Biophysica Incorporated

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Zinc Benefits

Biophysical Properties of Zinc  

Our colloidal generator will make 5 litres of colloidal zinc and also colloidal silver, colloidal magnesium, colloidal gold.  Zinc is friendly to the environment and human health. Zinc is a natural constituent of soil and is second only to iron as a metal naturally present in the human body. The National Research Council has established a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 30 mg of zinc for human consumption.

Zinc inhibits the proliferation of many viruses, moss, fungus, algae and mildew.

Zinc mineral water ( Colloidal Zinc) can be made using our colloidal generator


The body contains 2 to 3 g of zinc (Zn), found mainly in bones, teeth, hair, skin, liver, muscle, leukocytes, and testes. One third of the 100 µg/dL (15.3 µmol/L) of zinc found in plasma is attached loosely to albumin, and about 2/3 is firmly bound to globulins. There are > 100 zinc metalloenzymes, including a large number of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) dehydrogenases, RNA and DNA polymerases, and DNA transcription factors as well as alkaline phosphatase, superoxide dismutase, and carbonic anhydrase. Dietary intake of zinc by healthy adults varies from 6 to 15 mg/day, and absorption is about 20%. Meat, liver, eggs, and seafood (especially oysters) are good sources. The RDA is 0.2 mg/kg/day for adults.


The signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency include anorexia, growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, hypogonadism and hypospermia, alopecia, immune disorders, dermatitis, night blindness, impaired taste (hypogeusia), and impaired wound healing. The first signs of zinc deficiency in marginally nourished children are suboptimal growth, anorexia, and impaired taste. The most serious manifestations of zinc deficiency were reported in Iranian dwarfs. These adolescent boys, who consumed large amounts of clay, were retarded in growth and sexual development and had anemia, hypogonadism, hepatosplenomegaly, rough skin, and mental lethargy. After treatment with a well-balanced diet containing adequate amounts of zinc for 1 yr, pubic hair appeared, sexual organs increased in size, linear growth was resumed, and the skin became normal. The anemia responded to iron supplements. Zinc deficiency develops in some patients with cirrhosis because the ability to retain zinc is lost.

Biochemical signs associated with zinc deficiency include decreased levels of plasma zinc (< 70 µg/dL [< 10.7 µmol/L]), alkaline phosphatase, alcohol dehydrogenase in the retina (which accounts for night blindness), and plasma testosterone as well as impaired T-lymphocyte function, decreased collagen synthesis (resulting in poor wound healing), and decreased RNA polymerase activity in several tissues.

Clinical assessment of mild zinc deficiency is difficult because many of the signs and symptoms are nonspecific. Nonetheless, if a malnourished person has a borderline-low plasma zinc level, is subsisting on a high fiber and phytate diet containing whole-grain bread (which reduces zinc absorption), and has reduced taste sensitivity, an impaired lymphocyte response to mitogens, and reduced gonadal hormone function, then zinc deficiency should be suspected, and treatment with zinc supplements (15 to 25 mg/day) should be tried.

Maternal zinc deficiency may cause anencephaly in the fetus. Secondary deficiency occurs in liver disease, in malabsorption states, and during prolonged parenteral nutrition. Night blindness and mental lethargy may be features.

Acrodermatitis enteropathica–a rare autosomal recessive, once fatal disorder–results from malabsorption of zinc. The defect involves the failure to generate a transport protein that enables zinc to be absorbed in the intestine. Symptoms usually begin after an infant is weaned from breast milk. This disorder is characterized by psoriasiform dermatitis, hair loss, paronychia, growth retardation, and diarrhea. Zinc sulfate 30 to 150 mg/day orally results in complete remission.


Ingesting zinc in large amounts (200 to 800 mg/day), usually by consuming acidic food or drink from a galvanized container, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Doses of zinc ranging from 100 to 150 mg/day interfere with copper metabolism and cause hypocupremia, RBC microcytosis, and neutropenia. Metal fume fever, also called brass-founders’ ague or zinc shakes, is an industrial hazard caused by inhaling zinc oxide fumes; it results in neurologic damage.

Is Zinc toxic?

Only to fungus type organisms (fungus, moss, algae and mildew). Z-Stop is not toxic to anything else – humans, animals, plants and fish are not affected in any way. Z-Stop has been fully approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).


