Zinc Depleted Soils And Psoriasis

What Is The Best Form Of Zinc Supplement For Psoriasis

If you ever wondered what was the best form of zinc supplement for psoriasis in terms of absorption just read this post. The soils are depleted, wheat and other crops have little zinc content and phytic acid in bran binds the zinc in the digestive tract thus further lowering the bioavailable zinc which is so important in psoriasis.

There is a lot of forms of zinc in supplements – zinc oxide, zinc picolinate, zinc orotate, zinc bisglycinate chelate, zinc gluconate, zinc citrate, zinc L-carnosine, zinc monomethionine – but which one is the best?

In the past I recommended zinc picolinate and gluconate as the best zinc supplements for the price, but in this article you will see that there are even better ones.

Later, in 2017 I wrote a blog post describing the negative effects of zinc deficiency on omega 6 status. In other words a good part of symptoms of zinc deficiency may be caused by inadequate production of omega 6 fatty acids.

Zinc deficiency – growth retardation and hypogonadism

Zinc was found to be an essential nutrient humans can be deficient in in 1961 when a single case report of 21 year old male patient from Iran was published. The patient was diagnosed in 1958 with “dwarfism, hypogonadism, hepatosplenomegaly, rough and dry skin, mental lethargy, geophagia, and iron deficiency anaemia”.[1]

His diet was very low in animal protein and consisted mostly of unleavened bread. He also ate about 0.5 kg of clay every day. The intake of calories and protein (in form of cereals) was adequate and no other deficiency besides the iron deficiency was documented.

During the following 10 months more patients with the similar symptoms visited the hospital.

Growth retardation combined with testicular hypofunction was present in all of them and could not be explained by iron deficiency. No animal studies researching the effects of iron deficiency resulted in symptoms like that.

The only known nutrient causing growth retardation and hypogonadism in animal studies was zinc.

All patients improved on balanced diet which included the animal protein and iron supplementation.[1]

Is zinc supplement necessary in psoriasis?

You probably know that I am all for supplements and not buying all those opinions that food has all we need to thrive. Mostly when we are in troubles already and need some support to recover.

The very most people are mislead by thinking that if vegetable or fruit grow big and looks dark green (vegetable) or red, yellow, orange (fruit) it is healthy and has to have all the necessary nutrients.

It is not true and farmers and corporations know that.

In order to make vegetable and fruit grow big all they need is add the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

These nutrients make the plants look healthy, grow tall and increase the yield.

However, the sad fact is that the nutritional value of plants is low as well as their vitality.

The apple you eat may look good and be 1 lb but its nutritional profile can be very poor.

Moreover, diet high in grains especially unrefined grains with bran decreases the bioavailable zinc in the digestive tract.

It is caused by phytic acid which is present in cereal bran and chelates the zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron and other minerals.

Soils are zinc depleted

Zinc In Soil Is DepletedMoreover, crop fields are very low in zinc so wheat (and other cereals) is often very low in zinc even before you ingest it. Phytic acid is just the nail in the coffin.

The study published in 1996 examined the 76 soil samples from major wheat growing area in Turkey – Central Anatolia.

In a soil and plant survey, and in field and greenhouse experiments the nutritional status of wheat plants was evaluated for Zn, Fe, Mn and Cu in Central Anatolia, a semi-arid region and the major wheat growing area of Turkey. All 76 soils sampled in Central Anatolia were highly alkaline with an average pH of 7. 9. More than 90% of soils contained less than 0.5 mg kg-1 DTPA-extractable Zn, which is widely considered to be the critical deficiency concentration of Zn for plants grown on calcareous soils. About 25% of soils contained less than 2.5 mg kg-1 DTPA-extractable Fe which is considered to be the critical deficiency concentration of Fe for plants. The concentrations of DTPA-extractable Mn and Cu were in the sufficiency range. Also the Zn concentrations in leaves were very low. More than 80% of the 136 leaf samples contained less than 10 mg Zn kg-1. By contrast, concentrations of Fe, Mn and Cu in leaves were in the sufficient range. In the field experiments at six locations, application of 23 kg Zn ha-1 increased grain yield in all locations. Relative increases in grain yield resulting from Zn application ranged between 5% to 554% with a mean of 43%. Significant increases in grain yield (more than 31%) as a result of Zn application were found for the locations where soils contained less than 0.15 mg kg-1 DTPA-extractable Zn. In pot experiments with two bread (Triticum aestivum, cvs. Gerek-79 and Kirac-66) and two durum wheats (Triticum durum, cvs. Kiziltan-91 and Kunduru-1149), an application of 10 mg Zn kg-1 soil enhanced shoot dry matter production by about 3.5-fold in soils containing 0.11 mg kg-1 and 0.15 mg kg-1 DTPA-extractable Zn. Results from both field observations and greenhouse experiments showed that durum wheats were more susceptible to Zn deficiency than the bread wheats. On Zn deficient soils, durum wheats as compared to bread wheats developed deficiency symptoms in shoots earlier and to a greater extent, and had lower Zn concentration in shoot tissue and lower Zn content per shoot than the bread wheats. The results presented in this paper demonstrate that (i) Zn deficiency is a critical nutritional problem in Central Anatolia substantially limiting wheat production, (ii) durum wheats possess higher sensitivity to Zn deficient conditions than bread wheats, and (iii) wheat plants grown in calcareous soils containing less than 0.2 mg kg-1 DTPA-extractable Zn significantly respond to soil Zn applications. The results also indicate that low levels of Zn in soils and plant materials (i.e. grains) could be a major contributing factor for widespread occurrence of Zn deficiency in children in Turkey, whose diets are dominated by cereal-based foods.
” [5]

