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A Canary's Eye View — Supplements
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Metabolic Basis


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Mechanisms and effects (here are just a few that interest me)

  • Antioxidant:
    • protects vital biomolecules (sulfhydryl compounds) from oxidation
    • competes with pro-oxidant metals (iron and copper) for binding sites, thus decreasing their ability to form free radicals
    • limits production of free radicals, such as superoxide and malondialdehyde (MDA), produced naturally by the body
    • essential part of potent antioxidant enzymes
      • zinc metallothionein
      • superoxide dismutase (SOD)
  • also necessary [get more info] for
    • joint structure anabolism [typo??]
    • normal cell division, tissue repair and renewal
    • conversion of essential fatty acids into compounds that help regulate skin condition
    • insulin storage and release
    • several immune functions, including T-lymphocyte activity
    • cell membrane stabilization
    • Krebs' cycle
    • proper function of superoxide dismutase (SOD)

Natural sources

  • meats


  • Impaired senses of taste and smell (by decreasing desire to eat, this contributes to anorexia nervosa)
  • hang nails, inflammation of nail cuticles, white spots on fingernails, transverse lines and poor nail growth
  • sleep and behavioral disturbances, psychiatric illness
  • all types of inflammatory bowel disease
  • impaired glucose tolerance
  • dandruff,
  • arthritis
  • alcoholism

Other disorders zinc treats

  • Colds
  • Herpes
  • Canker Sores
  • Eczema
  • Prostatitis


  • Decreases immune function
  • Blocks copper absorption.


  • Assists:
    • Niacin (Susan Costen Owens)
  • Inhibits:
    • Mannitol (binds)
    • Dunne, p. 91: if the intake of calcium and phytic acid is higher, zinc consumption should be increased.” When zinc is added to the diet, Vitamin A is also needed in larger amounts.”
    • Leo Galland: “Starch and fiber interfere with zinc absorption, as do calcium and iron. Lack of stomach acid, which may be caused by infection or acid-lowering drugs, also interferes with zinc absorption”
    • Susan Owens: oxalate, phosphorus, vitamin C


  • Forms
    • Zinc citrate - ligand citric acid increases the uptake of lead
    • Zinc picolinate - ligand picolinic acid removes iron from cells
    • Zinc gluconate -
    • Zinc oxide -
    • Zinc aspartate -
    • Zinc monomethionine. Some studies indicate this may be better absorbed than other forms.
    • Zinc histidine. Some studies indicate this may be better absorbed than other forms
    • Amy Yasko's Krebs Zinc: a mix of
      • zinc alpha-ketoglutarate
      • zinc succinate
      • zinc fumarate
      • zinc malate
      • zinc citrate
  • Dosage

My Experience

For More information

  • Zinc on the PDR Health site. Good info including interactions and references.

Last updated 14 February 2007