IF YOU HAD TO ONLY TAKE ONE SUPPLEMENT FOR ACNE, WHAT WOULD YOU TAKE?
What nutrient plays a role in hundreds, if not thousands, of mechanisms inside the body?
Here are a few hints.
- It’s a potent antioxidant and fights free radical
- It’s a mineral
- If you’re deficient in this mineral, you might consume copious amounts of food because your body goes haywire trying to find it.
- Over half of those with acne are deficient in this mineral. (1)
- Supplementing with this mineral has been proven to improve the appearance of the skin.(2)
The answer is…
Yes. Zinc for acne.
You’ve heard about it form youtubers. You’ve read it on forums. This is the “miracle mineral” (I just made that up btw) for acne. And for good reason. If you have acne and aren’t taking zinc, you should get on it.
Studies With Zinc And Acne
In this study the mean acne score had decreased from 100% to 15% in the patients who took zinc.
In this one, zinc was shown to be just as effective as antibiotics in clearing the skin.
Oh yeah, and this study showed that zinc helped to repair a leaky gut. I’m sure you’ve heard of the gut-skin connection and how a leaky gut can cause inflammation that shows up on the skin.
What Is Zinc?
Zinc is a mineral. Minerals include zinc, selenium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chloride, sulfur, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, cobalt and fluoride. Minerals usually play the support role in the biological processes of the body. They act as co-factors, which help the body to create proteins, heal wounds and support the immune system.
Most people are deficient in zinc and those with acne are distinctly more deficient than the average person. Zinc plays a role in hundreds, if not thousands, of mechanisms inside the body. It acts as a potent antioxidant to help fight off free radicals. A lot of times people tend to consume copious amounts of food because their bodies are desperately searching for zinc. Zinc supplementation has been shown time and time again to improve the appearance of the skin. Zinc is so effective at healing acne it has been shown to have the same effect as antibiotics in clearing the skin.
Zinc Helps Increase Vitamin A
Minerals usually play the support role in the biological processes of the body. They act as co-factors, which help the body to create proteins, heal wounds and support the immune system. Zinc works with vitamin A to increase vitamin A levels in the blood. It does this by increasing the absorption of vitamin A in the intestines and supporting its circulation throughout the body. This is important because vitamin A is the main vitamin that affects how quickly the skin cells divide and shed off. Knowing this, we can take zinc with vitamin A (in the form of cod liver oil or desiccated liver) and increase the healing properties of vitamin A.
Foods With The Highest Amount Of Zinc
The food with the highest amount of zinc is oysters. Getting zinc — and every other nutrient — from whole foods is always better than supplementation. But even though I know this, I still never went out and bought oysters. Organ meats, shellfish and red meat also contain high levels of zinc, but I don’t recommend consuming these things every day (I believe they should be eaten once or twice a week max for optimal health). If you can get your zinc from oysters and organ meats by eating them once or twice a week, that’s probably the best way because it resembles how we would normally have gotten zinc in our diets before supplementation. You can also use the highest plant source of zinc, which is raw organic pumpkin seeds.
A Note On Pumpkin Seeds And Seeds In General
Firstly, you probably won’t get as much zinc as you need from pumpkin seeds alone (that’s why I recommend supplementing with zinc, at least for a few months). You may be able to get adequate zinc if you eat some oysters, but not from seeds alone. Seeds contain anti-nutrients called phytates that bind to the minerals in food and inhibit the absorption of their nutrients. To bypass this you can soak your seeds overnight and thoroughly rinse them to lower the amount of phytates. Or you can buy pre-soaked and dehydrated pumpkin seeds. Oysters and zinc supplements don’t have anti-nutrients, which is why I like them in addition to pumpkin seeds. Plus it’s easier to actually measure the amount of zinc you take with supplements.
Increasing The Absorption Of Zinc
We know that zinc helps to increase the absorption of vitamin A, which is why I like to take it with cod liver oil or higher vitamin A foods, but what helps increase the absorption of zinc? That would be vitamin C.
I like to take my zinc with liposomal vitamin C because vitamin C helps the absorption of zinc.Since zinc is so crucial for combating acne, I recommend supplementing with a zinc supplement.
How To Supplement With Zinc
In most cases when you take supplements, it’s a great idea to get some objective data to gauge its effectiveness. For zinc, there is a cheap, easy and effective way to measure if you are deficient in zinc or not. It is called the Zinc Test.
The test is relatively straightforward and being honest with the time and the change in taste sensations is the only thing required to perform it correctly. Just like any home self-diagnostic test, it is a good idea to perform the test at least 3 separate times on 3 different days (to remove most biases). It is also important that if you find yourself deficient and decide to supplement with zinc that you continue to self-test and track what is happening. Testing every 30 days is a good idea.
The Zinc Test
- Buy a bottle of liquid zinc, known as zinc tally, zinc assay, or zinc challenge. I like Designs for Health Zinc Challenge.
- Before eating, swish a tablespoon in your mouth for 30 seconds.
- If you can taste a strong metallic taste, you have enough zinc.
- If you cannot taste anything, or it takes over 30 seconds to taste anything metallic, you may be zinc deficient.
If the solution has a very strong metallic taste, then you most likely don’t need to supplement with zinc. If you cannot taste it, then it’s recommended to supplement with zinc. Taking 30 mg twice daily (60 mg total) with breakfast and dinner for the first month, then lowering to 15 to 30 mg a day for maintenance until tests show optimal zinc levels without supplementation is a standard procedure.
- Zinc is the most important mineral you can take to help with your acne. It has a few studies backing up its effectiveness.
- Most people with acne are deficient in zinc, so find out if you are deficient in it by doing the zinc test, and supplement accordingly. Then retest every 30 – 60 days.
- Zinc helps increase vitamin A levels, which helps with acne, so taking zinc with food sources of vitamin A such as cod liver oil can help the two work synergistically.
- Vitamin C helps zinc absorption, so taking a vitamin C supplement along with zinc may help increase its effectiveness.
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