Zinc – What do we know in 2017

  • “We found that serum zinc was significantly lower in the CFS patients than in the normal controls. There was a trend toward a significant negative correlation between serum zinc and the severity of CFS and there was a significant and negative correlation between serum zinc and the subjective experience of infection.” [2006]
  • “Serum levels of zinc (P = 0.001) and magnesium (P = 0.002) were significantly decreased by FM groups,” [2008]
  • “[IBS]…Finally, the role of zinc in treatment of infectious diarrhea led to studies of its effect on intracellular human enterocyte ion secretion. ” [2010]
  • “The aim of our study was to evaluate the oral dietary intake of a group of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and to compare with international recommendations….A low intake of calcium, magnesium, yodo and zinc was detected.” [2004]
  • “paper reports a study of 50 patients affected by irritable bowel syndrome. Two subgroups have been identified (Ac and Ad), characterised by reduced blood zinc [correction of zinchemia] and increased fecal excretion of zinc. This finding suggests that the syndrome has a multifactorial pathogenesis and that over time it may follow a different pattern in the different subgroups.” [1990]
  • Dryness of eye symptom associated with low zinc levels [2016]

Other Aspects

  • “These studies demonstrate for the first time that zinc regulates LPS-mediated immune activation of human macrophages in a ZIP8-dependent manner, reducing IL-10. Based on these findings we predict that macrophage zinc metabolism is important in host defense against pathogens.” [2017]
  • “We found no evidence that the use of oral zinc supplementation improves symptoms in adults with tinnitus.” [2016]
  • “We can conclude that the food supplement containing α-lipoic acid, L-carnosin, zinc,[ 7.5 mg] and vitamins of group B improved glycemic control, lipid profile, and anti-oxidative stress markers.” [2016]
  • “The scientific evidence presented in this systematic review shows that zinc supplementation improves insulin resistance in obese individuals of both sexes.” [2017]
  • “35% to 45% of adults 60 years of age or older had zinc intakes below the estimated average requirement of 6.8 mg/day for elderly females and 9.4 mg/day for elderly males. Zinc deficiency may lead to loss of appetite, impaired immune function, weight loss, delayed healing of wounds, eye and skin lesions, and smell and taste disturbances” [2016]
    • Zinc supplementation at 30 mg/d for 3 mo is effective in increasing serum zinc concentrations in nursing home elderly; however, not all zinc-deficient elderly reached adequate concentrations.” [2016]

Missing Diet on what is an effective level of supplementation

Above we see low levels across the board. There have been no reported studies on the effect of supplementation in the above conditions. What is level and duration needed to be effective!

Bottom Line

This [2016] study seems the best match for CFS/FM/IBS and used 30 mg/d for at least 3 mo. “Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) of zinc for people who are not receiving zinc under medical supervision: … adults 19 years and older (including pregnancy and lactation), 40 mg/day.” WebMd