Atomic Number:
Atomic Weight:
7.133 gm/cc
Melting Point:
419.58 oC
Boiling Point:
907 oC
Thermal Conductivity:
1.16 W/cm/oK @ 298.2 oK
Electrical Resistivity:
5.916 microhm-cm @ 20 oC
1.6 Paulings
Specific Heat:
0.0928 Cal/g/oK @ 25 oC
Heat of Vaporization:
27.4 K-Cal/gm atom at 907 oC
Heat of Fusion:
1.595 Cal/gm mole

Articles, Scientific Papers, Press Releases on Zinc


The addition of zinc to standard antimicrobial treatment may accelerate recovery from pneumonia, say researchers in this week’s issue of THE LANCET.

Pneumonia is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children less than five years old. Zinc is reported to prevent pneumonia, and to prevent and treat diarrhoea, and it may boost the body’s immune response to infection.W Abdullah Brooks and colleagues from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, investigated whether zinc would help children between 2 and 23 months old with severe pneumonia. 270 children were randomly assigned to receive 20 mg zinc per day, or a placebo, in addition to standard hospital antibiotics.Children given zinc recovered from severe pneumonia an average of one day earlier than did those given placebo, and their average stay in hospital was one day shorter. The zinc supplement was safe and well tolerated. Since a course of zinc treatment costs only US$0·15, and one day in the study hospital costs US$25, the potential cost savings are substantial.Dr Brooks comments: “The effects on treatment failure are striking, have significant implications for reduction of antimicrobial resistance by decreasing multiple antibiotic exposures, and could help reduce complications and death in situations where second line drugs are not available.”Lancet 2004; 363: 1683-88


No Health without ZINC
Michael Martin looks at the benefits of the metal to human well-being

Zinc can combat childhood killers
Link to:

Zinc and Human Health – Conclusions of the International Conference, Stockholm, June 12-14, 2000
48% of the World Population at Risk of Zinc Deficiency?

New Initiative to Combat Malnutrition

Benefits of Zinc Supplementation for Stunted Children in Ethiopia
The Global Nutrition Challenge
Zinc Health Highlights
Zinc for Child Health
Links – Zinc, Zinc Lozenge Sites and Articles
Press Release – Zinc Information Nutrition Center Opens in New York City
Athletes need Enough Zinc
The Role of Zinc in Child Health
Nutritional Status in Peru:
Is zinc a common nutritional deficiency?
Zinc Deficiency and Development
Interventions to Improve Zinc Status
Zinc – an Essential Element for Health
Inadequate Intakes of Zinc in Developing Countries –
Practical household strategies to reduce risk of deficiency
Zinc and Obstetrics
Zinc Supplementation and Children’s Growth: 
a meta-analysis of intervention trials
The Protective Role of Zinc Oxide
Zinc – The Nutrient of the 90’s
Free video – Zinc and Health video available

Zinc – A Medicine for the 21st Century
ABC 7 – Eyewitness news ”
(Broadcast on October 11 1999)

Zinc Oxide Nanomaterials Launched

Nanophase Technologies Corporation, a leader in nanomaterials and nanoengineered products, has announced commercial availability of doped zinc oxide nanomaterials. The zinc oxide dopants include aluminum, copper, and silver at dopant levels ranging from several ppms to several percent. Doped zinc oxide nanomaterials are targeted at a wide variety of potential applications including antimicrobial agents (antifungal, antibacterial, and antifouling), opto-electronics, and tailored UV absorption.

Dr. Ed Ludwig, Nanophase’s Vice President of Business Development, stated, “Zinc oxide based materials are known to offer significant benefits as antimicrobial agents. They have demonstrated antimicrobial activity, are non-irritating, and absorb moisture and odors. Their thermal stability imparts permanence to their activity and enables these materials to be incorporated into plastics and on surfaces that experience extreme processing or harsh application environments – yet they remain active. In addition they are GRAS (‘generally regarded as safe’) materials.”

The company says that doped zinc oxides may have applications as opto-electronic materials. Zinc oxide is a semiconductor; doping zinc oxide allows the band gap to be changed – affecting the optical (absorption of UV radiation), electrical, and magnetic material properties. While still early in application development, the company is interested in the potential to tailor doping levels of zinc oxide to nanoengineer materials for targeted applications, including semi-insulating substrates, UV LEDs, laser diodes, photodetectors, and conductive materials.

