Colloidal Zinc

Overview

Zinc, in commerce also spelter, is a chemical element with symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element of group 12 of the periodic table. In some respects zinc is chemically similar to magnesium: its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2. Zinc is the 24th most abundant element in Earth's crust and has five stable isotopes. The most common zinc ore is sphalerite (zinc blende), a zinc sulfide mineral. The largest mineable amounts are found in Australia, Asia, and the United States. Zinc production includes froth flotation of the ore, roasting, and final extraction using electricity (electrowinning).

Brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, has been used since at least the 10th century BC in Judea and by the 7th century BC in Ancient Greece. Zinc metal was not produced on a large scale until the 12th century in India and was unknown to Europe until the end of the 16th century. The mines of Rajasthan have given definite evidence of zinc production going back to the 6th century BC. To date, the oldest evidence of pure zinc comes from Zawar, in Rajasthan, as early as the 9th century AD when a distillation process was employed to make pure zinc. Alchemists burned zinc in air to form what they called "philosopher's wool" or "white snow".

The element was probably named by the alchemist Paracelsus after the German word Zinke, which mean tenon or prong, hense the picture used. German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf is credited with discovering pure metallic zinc in 1746. Work by Luigi Galvani and Alessandro Volta uncovered the electrochemical properties of zinc by 1800. Corrosion-resistant zinc plating of iron (hot-dip galvanizing) is the major application for zinc. Other applications are in batteries, small non-structural castings, and alloys, such as brass. A variety of zinc compounds are commonly used, such as zinc carbonate and zinc gluconate (as dietary supplements), zinc chloride (in deodorants), zinc pyrithione (anti-dandruff shampoos), zinc sulfide (in luminescent paints), and zinc methyl or zinc diethyl in the organic laboratory.

Zinc is an essential mineral perceived by the public today as being of "exceptional biologic and public health importance", especially regarding prenatal and postnatal development. Zinc deficiency affects about two billion people in the developing world and is associated with many diseases. In children it causes growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, infection susceptibility, and diarrhea. Enzymes with a zinc atom in the reactive center are widespread in biochemistry, such as alcohol dehydrogenase in humans. Consumption of excess zinc can cause ataxia, lethargy and copper deficiency.

 

Health

Zinc is an antioxidant nutrient which aids in protein synthesis and wound healing. It is vital for the development of the reproductive organs. Zinc supports healthy prostate functions and male hormone activity. It governs the contractility of muscles which is important for blood stability. Zinc maintains the body's alkaline balance and helps in normal tissue function and aids in the digestion and metabolism of phosphorus.

Zinc is a mineral that is essential to the synthesis of DNA and RNA, of proteins, insulin and sperm. The body needs zinc to metabolize carbohydrates, protein, fat and alcohol and to dispose of carbon dioxide and make good use of vitamin A. More than seventy different enzymes require zinc to perform their function.

Zinc Uses

  • Functions as an antioxidant.
  • Promotes healthy skin.
  • Supports healthy cartilage regeneration.
  • Promotes improved cellular metabolism.
  • Supports healthy tissue regeneration.
  • May help encourage normal cell functioning.
  • Supports improved male performance.
  • Supports a healthy immune system.
  • Vital in body production of insulin (research Dr. Cass Ingram)
  • Reduces prostate swelling.
  • Used in body building diets.
  • Used in vein and artery plaque removal.
  • Relieves angina.
  • Fights heart disease
  • Boosts testosterone production.
  • Enhances fertility.


Depleted by:

alcoholism, smoking, strenuous activity.

90% of the western world is deficient in Zinc. The 14th element in relative concentration in the human body, though required in high abundance is not sufficiently available EVEN IN SUPPLEMENTAL FORMS.

Why? Because like other mostly non soluble metallic elements they exist primarily in colloidal form (non-soluble particles in liquid suspension} which in water supplies have a diminished ability to carry concentrations with only a fraction of the more soluble elements. The human body requirement for zinc in this less available colloidal form is further diminished because commercial water processes remove colloids, worse still the farm soils are seriously deplete and the last resource are those commercially compressed least bio-available tablet supplements.

Not surprising that whole populations are starved for this important nutrient. Even the less soluble trace elements like copper the # 20 out of 60 known body elements is less likely deplete because it is 32 times more trace than zinc. Calcium #5, Magnesium #11 and Zinc #14 are the three foundational elements of human health. Of the three, Zinc depletion is likely the one causing the most trouble. Zinc is not a human dietary element safely forgotten. The following research conclusions are good examples why:


Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential for all forms of life, including plants, animals, and microorganisms. The chemical symbol for zinc is Zn. Zinc plays important roles in growth and development, neurological function, the immune system, and in reproduction.

