Zinc deficiency contributes to macular degeneration.
macular degeneration
Zinc in combination with antioxidants can slow progression of macular degeneration. Zinc supplements of from 80-200 mg have been recommended for this purpose.
hearing problems
Low zinc serum levels have been associated with tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss. For zinc-deficient individuals, hearing may be helped by zinc supplementation in higher-than-normal doses. Owing to zinc's adverse effect on copper status, deficiency should be confirmed prior to high-dose supplementation, and dosage should be medically supervised.
blood sugar disorders
Zinc helps the pancreas manufacture insulin, thereby helping to balance blood sugar.
body odor
Next to magnesium, zinc is the natural supplement most likely to help resolve body odor.
Huntington's disease
Zinc deficiency is associated with Huntington's disease. Zinc supplementation may be of some help.
brain fog
Lower than optimum levels of zinc are associated with dementia, attention deficit disorder, and depression.
developmental disorders
Zinc is important to synaptic communication in the brain and is of particular importance to learning and memory. Zinc deficiency has been shown to result in impaired brain development and consequent behavioral and emotional problems and learning disorders.
eating disorders
Zinc deficiency is associated with both anorexia and bulemia. Remarkably, improvement has been seen in both body image and purging behavior in bulemics who received zinc supplementation.
canker sore
Topical application of zinc can be useful in treating canker sores.
cardiovascular disease
Zinc deficiency has been linked to inflammation, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
cataract
Zinc supplementation helps to treat and prevent cataracts.
postviral fatigue syndrome
CFS sufferers are often deficient in zinc, resulting in compromised immune function. Zinc is also essential for proper function of many of the body's enzyme systems, and supports digestion and metabolism.
collagen production
Zinc is necessary for collagen production and maintenance.
depression
Depression is one of many symptoms associated with zinc deficiency.
diabetes
Zinc helps the pancreas manufacture insulin, and helps lower cholesterol in those with diabetes.
dysentery
Correcting zinc deficiency with zinc supplements has reduced the number of dysentery cases among children in developing countries.
dyslexia
Children with dyslexia are often severely zinc deficient. Correcting zinc deficiency can improve learning and behavior in children with developmental dyslexia.
ear symptoms
Cracking skin behind the ears is a symptom of zinc deficiency.
eczema
Topical application of zinc oxide can sooth itching from eczema. Dr. Jonathan Wright, M.D. has prescribed supplementation with zinc, vitamin C and fatty acids to treat atopic (allergy-induced) eczema. He notes that zinc is "crucial to the transformation of some of the nutritionallly derived essential fatty acids to their active form."
epilepsy
Low levels of zinc are found in the brains of epileptics. However, the mineral's possible role in controlling the disease is controversial.
esophageal cancer
Zinc deficiency has been found to increase the risk of esophageal cancer in animals by rendering carcinogenic nitrosamines more dangerous.
female infertility
Zinc deficiency causes chromosome damage in both men and women, increasing the risk of infertility and miscarriage. Chromosomal abnormalities account for up to 60% of pregnancy losses.
pregnancy
Zinc deficiency in pregnant women adversely affects the behavior of offspring, leading to lowered learning ability, lethargy, and mental retardation. In extreme cases, zinc deficient fetuses experience hydrocephalus.
brittle nails
White spots on fingernails are a cardinal symptom of zinc deficiency.
food allergies
Zinc deficiency can contribute to food allergies and many other digestion-related disorders.
cancer
Zinc deficiency helps to promote cancer. Zinc stores are also depleted in the early inflammatory stages of cancer development. Supplementation to high-normal levels stimulates the formation of tumor-fighting white blood cells.
cystic fibrosis
Zinc, in doses of 10-30 mg per day, has been recommended to support immunity in patients with CF.
immune disorders
Zinc is essential for a healthy immune system, although many nutritionists caution that dosage should not exceed 70 mg daily. Doses of 100 mg or more may suppress, rather than enhance, immunity.
erectile dysfunction
Zinc deficiency is associated with impotence in men on dialysis and those men who ingest very high levels of phytates.
colitis/inflammatory bowel disorders
Zinc supplementation is often necessary for those suffering from Crohn's disease, 40% of whom suffer from a deficiency.