Nanophase’s doped zinc oxides are non-porous, dense, discrete, homogeneous, single-phase crystals. Doped zinc oxide nanomaterials are commercially produced using Nanophase’s patented PVS technology at varying compositions, which are adjusted to meet specific application requirements, in nanoparticle size ranges less than 100 nanometers. Nanophase has annual commercial production capability for zinc oxide and doped zinc oxide nanomaterials in the metric tons range and offers these nanostructured materials as nanopowders and as dispersions using its proprietary (patent pending) dispersion technologies. All of Nanophase’s nanoengineered products are manufactured under the Company’s cGMP and ISO-9001: 2000 quality system. For additional information, contact Dr. Ed Ludwig, Nanophase’s Vice President of Business Development at email, or Ian Roberts, Vice President U.S. and International Sales at email See also

Zinc Ions and SARS

Dr George Rowland, a British immunologist and biochemist based in South Africa and an authority on zinc ion technologies, believes that zinc ions may prove of benefit in the current SARS crisis. His work led to the development of Zinc Advance™ in the United Kingdom.

Dr Rowland believes that the fact that SARS is caused by a coronavirus, related to a group of viruses causing the common cold, may be of considerable significance because there is evidence that zinc ions provide a natural protective mechanism against viruses, especially those causing respiratory tract infections. Over the past 30 years, researchers have demonstrated the critical role of zinc in diverse physiological processes, such as growth and development, maintenance and priming of the immune system, and tissue repair.

Dr Rowland writes: “Direct antiviral effects of zinc ions have been demonstrated against rhinoviruses responsible for the common cold and the role of zinc in the respiratory epithelium has recently come under scrutiny. Zinc has also been shown to directly decrease the incidence of respiratory infections in young children in developing countries, probably by mechanisms that involve restoration of T-cell immunity lost as a result of deficiency of this mineral. Zinc tablets and fortified foods both aim to deliver the zinc through gastrointestinal absorption, which can be very inefficient. Plant phytates and the presence of other essential minerals such as iron and calcium can all reduce zinc uptake from the gut. A better route for zinc absorption is the mouth and throat. The development of zinc lozenges that release zinc ions in the buccal cavity can have great benefits for both local actions to combat respiratory tract viruses and to facilitate general zinc repletion.”

Although zinc lozenges are available, most products fail to achieve their goals because the amount of zinc they contain is too low rendering them sub-therapeutic or because the formulation contains substances such as Vitamin C that trap the zinc ions. A pleasant-tasting zinc lozenge with sufficient dose has eluded most manufacturers but new research has led to the development and patent application of maximum strength 15mg (100% RDA) zinc lozenges such as Zinc Advance™.

Dr Rowland says: “When released in the vicinity of the oral mucous membranes, zinc ions can protect cells from attack by viruses such as rhinoviruses. It is believed that zinc ions attach to cell surface receptors thereby blocking viral attachment and uncoating. Whilst there is no evidence that attachment of the coronavirus causing SARS can be blocked by zinc ions, they are thought to help repair microscopic holes punched in cell membranes by viruses. I believe there could be considerable benefit from the widespread use of maximum strength 100% zinc lozenges as a precautionary measure during the SARS pandemic. Moreover, the extensive use of such lozenges would raise the general level of immune status in the community with several important potential consequences:
1. An increase of the general resistance to viral infections
2. Possible reduction in the mortality rate from infections such as SARS
3. Reduction in the number of other viral infections that cause fevers.”

Zinc Advance Maximum Strength 100% zinc lozenges are available from Zeon Healthcare directly on . Each pack contains 18 x 15mg 100% RDA zinc and retails for GBP2.89.

Zinc in Animal Feeds Reviewed

The European Union’s Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition (SCAN) recently published a review of zinc in feeding stuffs. The Committee concludes that zinc is an essential trace element necessary for all animals which has to be provided in feed to ensure that animals cover their requirements. Currently, zinc is authorized in the EU for all species including fish at a level of 250 mg/kg (Directive 70/524/EEC) and the Committee recognizes that this level exceeds the requirement of farmed livestock, fish, dogs and cats. The Committee also says that no particular risk for the environment has been identified as a result of the use of zinc in animal diets at the currently allowed levels.