Our bodies contain approximately 2-3 grams of zinc, which is distributed throughout the body. Zinc is an essential component of over twenty enzymes associated with many different metabolic processes. The highest concentrations of zinc are found in the eyes, liver, bones, prostate, semen, and hair.

Perhaps the most critical role zinc plays is in the synthesis of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, which are essential for cell division, cell repair, and development. Several studies have linked low zinc levels with complications during pregnancy, including miscarriage and birth defects.

Studies have also found large percentages of children to be deficient in zinc. These children showed symptoms of suboptimal growth, in addition to a loss of taste acuity and poor appetite. When their zinc intake was increased, the symptoms improved. Animal studies and human studies of children and adults suggest that lethargy, passivity, and apathy are symptoms of marginal zinc deficiency, since these behavioral problems improve with zinc supplementation.

Vision

One of the highest concentrations of zinc in the human body is found in the eye, especially the iris and retina. Although the exact mechanisms of its functions are largely unknown, zinc seems to be involved in the activation of vitamin A, and thus is a factor in night vision. It is also an antioxidant and may protect vision by reducing damage from free radicals.

Zinc deficiency may be contributing to the development or progression of chronic eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, the major cause of vision loss among older people.

In one study, the risk of vision loss was reduced by 10 percent in people taking supplements of 80 milligrams of zinc and 2 milligrams of copper. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates that poor zinc intake is related to such eye conditions are impaired color discrimination; cataract formation; and optic neuritis, the inflammation of the optic nerve.

Physical and Mental Stress

There is some evidence that zinc levels fall following physical and mental stress. For instance, strenuous exercise has been shown to lead to significant losses of zinc, probably due to the increase in glucose metabolism, which requires zinc.

According to one estimate, up to 90 percent of athletes may not be getting enough zinc. It has also been discovered that zinc is depleted during upper respiratory infection accompanied by fever. In addition, severe burn victims have only two-thirds the normal amount of zinc in their blood. Studies have shown that zinc supplements may have therapeutic value in cases of physical stress.

When hospital patients who were marginally deficient in zinc were given extra zinc, it helped restore the rate of healing to normal. Zinc may therefore be of benefit to people who have undergone surgery or have sustained broken bones or wounds. Some physicians prescribe zinc to stimulate the healing process.

Taste and Smell

Zinc is especially important in body systems that undergo a rapid turnover of cells. This includes the gastrointestinal system, and particularly the taste buds- a fact that may explain why a change in the ability to taste foods is often an early sign of zinc deficiency. This symptom may be accompanied by similar changes in the ability to smell. Foods may either have no taste or smell at all, or taste or smell unpleasant. All these factors contribute to a loss of appetite, but may be so insidious that they go unnoticed.

Many of elderly patients report a heightened sense of taste after a few weeks of colloidal zinc supplementation. They often find this development quite remarkable, since prior to supplementation, they may not have recognized the loss of taste sensitivity. The elderly may benefit from zinc supplementation in another way, too, as zinc appears to play a role in increasing bone density in post menopausal women.

The Immune System

Zinc may exert a protective influence by boosting the immune system. Many studies have shown that a zinc deficiency can impair a large variety of immune functions and defense mechanisms in animals, and some studies have shown similar effects in humans. These effects-which include abnormalities and eventual shrinking of the spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes; and impaired production of antibodies-have been found to be correctable with zinc supplementation.

Low zinc levels, often accompanied by high copper levels, have been reported in people with many types of cancer. We've known since 1981 that people with a certain type of lung cancer survived for a significantly longer period of time when they had high levels of zinc in their blood.

It's not surprising that low levels of zinc are also found in people with AIDS. Diabetics tend to have less zinc in their tissues and this may be related to many of their complications. Zinc deficiency may be related to the body's inability to produce the enzymes used in glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, immune problems, loss of ability to taste, and conditions related to oxidative stress.

Since the beneficial effects of zinc on immunity are so well documented, and the therapy is nontoxic and inexpensive, some researchers suggest further studies involving immune deficiency diseases. Many of patients who get frequent colds and sore throats have shown a marked decrease in these outbreaks with zinc supplementation.

Diabetes

Diabetics tend to have less zinc in their tissues and this may be related to may of their complications. Zinc deficiency may be related to the body's inability to produce the enzymes used glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, immune problems, loss of ability to taste, and conditions related to oxidative stress.

Anorexia Nervosa

Many studies suggest that there is a relationship between zinc depletion and anorexia nervosa. Researchers theorize that inadequate levels of zinc might somehow help trigger the development of this disease, which further depletes zinc levels, which further worsens disease symptoms, and so on, in a vicious cycle. Many anorexia patients have improved with zinc supplementation, indicating that zinc may be helpful both in the treatment and in the prevention of this serious disease.

