Zinc! A mineral essential for health and skin. But why and how, and where is it found?
Zinc is a cofactor for many enzymatic reactions in the body, particularly those catalysed by the antioxidant superoxide dismutase. It is necessary for healthy reproduction, insulin production, connective tissue formation and maintenance; wound healing and mental function.
When it comes to skin, it is the third-most zinc-abundant tissue in the body, with the epidermis (outer layer of skin) having the greatest percentage of this mineral. From fat cells, to skin cells, to the immune cells and pigment-producing cells of skin, each contains multiple transporters (cellular methods of entry) for zinc. The main roles of zinc in the skin are thought to do with suppression of inflammation, healthy skin cell turnover and generation, wound repair, hair growth, immune surveillance, support of collagen producing cells, and utilisation of fat and sugar as energy.
Thus it is probably not surprising that conditions of nutritional deficiency for which zinc deficiency is often found beside, exhibit cutaneous symptoms such as ulcerous lesions, alopecia (hair loss) and skin inflammation such as pellagra, acrodermatitis enteropathica and necrolytic migratory erythema.
So if you are tending towards low intake of zinc, some good sources of this vital nutrient might be found in:
Oysters and shell fish
Conversely, (and thanks to @fionatucknutrition The Forensic Nutritionist), zinc uptake may be challenged by
High consumption of phylates + oxalates
Low protein + high sugar diets
Always seek professional advice from your dietician or GP! Visit an Aescend artisan by booking below for a comprehensive skin consult.