The Committee recommends that current allowable zinc levels should be reviewed to better reflect animal requirements, to take into account the natural level of zinc present in feeding stuffs and to allow a safety margin – the Committee suggests that a total zinc level of 150 mg/kg of complete feed would appear to be an appropriate maximum for all animals. Nevertheless, the Committee recommends maintaining comparably high levels of zinc and iron so long as copper levels are kept at 175 mg/kg.

The Committee also recommends a separate review of zinc use in feeds for farmed fish, taking into account the different production systems used in Europe; and possible further consideration of zinc levels in the light of ‘the possible evolution of the authorized load of zinc on soil’.

Source: Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition on the use of zinc in feeding stuffs. Adopted 14 March 2003. European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General. (Copy available from IZA headquarters).


What does it do? Zinc is a component of more than 300 enzymes needed to repair wounds, maintain fertility in adults and growth in children, synthesize protein, help cells reproduce, preserve vision, boost immunity, and protect against free radicals, among other functions.

In double-blind trials, zinc lozenges have reduced the duration of colds in adults,1 2 3 but have been ineffective in children.4 The ability of zinc to shorten colds may be due to a direct, localized anti-viral action in the throat. For the alleviation of cold symptoms, lozenges providing 13-25 mg of zinc, in the form of zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate, are used, typically every two hours while awake, but only for several days. The best effect is obtained when lozenges are used at the first sign of a cold.

Lozenges containing zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate have been effective, whereas most other forms of zinc and lozenges flavored with citric acid,5 tartaric acid, sorbitol, or mannitol, have been ineffective.6 Trials using forms other than zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate have failed, as have trials that use insufficient amounts of zinc.7 Therefore, until more is known, people should only use zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate.

Zinc reduces the body’s ability to utilize the essential mineral copper. (For healthy people, this interference is circumvented by supplementing with copper, along with zinc.) The ability to interfere with copper makes zinc an important therapeutic tool for people with Wilson’s diseasea genetic condition that causes copper overload.

Zinc supplementation in children in developing countries is associated with improvements in stunted growth, increased weight gain in underweight children, and substantial reductions in the rates of diarrhea and pneumonia, the two leading causes of death in these settings.8 9 10 Whether such supplementation would help people in better nourished populations remains unclear.

A small, preliminary trial has found zinc sulfate to be effective for contact dermatitis (a skin rash caused by contact with an allergen or irritant).11 Participants with active skin rashes took approximately 23 mg of zinc (in the form of zinc sulfate) three times daily, for one month. 73% of those taking the zinc sulfate had complete resolution of their skin rashes, while the remaining participants had a 50-75% improvement. Further trials are needed to confirm these preliminary findings, however.

Where is it found? Good sources of zinc include oysters, meat, eggs, seafood, black-eyed peas, tofu, and wheat germ.

Zinc may be of benefit relative to the following conditions:

Acrodermatitis enteropathica
Childhood intelligence (for deficiency)
Common cold/sore throat (as lozenges)
Down’s syndrome
Down’s syndrome
Infertility (male) (for deficiency)
Night blindness (for deficiency)
Wilson’s disease
Wound healing (oral and topical)

Anemia (for thalassemia if deficient)
Anorexia nervosa
Birth defects prevention
Canker sores (for deficiency only)
Celiac disease (for deficiency)
Cold sores (topical)
Common cold (as nasal spray)
Crohn’s disease
Diabetes (preferably for those with a documented deficiency)
Genital herpes
Gingivitis (zinc plus bloodroot toothpaste)
Halitosis (zinc chloride rinse or toothpaste)
Hepatitis C (zinc-L-carnosine)
HIV support
Immune function (for elderly people)
Liver cirrhosis (for deficiency)
Macular degeneration
Peptic ulcer
Pregnancy support
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sickle cell anemia
Skin ulcers (oral and topical zinc)
Sprains and strains (if deficient)
Tinnitus (for deficiency only)

Athletic performance
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
Contact dermatitis
Cystic fibrosis
Dermatitis herpetiformis (for deficiency)
Ear infections (recurrent)
Gestational hypertension

Who is likely to be deficient? Zinc deficiencies are quite common in people living in poor countries. Phytate, a substance found in unleavened bread (pita, matzos, and some crackers) significantly reduces absorption of zinc, increasing the chance of zinc deficiency. However, phytate-induced deficiency of zinc appears to be a significant problem only for people already consuming marginally low amounts
of zinc.

