Zinc Deficiency Causes Inflammation, Pain and Anxiety Not Only in Psoriatics

Zinc deficiency in psoriatics is well known and was confirmed by multiple studies. Actually when “380 patients with alopecia areata, alopecia androgenetica, psoriasis vulgaris, vitiligo, rosacea, venous ulcer and atopic eczema, [were] compared with 31 healthy people” the serum zinc levels were low in all diagnoses.[15]

Supplementation may be inevitable due to higher loss of zinc as well as possibly decreased assimilation due to intestinal inflammation and weak digestive capabilities of the stomach.[13,14] Another problem is a high intake of phytic acid containing foods like grains and legumes which significantly decrease the zinc absorption.[12]

This Zinc product is designed to resist the binding effects of phytic acid and dietary fiber.

Zinc deficiency in experimental human model caused “decreased serum testosterone level, oligospermia, severe immune dysfunctions mainly affecting T helper cells, decreased serum thymulin activity hyperammonemia, neuro-sensory disorders and decreased lean body mass.”[8]

Ammonia toxicity and Zinc

ammonia_psoriasisAmmonia is a strong neurotoxin which may cause a lot of health problems. Especially mental disorders because brain have limited capability for ammonia detoxification.

Increased levels of plasma ammonia and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were reported in zinc deficient animals and humans.

Hyperammonemia which I believe is involved in a lot of cases of anxiety and diminished mental performance has been reported also in zinc deficiency.[9]

Hyperammonemia is usually ignored by the doctors in everybody who is better than with advanced liver cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy.

The positive effects of zinc supplementation on blood ammonia levels were confirmed in patients with liver cirrhosis. Patients received 150mg of zinc as zinc acetate in 3 divided doses daily for 3 months.[7]

Blood levels of zinc significantly increased in patients taking zinc and their blood ammonia levels significantly decreased. Blood ammonia levels significantly reduced at the eighth week of supplementation with zinc.[7]

Zinc supplementation may help prevent the hepatic encephalopathy (which is often caused by ammonia) by activating glutamine synthease enyzme.[10]


Serum zinc levels and its daily urinary excretion were measured, an oral zinc-tolerance test was performed to examine zinc malabsorption, and the effects of diuretics on zinc excretion and of zinc supplementation on ammonia metabolism in the skeletal muscle were studied. The mean serum zinc levels in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis were found to be significantly lower than the levels in controls and patients with compensated liver cirrhosis. The serum zinc levels were inversely correlated with blood ammonia in the fasting state.

An increased uptake of ammonia by and an increased release of glutamine from leg skeletal muscle after oral supplementation of zinc sulfate were evident. Taken together, zinc deficiency in decompensated cirrhotic patients appears to be due to low absorption and to high urinary excretion, for which excessive diuretic administration is, in part, responsible, and zinc supplementation might play an important role in the prevention of hepatic encephalopathy by activating glutamine synthetase.
[10]
Source: Yoshida Y, Higashi T, Nouso K, Nakatsukasa H, Nakamura SI, Watanabe A, Tsuji T. Effects of zinc deficiency/zinc supplementation on ammonia metabolism in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis. Acta Med Okayama. 2001 Dec;55(6):349-55.

Zinc supplementation in rats with experimental cirrhosis proved to decrease the levels of plasma ammonia to normal levels and increased the liver ornithine transcarbamylase activity which is a key enzyme responsible for elimination of ammonia.[11]


Plasma ammonia level was significantly inversely correlated with liver ornithine transcarbamylase activity and positively correlated with serum and hepatic zinc content. Our results suggest that zinc deficiency may modify hepatic ornithine transcarbamylase activity and, therefore, ammonia disposal.
[11]
Source: Riggio O, Merli M, Capocaccia L, Caschera M, Zullo A, Pinto G, Gaudio E, Franchitto A, Spagnoli R, D’Aquilino E, et al. Zinc supplementation reduces blood ammonia and increases liver ornithine transcarbamylase activity in experimental cirrhosis. Hepatology. 1992 Sep;16(3):785-9.

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4 Responses

  1. Kimberly White says:

    Interesting, I’m going to look deeper into this, thank you for the article!

    • John says:

      Zinc deficiency is a big issue.

      You may want to read about the condition called “Pyroluria” which causes Zinc and vitamin B6 deficiency. Even though most people think about “Pyroluria” as genetic disorder I consider it more like infection – SIBO, yeast, dental infection and inflammation.

      If “Pyroluria” were really just a genetic problem leading to higher demand of Zinc and vitamin B6 then I would say that supplements would ultimately work but they don’t!

  2. Wendy says:

    What is the best zinc to take?

    • John says:

      Zinc Picolinate – proved to be very bioavailable in scientific studies so I think it is generally the best form for good price.

      Zinc OptiZinc – higher price but still fairly cheap. The supplement companies put claims on the labels about the resistance of OptiZinc to phytic acid but in my opinion if you take Zinc supplements in doses like 50mg of elemental zinc daily the effects of ingested phytic acid on absorption are not significant.

      I mean taking other form of zinc is not a deal breaker in regards to effects of phytic acid.

      Zinc Gluconate – cheap and bioavailable.

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