This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:   Frankp@chiro.org

If there are terms in these articles you don't understand, you can get a definition from the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary.   If you want information about a specific disease, you can access the Merck Manual.   You can also search Pub Med for more abstracts on this, or any other health topic.

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Conditions That Respond Alternative Medicine Approaches to Disease

Zinc plays an important role in the proper functioning of the body's immune system. Several studies have shown that zinc lozenges shorten the duration of cold symptoms in adults. Zinc is required for a number of activities related to cell reproduction and wound healing. It has also been linked to improvements in one's senses of smell and taste, and is involved in the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates for energy consumption.


Zinc Articles

The Consequences of Zinc Deficiency
Dynamic Chiropractic (July 15, 2013)

A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry [1] underscores the importance of zinc supplementation, especially as we get older, as an important means to help prevent cancer, support immune function, and control inflammation associated with many health problems, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease and diabetes.

New Zinc Research Reveals More Applications
Nutrition Science News (July 2001)

Zinc is one of the nutrients most essential to health. In the last year, research has brought further understanding of zinc's critical role in immune system health. Zinc is now understood to maintain proper functioning of the epithelial cells lining the intestines and blood vessels. In addition, some studies have yielded intriguing results suggesting that zinc may protect against atherosclerosis and diabetes, as well as opportunistic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections, and even the common cold.

Zinc Halts Colds
Nutrition Science News (November 2000)

Zinc lozenges have been used to treat the common cold for a number of years, but research results on their effectiveness have been contradictory. Now, a comprehensive, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted by Ananda Prasad, M.D., Ph.D., of Wayne State University in Detroit has shown that zinc lozenges work.

Zinc, Not Iron, May Be the Answer to Anemia
Nutrition Science News (November 1999)

Anemia, or low red blood cell count, is one of the most common medical conditions among pregnant women and almost inevitably secures a woman a megadose iron prescription. But zinc and iron are both required to build red blood cells (RBC), and deficiencies often occur concurrently. Now a Japanese study shows that supplementing with both minerals is more effective than either alone and that some prenatal anemia is due to a deficiency of zinc, not iron.


Zinc Research

Increased Inflammatory Response in Aged Mice Is Associated With
Age-related Zinc Deficiency and Zinc Transporter Dysregulation

J Nutr Biochem. 2013 (Jan); 24 (1): 353–359 ~ FULL TEXT

Aging is a complex process associated with physiological changes in numerous organ systems. In particular, aging of the immune system is characterized by progressive dysregulation of immune responses, resulting in increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, impaired vaccination efficacy and systemic low-grade chronic inflammation. Increasing evidence suggest that intracellular zinc homeostasis, regulated by zinc transporter expression, is critically involved in the signaling and activation of immune cells. We hypothesize that epigenetic alterations and nutritional deficits associated with aging may lead to zinc transporter dysregulation, resulting in decreases in cellular zinc levels and enhanced inflammation with age. The goal of this study was to examine the contribution of age-related zinc deficiency and zinc transporter dysregulation on the inflammatory response in immune cells. The effects of zinc deficiency and age on the induction of inflammatory responses were determined using an in vitro cell culture system and an aged mouse model. We showed that zinc deficiency, particularly the reduction in intracellular zinc in immune cells, was associated with increased inflammation with age. Furthermore, reduced Zip 6 expression enhanced proinflammatory response, and age-specific Zip 6 dysregulation correlated with an increase in Zip 6 promoter methylation. Furthermore, restoring zinc status via dietary supplementation reduced aged-associated inflammation. Our data suggested that age-related epigenetic dysregulation in zinc transporter expression may influence cellular zinc levels and contribute to increased susceptibility to inflammation with age.

Zinc Intake From Supplements and Diet and Prostate Cancer
Nutrition and Cancer 2009; 61 (2): 206–215

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington evaluated the association between dietary and supplemental zinc and prostate cancer in 35,242 men participating in the VITAL cohort, a study specifically designed to evaluate the impact of dietary supplements on cancer risk. In this study, long-term supplemental zinc intake was associated with reduced risk of clinically relevant advanced disease.

Zinc Supplementation Decreases Incidence of Infections in the Elderly:
Effect of Zinc on Generation of Cytokines and Oxidative Stress

Am J Clin Nutr 2007 (Mar); 85 (3): 837–844

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of zinc supplementation, the incidence of infections was significantly lower, plasma zinc was significantly higher, and generation of tumor necrosis factor alpha and oxidative stress markers was significantly lower in the zinc-supplemented than in the placebo group.

Zinc Supplementation in Infants Born Small for Gestational Age
Reduces Mortality: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Trial

Pediatrics 2001 (Dec); 108 (6): 1280–1286

Zinc supplementation in small for gestational age infants can result in a substantial reduction in infectious disease mortality.

Nutrients and HIV Part II: Vitamins A and E, Zinc, B-Vitamins, and Magnesium
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Feb); 5 (1): 39–51 – FULL TEXT

Vitamin A deficiency is a common occurrence in HIV infection, and serum levels appear to decrease as the disease progresses. (1) Low serum levels of vitamin A were found in 12-19 percent of HIV-positive, asymptomatic subjects in the United States. (1,2) Vitamin A deficiency was found in an increasingly higher proportion of women than men (p< .01) in an HIV-infected, intravenous drug-using population. (3)

Nutrient Intake of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis is Deficient
in Pyridoxine, Zinc, Copper, and Magnesium

J Rheumatol 1996 (Jun); 23 (6): 990–994

Patients with RA ingest too much total fat and too little PUFA and fiber. Their diets are deficient in pyridoxine, zinc and magnesium vs the RDA and copper and folate vs the TAD. These observations, also documented in previous studies, suggest that routine dietary supplementation with multivitamins and trace elements is appropriate in this population.

Immune and Nutritional Recovery of Severely Malnourished Children
Cahiers Sante 1996; 6 (4): 201–208

Children receiving zinc attained immunological recovery within one month, whereas children not receiving zinc took two months. Thus zinc hastened immunological recovery concomitant with nutritional recovery such that the duration of hospitalization could be halved: after one month of this immuno-nutritional treatment, malnourished children appear to be sufficiently healthy to face their pathogenic home environment.

The Biological Significance of Zinc
Anaesthesist 1975 (Aug); 24 (8): 329–342

Zinc takes part in the catalytic function of many metalloenzymes. In others it plays a role in conformational stability. In zinc deficient animals protein synthesis is disturbed. Conversely zinc metabolism is influenced by protein deficiency. Zinc takes part in drug metabolism, in mobilizing vitamin A from the liver, and in a system defending the organism against free radical damage. Zinc distribution in the organism is influenced by steroid hormones and leucocytic endogenous mediators.

Effect of Zinc Supplementation in Fracture Healing
Anaesthesist 1975 (Aug); 24 (8): 329–342

After roentgenological, macroscopic and histological examination of healing of fractures of weekly intervals, it was concluded that the Zinc supplementation to an appreciable extent enhanced the process of bone healing which could be further hastened by addition of Vitamin C and Dianabol. No significant toxic or side effect of zinc supplementation was observed in any of the rabbits.

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