Even in developed countries, low-income pregnant women and pregnant teenagers are at risk for marginal zinc deficiencies. Supplementing with 25-30 mg per day improves pregnancy outcome in these groups.12 13

People with liver cirrhosis appear to be commonly deficient in zinc.14 This deficiency may be due to cirrhosis-related zinc malabsorption.15

People with Down’s syndrome are also commonly deficient in zinc.16 Giving zinc supplements to children with Down’s syndrome has been reported to improve impaired immunity17 and thyroid function,18 though optimal intake of zinc for people with Down’s syndrome remains unclear.

Children with alopecia areata (patchy areas of hair loss) have been reported to be deficient in zinc.19 20

The average diet frequently provides less than the Recommended Dietary Allowance for zinc, particularly in vegetarians. To what extent (if any) these small deficits in zinc intake create clinical problems remains unclear. Nonetheless, a low-potency supplement (15 mg per day) can fill in dietary gaps. Zinc deficiencies are more common in alcoholics and people with sickle cell anemia, malabsorption problems, and chronic kidney disease.21

How much is usually taken? Moderate intake of zinc, approximately 15 mg daily, is adequate to prevent deficiencies. Higher levels (up to 50 mg taken three times per day) are reserved for people with certain health conditions, under the supervision of a doctor. For the alleviation of cold symptoms, lozenges providing 13-25 mg of zinc in the form zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate are generally used frequently but only for several days.

Are there any side effects or interactions? Zinc intake in excess of 300 mg per day has been reported to impair immune function.22 Some people report that zinc lozenges lead to stomach ache, nausea, mouth irritation, and a bad taste. One source reports that gastrointestinal upset, metallic taste in the mouth, blood in the urine and lethargy can occur from chronic oral zinc supplementation over 150 mg per day,23 but those claims are unsubstantiated. In topical form, zinc has no known side effects when used as recommended.

Preliminary research had suggested that people with Alzheimer’s disease should avoid zinc supplements.24 More recently, preliminary evidence in four patients actually showed improved mental function with zinc supplementation.25 In a convincing review of zinc/Alzheimer’s disease research, perhaps the most respected zinc researcher in the world concluded that zinc does not cause or exacerbate Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.26

Zinc inhibits copper absorption. Copper deficiency can result in anemia, lower levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, or cardiac arrhythmias.27 28 29 Copper intake should be increased if zinc supplementation continues for more than a few days (except for people with Wilson’s disease).30 Some sources recommend a 10:1 ratio of zinc to copper. Evidence suggests that no more that 2 mg of copper per day is needed to prevent zinc-induced copper deficiency. Many zinc supplements include copper in the formulation to prevent zinc-induced copper deficiency. Zinc-induced copper deficiency has been reported to cause reversible anemia and suppression of bone marrow.31

Marginal zinc deficiency may be a contributing factor in some cases of anemia. In a study of women with normocytic anemia (i.e., their red blood cells were of normal size) and low total iron-binding capacity (a blood test often used to assess the cause of anemia), combined iron and zinc supplementation significantly improved the anemia, whereas iron or zinc supplemented alone had only slight effects.32 Supplementation with zinc, or zinc and iron together, has been found to improve vitamin A status among children at high risk for deficiency of the three nutrients.33

Zinc competes for absorption with copper, iron,34 35  calcium,36 and magnesium.37 A multi-mineral supplement will help prevent mineral imbalances that can result from taking high amounts of zinc for extended periods of time.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) may increase urinary excretion of zinc.38 Long-term users of NAC may consider adding supplements of zinc and copper.



