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What does zinc do for the skin?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
Adequate zinc levels are necessary for proper immune system function, and zinc deficiency results in an increased susceptibility to infection. Zinc appears to be vital for normal thymus gland functioning in the synthesis and secretion of thymic hormones, and in the protection of the thymus from cellular damage. Several defects in immune function related to aging are reversible upon zinc supplementation, highlighting the importance of this nutrient for the elderly. As well as stimulating the immune system, zinc has displayed virus-inhibiting activity. In one double-blind clinical study, zinc supplementation significantly reduced the average duration of colds by seven days.

Zinc is also required for protein synthesis, cell growth, and wound healing. Zinc supplementation has been shown to decrease wound-healing time, while a zinc deficiency leads to prolongation of the wound. A high zinc intake is indicated to aid protein synthesis and cell growth following any sort of trauma, including burns, surgery, and wounds. Zinc is essential for the maintenance of vision, taste, and smell, too.
Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

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Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology
Zinc is found in turkey, almonds, Brazil nuts, and wheat germ. This anti-inflammatory mineral calms irritation in the epidermis and helps to heal acne and treat rosacea. It also facilitates cell regeneration.
Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

More About this Book

Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.