intermittent claudication
Zinc benefits those with severe vascular disease, whether or not they are zinc deficient.
leg ulcers
Topical application of zinc oxide paste improves healing of leg ulcers by 83 percent, according to research reported in the UK medical journal, Lancet. The risk of developing these wounds is increased when zinc levels are below normal. Recommended intake is from 12 to 20 mg daily.
menstruation
Zinc deficiency can decrease the body's production of progesterone, which contributes to the sugar and salt cravings that occur premenstrually.
muscle conditions
Zinc deficiency can lead to muscle atrophy through suboptimal protein synthesis.
nervous system disorders
Zinc deficiency can result in schizophrenia and other disorders associated with deterioration of the brain and nervous system. Low zinc levels in sweat and hair are associated with dyslexia, and zinc deficiency is implicated in epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and depression.
Parkinson's disease
Zinc deficiency can result in several disorders associated with deterioration of the brain and nervous system. Low zinc levels in sweat and hair are associated with dyslexia, and zinc deficiency is implicated in epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and depression.
premenstrual syndrome
Premenstrual tension is associated with low levels of zinc, which appears to be displaced by high blood levels of copper. Zinc deficiency results in lowered progesterone production, which is associated with intense craving for sweets.
prostate disorders
Zinc deficiency results in prostate enlargement and can negatively impact testosterone production and sperm quality. For men with zinc deficiency due to diet or alcohol consumption, supplements of 50-75 mg can reduce prostate size.
male infertility
Zinc supplementation can markedly increase fertility in males with low testosterone levels. In one two-month study nine pregnancies occurred in the wives of 22 zinc-supplemented men who had previously low testosterone levels. Improvement was not seen in men whose testosterone levels were normal prior to supplementation.
reproductive disorders
Chromosomal abnormalities account for up to 60% of pregnancy losses. Zinc deficiency causes chromosome damage in both men and women, increasing risk of infertility and miscarriage. Zinc is also essential to the development of healthy sperm, and low levels are associated with reduced sperm count.
schizophrenia
High copper intake creates a corresponding zinc deficiency, which in turn causes many cases of schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. Dr. Cal Pfeiffer successfully treated many patients with high copper status using zinc supplements along with manganese, molybdenum, and vitamin B6.
skin disorders
Topical application of zinc oxide can soothe itching from eczema. Dr. Jonathan Wright, M.D. has used supplementation with zinc, vitamin C and fatty acids to treat atopic (allergy-induced) eczema. He notes that zinc is "crucial to the transformation of some of the nutritionallly derived essential fatty acids to their active form."
smell (impaired)
Zinc is essential to the body's ability to taste and smell. Zinc deficiency often follows an infection, leading to a temporary loss or blunting of these senses.
stretch marks
Zinc deficiency has been credited with the development of stretch marks during pregnancy. Pregnancy places a high demand on the mineral for fetal development.
taste, impaired
Zinc is essential to the body's ability to taste and smell. Zinc deficiency often follows an infection, leading to a temporary loss or blunting of these senses.
tongue symptoms
One Scottish study of patients with the condition known as geographic tongue found that supplementation with zinc cured nearly all cases.
toxic exposure
Vulnerability to lead absorption is enhanced by deficiencies in zinc, calcium and other minerals.
ulcer (skin)
Zinc deficiency is associated with poor wound healing. Topical application of zinc oxide paste has improved healing in patients with poor zinc levels. Healing of skin ulcers due to sickle cell anemia was nearly three times faster in patients treated with 150 mg of zinc daily, in one double-blind trial.
Wilson's disease
Zinc helps prevent toxic accumulations of copper in those with Wilson's disease, halting otherwise progressive damage to the liver, brain, and other organs.
wound healing
Zinc deficiency is associated with poor wound healing. Topical application of zinc oxide paste has improved healing in patients with poor zinc levels. In one double-blind trial, healing of skin ulcers due to sickle cell anemia was nearly three times faster in patients treated with 150 mg of zinc daily.
attention deficit disorder
Low zinc levels in sweat and hair are associated with dyslexia, and zinc deficiency is implicated in ADHD and depression.
geographic tongue
One Scottish study of patients with the condition known as geographic tongue found that supplementation with zinc cured nearly all cases.
 

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