  1. 1. Mossad SB, Macknin ML, Medendorp SV, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold. Ann Intern Med 1996;125:81-8.
  2. 2. Anonymous. Zinc lozenges reduce the duration of common cold symptoms. Nutr Rev 1997;55:82-8 [review].
  3. 3. Garland ML, Hagmeyer KO. The role of zinc lozenges in treatment of the common cold. Ann Pharmacother 1998;32:93-69 [review].
  4. 4. Macknin ML, Piedmonte M, Calendine C, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold in children. A randomized controlled trial.JAMA 1998;279:1962-7.
  5. 5. Eby G. Where’s the bias? Ann Intern Med 1998;128:75 [letter].
  6. 6. Garland ML, Hagmeyer KO. The role of zinc lozenges in treatment of the common cold. Ann Pharmacother 1998;32:63-9 [review].
  7. 7. Weismann K, Jakobsen JP, Weismann JE, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for common cold. A double-blind clinical trial. Dan Med Bull1990;37:279-81.
  8. 8. Bhutta ZA, Black RE, Brown KH, et al. Prevention of diarrhea and pneumonia by zinc supplementation in children in developing countries: pooled analysis of randomized controlled trials. Zinc Investigators’ Collaborative Group. J Pediatr 1999;135:689-97.
  9. 9. Umeta M, West CE, Haidar J, et al. Zinc supplementation and stunted infants in Ethiopia : a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2000;355:2021-6.
  10. 10. Gibson RS. Zinc supplementation for infants. Lancet 2000;355:2008-9.
  11. 11. Santucci B, Cristaudo A, Mehraban M, et al. ZnSO4 treatment of NiSO4-positive patients. Contact Dermatitis 1999;40:281-2.
  12. 12. Cherry FF, Sandstead HH, Rojas P, et al. Adolescent pregnancy: associations among body weight, zinc nutriture, and pregnancy outcome. Am J Clin Nutr 1989;50:945-54.
  13. 13. Goldenberg RL, Tamura T, Neggers Y, et al. The effect of zinc supplementation on pregnancy outcome. JAMA 1995;274:463-8.
  14. 14. Scholmerich J, Lohla E, Gerok W. Zinc and vitamin A deficiency in liver cirrhosis. Hepatogastroenterology 1983;30:119-25.
  15. 15. Karayalcin S, Arcasoy A, Uzunalimoglu O. Zinc plasma levels after oral zinc tolerance test in nonalcoholic cirrhosis. Dig Dis Sci 1988;33:1096-102.
  16. 16. Stabile A, Pesaresi MA, Stabile AM, et al. Immunodeficiency and plasma zinc levels in children with Down’s syndrome: a long-term follow-up of oral zinc supplementation. Clin Immunol Immunopathol 1991;58:207-16.
  17. 17. Bjrksten B, Back O, Gustavson KH, et al. Zinc and immune function in Down’s syndrome. Acta Paediatr Scand 1980;69:183-7.
  18. 18. Bucci I, Napolitano G, Guiliani C, et al. Zinc sulfate supplementation improves thyroid function in hypozincemic Down children. Biol Trace Elem Res 1999; 67;257-68.
  19. 19. Wollowa F, Jablonska S. Zinc in the treatment of alopecia areata. In: Kobori Y, Montagna W (eds). Biology and Diseases of the Hair. Tokyo : University Park Press, 1976, 305.
  20. 20. Lutz G. The value of zinc in treatment of alopecia areata. 2nd Meeting of the European Hair Research Society, Bologna , April 14, 1991 .
  21. 21. Prasad A. Discovery of human zinc deficiency and studies in an experimental human model. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:403-12 [review].
  22. 22. Chandra RK. Excessive intake of zinc impairs immune responses. JAMA 1984;252:1443.
  23. 23. Shannon M. Alternative medicines toxicology: a review of selected agents. Clin Toxicol 1999;37:709-13
  24. 24. Bush AI, Pettingell WH, Multhaup G, et al. Rapid induction of Alzheimer A8 amyloid formation by zinc. Science 1994;265:1464-5.
  25. 25. Potocnik FCV, van Rensburg SJ, Park C, et al. Zinc and platelet membrane microviscosity in Alzheimer’s disease. S Afr Med J 1997;87:1116-9.
  26. 26. Prasad AS. Zinc in human health: an update. J Trace Elem Exp Med 1998;11:63-87.
  27. 27. Broun ER, Greist A, Tricot G, Hoffman R. Excessive zinc ingestion-a reversible cause of sideroblastic anemia and bone marrow depression.JAMA 1990;264:1441-3.
  28. 28. Reiser S, Powell A, Yang CY, Canary JJ. Effect of copper intake on blood cholesterol and its lipoprotein distribution in men. Nutr Rep Int1987;36:641-9.
  29. 29. Sandstead HH. Requirements and toxicity of essential trace elements, illustrated by zinc and copper. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;61(suppl):621S-24S [review].
