Antiaging Properties of Zinc

Helps to heal wounds and repair skin damage. Facilitates the action of antioxidants like vitamin E. Increases the efficiency of the immune system. Present in high concentrations in the hippocampus.

Involved either as a catalyst or in the chemical structure of over three hundred enzymes. Levels decline with age, and some practitioners recommend zinc supplements as part of an antiaging program.

Zinc's utility against memory loss remains to be tested clinically. In an elegant series of laboratory experiments in animals, Dennis Choi, chairman of the department of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, showed that zinc in low concentrations protects against some types of hippocampal neuronal injury, but that at higher concentrations it kills nerve cells. So zinc therapy may be a double-edged sword: at low doses it is good, at high doses it is bad. This twist has led to a reversal in therapeutic strategies for memory loss; zinc therapy is now being replaced by substances that actually decrease zinc's availability in the brain. Zinc is present in concentrations that are sometimes too low to detect, but new technology has opened up opportunities that should eventually tell us a great deal about the functions of zinc and all the other metallic trace elements in the brain.

The FDA recommended daily requirement for zinc is 15 mg for men and 12 mg for women, and this is easily obtained through a wide range of foods. Rarely, elderly people who suffer from general mal-nutrition can develop zinc deficiency, for which the main symptom is lack of taste and poor appetite. In high doses, zinc can cause stomach irritation, so if you plan to use zinc supplements, do so in moderation.

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