Why It Zinc So Important?
Most people will have heard of Zinc, and to many it will be thought of as a light metal alloy that is used in the building and fabrication trades and of course this is true, but Zinc is much more important than that. Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral and is mined as an ore in many countries around the world, it is a metallic chemical element notated with the symbol Zn, and is number 30 in the atomic elements table.
However apart from its other uses, the mineral zinc it of vital importance to the human body in trace amounts, and a lack of it will almost certainly cause health problems, it should also be noted that too much zinc in the body can also be bad for our health too. As stated, Zinc is an essential mineral that occurs naturally in some foods, it may be added to others, and because of its importance it is also available as a diet supplement.
Zinc is also used extensively in medicine and can be found as an ingredient in many cold remedies, amongst other things. The reason why zinc is vital to our body is fairly complex, but in laymans terms zinc is vital to our metabolism at cell level, and so far it is known to assist in the proper functioning of around 100 enzymes within the body.
Zinc is also vital to our immune systems (hence the use in cold remedies) it is used to help the body make use of the various proteins, it assists in the healing of wounds and lesions, it plays a role in natural cell division, it is required for the synthesis of our DNA, it supports healthy growth and development during pregnancy and through all stages of childhood, right up until the body no longer requires growth. It also helps us to give us our sense of smell and taste.
It can be seen from the above just how vital Zinc is to us as humans, however for whatever reason the body itself has no ability to store unused zinc, therefore we need a steady supply of it to be maintained through what we eat every day.Failure to maintain correct levels of Zinc in our system over time may result in a huge range of associated health problems.
Conversely, too much zinc can also be dangerous to us although it is not likely to occur under normal circumstances.
Zinc as an acne treatment
Many people have used zinc as a treatment for their acne, probably after seeing mentioned somewhere on the net and while many people have had success, just as many have noticed little or no effect.
On the face of it, and because it helps the immune system fight acne-causing bacteria, it would seem to be the answer to the acne problem, but it is a little more complicated than it first appears and it is only when you begin doing a little research you realize why some people have succeeded with Zinc while others have not.
How Zinc May Be Used Effectively
Because of Zinc’s importance as a mineral much scientific study has gone into it, including its use a probable acne cure, but it seems some of this research offers differing results, without baffling the reader with science, there are a couple of things to understand about Zinc and its properties.
It is widely accepted that hormone levels within the body are the biggest single cause of acne, and this definitely true, because of its properties at a cellular level it may also be that the level of Zinc withing the body can play a major role in re-balancing hormone levels, but as pointed out this is not as straightforward as just adding zinc to your diet, there are other factors that come into play.
Firstly you will hear much advice about a good well-balanced diet, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables etc, and it is without question that a good diet is so important for your health, and many foodstuffs will contain trace amounts of zinc, which is good but the important thing to note is that because Zinc is a mineral, it is absorbed by a food plant from the soil it is growing in, it follows therefore that there will only as much of the mineral in the plant as that which is available to it.
Simply put, the amount of zinc found in a plant is in direct relation to that found in the soil, therefore while you may you are getting enough Zinc because you are eating plenty of Zinc-rich produce, in truth you may actually be getting less than you thought.
There is also a second problem with intake of Zinc and that is the presence of trace elements of Copper in the body.
Unfortunately Copper will inhibit the beneficial effects of Zinc, therefore if you have higher than normal Copper levels in the body standard Zinc intakes are not going to be particularly effective if at all, and this may be one of the reasons for differing results in studies.It is possible to have a test that will check your Copper levels, a ‘CU’ test analizes a urine sample in order to check this, and it may be worth having done if your are thinking about using a Zinc acne treatment.
If you are female and taking contraceptive pills, note that these can be high in Copper and will probably raise your trace levels above normal.
If your drink a lot of tap water plumbing systems that use Copper tubing, particulalrly if they are new, for the mains supply can also deposit trace elements into the water, the answer to this is to use a water filter or only drink mineral water.
Be aware also though that trace Copper elements are also vital to a healthy system, just like Zinc and too much or too little can also cause problems, don’t get paranoid though, cases like this are quite rare.
If you are going to use Zinc supplements, be sure to read the label for dosage or better still ask the advice of a doctor or pharmacist.
Effectiveness Of A Zinc Acne Treatment
So can Zinc acne treatment be effective?. As can be seen from the above this is a very complex subject and the bottom line line is it will probably not be effective just to increase your intake of Zinc and hope for the best.
What the correct levels of Zinc will do is ensure your body is in the best possible shape to fight acne bacteria, and assist in the fast healing of lesions and tissue damage, it is certainly something you need to look into if you are struggling with your acne problem.
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