  30. 30. Fischer PWF, Giroux A, Labbe MR. Effect of zinc supplementation on copper status in adult man. Am J Clin Nutr 1984;40:743-6.
  31. 31. Broun ER, Greist A, Tricot G, Hoffman R. Excessive zinc ingestion. A reversible cause of sideroblastic anemia and bone marrow depression.JAMA 1990;264:1441-3.
  32. 32. Nishiyama S, Irisa K, Matsubasa T, et al. Zinc status relates to hematological deficits in middle-aged women. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17:291-5.
  33. 33. Muoz EC, Rosado JL, Lopez P, et al. Iron and zinc supplementation improves indicators of vitamin A status of Mexican preschoolers. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:789-94.
  34. 34. Dawson EB, Albers J, McGanity WJ. Serum zinc changes due to iron supplementation in teen-age pregnancy. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;50:848-52.
  35. 35. Crofton RW, Gvozdanovic D, Gvozdanovic S, et al. Inorganic zinc and the intestinal absorption of ferrous iron. Am J Clin Nutr 1989;50:141-4.
  36. 36. Argiratos V, Samman S. The effect of calcium carbonate and calcium citrate on the absorption of zinc in healthy female subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr1994;48:198-204.
  37. 37. Spencer H, Norris C, Williams D. Inhibitory effects of zinc on magnesium balance and magnesium absorption in man. J Am Coll Nutr1994;13:479-84.
  38. 38. Brumas V, Hacht B, Filella M, Berthon G. Can N-acetyl-L-cysteine affect zinc metabolisms when used as a paracetamol antidote? Agents Actions1992; 36:278-88
  39. Barceloux DG. Zinc. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1999;37:279-92.
  40. Bespalov VG, et al. [The effect of riboflavin, molybdenum, selenium and zinc on the development of induced tumors of the esophagus and forestomach in rats.] Voprosy Onkologii 1990;36:559-63.
  41. Blot JW, et al. Nutrition intervention trials in Linxian, China: supplementation with specific vitamin/mineral combinations, cancer incidence, and disease-specific mortality in the general population. J Natl Cancer Inst 1993;85:1483.
  42. Boik J. Cancer and natural medicine: a textbook of basic science and clinical research. Oregon: Medical Press 1995:147.
  43. Diamond WJ, et al. An alternative medicine definitive guide to cancer. Tiburon: Future Medicine Publishing, Inc., 1997:793.
  44. Doherty CP, et al. Zinc and rehabilitation from severe protein-energy malnutrition: higher-dose regimens are associated with increased mortality. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68:742-8.
  45. Kroll D. Megadoses and Toxicity. Alternative and Complementary Therapies 1995 Jan/Feb: 111.
  46. Linder MC. Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism, 2nd Ed. New York: Elsevier Science Publishing Co. Inc., 1991:499,512.
  47. Marti JE. Alternative health medicine encyclopedia: the authoritative guide to holistic and nontraditional health practices. Toronto: Gale Research Inc., 1995:74.
  48. Mei W, et al. Study of immune function of cancer patients influenced by supplemental zinc or selenium-zinc combination. Biol Trace Elem Res 1991;28:9-11.
  49. Munoz N, et al. Effect of riboflavin, retinol, and zinc on micronuclei of buccal mucosa and of esophagus: a randomized double-blind intervention study in China. J Natl Cancer Inst 1987;79:687-91.
  50. Ontario Breast Cancer Information Exchange Project. Guide to unconventional cancer therapies. 1st ed. Toronto: Ontario Breast Cancer Information Exchange Project, 1994:148.
  51. Rath FW, et al. The influence of zinc administration on the development of experimental lung metastases after an injection of tumour cells into the tail vein of rats. Exp Pathol 1991;41:215-17.
  52. Rogers MA, et al. A case-control study of element levels and cancer of the upper aerodigestive tract. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1993;2:305-312.
  53. Somer E and Health Media of America. Essential guide to vitamins and minerals. USA: Harper Perennial, 1995:32-3,139,142.
  54. Song MK, et al. Effect of different levels of dietary zinc on longevity of BALB/c mice inoculated with plasmacytoma MOPC 104E. J Natl Cancer Inst 1984;72:647-52.
  55. Spencer JW, Jacobs JJ. Complementary/alternative medicine: an evidence based approach. Toronto: Mosby, 1999:136.
  56. Strain J. Putative role of dietary trace element in coronary heart disease and cancer. Br J Biomed Sci 1994;51:241.