Hormone Levels

Zinc has been shown to inhibit the production of prolactin, a pituitary hormone, and so is used therapeutically in men and women with abnormally high prolactin levels. Elevated prolactin levels can lead to distressing effects such as secretion of breast milk, enlarged breasts, sexual dysfunction, and breast cancer.

Breast Cancer

Any woman wanting to avoid breast cancer or its recurrence needs to be aware of the real risk factors. These are not the factors you hear about from the typical oncologist who is interested in pushing drugs. Imbalances in the body are the real risk factors that explain why women get breast cancer, not lack of drugs. The only way to avoid cancer or its recurrence is to address these imbalances. Two minerals, zinc and selenium, are key in maintaining balance in the body and keeping cancer away. Recent research has added to the pile of data underscoring the importance of these minerals in keeping women cancer-free.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have reported that glands in the breast have unique zinc requirements resulting from their need to transfer extraordinary amounts of zinc into milk during lactation. When nursing women's breasts are deficient in zinc, the result can be severe zinc deficiency in the infant, resulting in impaired growth and development. When zinc is deficient or not properly metabolized, breast cancer is often an additional outcome. Lack of zinc has been implicated not only in the initiation of breast cancer, but also in the transition, progression, and metastasis of the disease. When zinc is deficient, cellular functioning in the breast is compromised. (Genes and Nutrition, April 2)

In France, scientists report that estrogen receptor expression in breast cancers is associated with differentiated tumors and a more favorable prognosis. The greater the resemblance of cancerous breast cells to non-cancerous breast cells, the less threatening is the disease. Although the exact mechanism underlying the protection ERs play against cancer progression remains to be researched, these scientists studied the actions of ER alpha, and documented that one of the ways this ER inhibits invasion is though its first zinc finger. A zinc finger is a group of proteins organized around a zinc ion that can bind to DNA and influence gene regulation. (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 2008)

In other research, Dr. David Watts reviewed the hair trace mineral reports of thousands of women and found that a pattern of elevated boron, copper and calcium levels with lower levels of zinc occurred in women with breast cancer. According to Dr. Watts, boron and copper appear to make the body more sensitive to the stimulatory effects of estrogen, and less responsive to the quieting effects of progesterone. Zinc is the mineral that aids in the production and utilization of progesterone, so this pattern of mineralization makes women less progesterone responsive and more estrogen sensitive. Raising zinc levels and lowering boron, copper and calcium levels can bring these women into mineral balance and help in the creation of hormonal balance.

The primary gene protecting women from breast cancer, p53, is thought to be the most frequently mutated or altered gene in the development of cancer. This gene requires zinc, and if it is missing, the gene becomes mutated, resulting in it becoming inactivated or suppressed. Dysfunction of p53 is well documented in the development of breast cancer, indicating that a zinc deficiency is a risk factor for breast cancer independent of the levels of boron, copper and calcium.

Zinc is important in prostate gland function and may help prevent and treat prostate cancer. It has another important role in the lives of women too. Zinc is required for protein synthesis and collagen formation. Without adequate levels of zinc, skin begins to sag and lose its elasticity. The optimal balance ratio for copper and zinc is 1 to 10 according to nutrition experts Phyllis Balch CNC and James Balch M.D.

In addition to sagging skin, deficiency of zinc may result in the loss of the senses of taste and smell. It can cause fingernails to become thin, peel and develop white spots. Other possible signs of zinc deficiency for women include hair loss, high cholesterol levels, impaired night vision, increased susceptibility to infection, memory impairment, diabetes, skin lesions, and slow wound healing.

The Prostate Gland

The prostate gland has one of the highest concentrations of zinc in the body. In general, low levels of zinc in the prostate appear to be associated with diseases of the gland. Zinc supplementation has been shown to reduce the size of the prostate and symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) in the majority of patients. Zinc also inhibits the binding of androgens to receptors in the prostate gland, an action that may play a role in the prevention of prostate cancer and other diseases of the prostate gland.

Other Protective Functions

Aside from its support of the immune system, zinc may protect the body in a variety of other ways. For instance, zinc has been shown to protect the liver from damage due to poisoning from the common cleaning solvent carbon tetrachloride.

Zinc is also known to prevent the absorption of lead and cadmium, which we may be exposed to through our drinking water, car and bus exhaust fumes, and many other environmental factors. Through its influence on cell membrane stability, zinc may even help protect us from substances known to contribute to cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other disorders. Zinc is an essential component of super-oxide dismutase (SOD), an antioxidant made by the body to combat free radicals.

 

These statements have not been evaluated by FDA and are not intended to prevent, cure or treat disease.

Colloidal Zinc

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