Zinc references 3:

  1. Boosalis, M.G., et al., Impaired Handling of Orally Administered Zinc in Pancreatic Insufficiency.  Amer. Jour. Clin. Nut. 37 1983.

  2. Eby, G.A., et al., Reduction in the Duration of Common Colds by Zinc Gluconate Lozenges in a Double-blind Study.  Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 25 1984.

  3. Fahim, M., et al., Zinc Treatment for the Reduction of Hyperplasia of the Prostate, Federation Proceedings 35 1976.

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New Beverage to Prevent Micronutrient Deficiency

Maternal malnutrition continues to be a major contributor to adverse reproductive outcomes in developing countries, despite longstanding efforts to fortify foods or to distribute medicinal supplements to pregnant women. A new study, carried out by the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University in New York, set out to test the effect of a micronutrient-fortified beverage containing 11 micronutrients – iron, iodine, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6 and vitamin E – on the haemoglobin, iron and vitamin A status of pregnant women in Tanzania.

A group of 259 pregnant women were enrolled in a trial in which study women received an eight-week course of supplementation. Haemoglobin, ferritin and dried blood spot retinol were measured at baseline and at the end of the supplementation period. The supplement resulted in a 4.16 grams/litre increase in haemoglobin concentration and a three micrograms/liter increase in ferritin – a protein which occurs in the liver and spleen, that contains iron and plays a part in the storage of iron in the body. As a result the scientists reported a reduction in the risk of anaemia and iron deficiency anaemia by 51 and 56 per cent, respectively. The risk of iron deficiency was reduced by 70 per cent among those who had iron deficiency at baseline and by 92 per cent among those who had adequate stores.

The scientists believe that the micronutrient-fortified beverage may be a useful and convenient preventative measure, one that could help improve the nutritional status of women both before and during pregnancy and thereby help avoid some of the potential maternal and foetal consequences of micronutrient deficiencies. Other organizations involved in the study were the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre and Procter & Gamble.
Source: Journal of Nutrition, May 2003: 133;1339-1346

Zinc Deficiency in Cane Sugar

From an article in ‘The Hindu’ newspaper (May 1, 2003), kindly sent in by ILZDA Director Mr Pugazhenthy:

“The two essential micronutrients needed by cane are iron and zinc. Though needed in ppm levels, they are as essential as the macronutrients for the normal growth and yield of all crops. When the contents of iron and zinc in the 3-6 leaves from the top of the sugarcane fall below 10 ppm, the crops will suffer deficiency. Deficiency of iron and zinc is aggravated by high alkaline pH, calcareousness and low organic matter status of the soil…In case of zinc deficiency, veins and areas adjacent to the veins become chlorotic while the intervenial spaces remain green. Under severe deficiencies of iron and zinc, the crop will become chlorotic and presents a sickly yellowish-white canopy.

To rectify the deficiencies of iron and zinc, the crop must be sprayed with spray fluid prepared by dissolving 1kg ferrous sulphate, 0.5kg zinc sulphate and 2kg urea in 100 liters of water at the rate of 500 liters per hectare of spray fluid immediately after observing the characteristic chlorotic symptoms and the spraying must be repeated once or twice fortnightly.

When the deficiencies are observed in the plant, ferrous sulphate at 50 kg per hectare and zinc sulphate at 25 kg per hectare must be mixed with 250 kg farm yard manure of compost or press mud and applied immediately after stubble-saving of cane hills without waiting for the appearance of the deficiency symptoms in the emerging tillers. Severe deficiency of the micronutrients will hamper the growth and lead to total failure of the crops.”