What are the major outcomes of that study?

  • Over 90% of soil samples contained less than 0.5 mg/kg of zinc which is VERY low and considered to be a critical deficiency for plants grown on calcareous soils (high levels of calcium carbonate).
  • Over 25% of soil samples contained less than 2.5 mg/kg of iron which is considered to be a critical deficiency for plants.
  • Manganese and Copper were is sufficient range in soil samples.
  • The zinc concentrations in leaves were very low. Over 80% of 136 leaf samples contained less than 10 mg/kg of zinc.
  • Iron, Manganese and Copper were found to be in the sufficient range in leaves.
  • Application of 23 kg/ha of Zinc increased the yield from 5% up to 554% with a mean increase of 43%.
  • Durum wheats were more susceptible to Zinc deficiency than bread wheats.
  • Wheat grown on calcareous (containing high levels of calcium carbonate) soils with less than 0.2 mg/kg of zinc responded significantly to zinc application.

Here is the effect of foliar applied zinc on growth of barley plants in Central Anatolia
Image Source: I. Cakmak, A. Yilmaz, M. Kalayci, H. Ekiz, B. Torun, B. Erenoglu and H.J. Braun. Plant and Soil. Zinc deficiency as a critical problem in wheat production in Central Anatolia. Plant and Soil Vol. 180, No. 2 (March (II) 1996), pp. 165-172


Zinc application to soil increases the rice yield significantly as well.[6]

The efects of zinc appication to soil on rice yield.[6, 7]
Image Composed By: Nazanin Roohani, Richard Hurrell, Roya Kelishadi, Rainer Schulin. Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. J Res Med Sci. 2013 Feb; 18(2): 144–157.

Best form of zinc for psoriasis

In order to give you a clear answer on what zinc form and which supplement I consider the best, I will tell you that right now before I mention any studies.

The best form of zinc which is easily available and sells for a low price is zinc bisglycinate which is a zinc ion (ZN2+) bound to two molecules of amino acid glycine.

Nature’s Way Zinc which uses zinc bisglycinate works great and is the cheapest supplement of all others I am going to mention below.

If you want to take the zinc where manufacturer declares Albion Laboratories as the source of raw material then you can use NOW Foods Zinc or Solgar Chelated Zinc. Solgar does not state if the zinc compound in their product is TRAACS (The Real Amino Acid Chelate System) but it likely is as Albion lists no other zinc compounds on its website (as of November 2017).

If you took more than 60 mg of zinc daily you might wanted to add a copper supplement in order to balance the effects of zinc on copper function and possible zinc toxicity.

The science says Zinc bisglycinate is superior

The most older studies ranked the assimilation of zinc picolinate as the best. That’s why zinc picolinate is generally considered as better compared to other forms like zinc gluconate or zinc citrate.

In study from 1987 the absorption after oral administration of zinc picolinate, zinc citrate and zinc gluconate was tested.

The significant difference in hair, urine and red blood cell levels was found after supplementation of zinc picolinate only (zinc levels went up).

The comparative absorption of zinc after oral administration of three different complexed forms was studied in 15 healthy human volunteers in a double-blind four-period crossover trial. The individuals were randomly divided into four groups. Each group rotated for four week periods through a random sequence of oral supplementation including: zinc picolinate, zinc citrate, and zinc gluconate (equivalent to 50 mg elemental zinc per day) and placebo. Zinc was measured in hair, urine, erythrocyte and serum before and after each period. At the end of four weeks hair, urine and erythrocyte zinc levels rose significantly (p less than 0.005, p less than 0.001, and p less than 0.001) during zinc picolinate administration. There was no significant change in any of these parameters from zinc gluconate, zinc citrate or placebo administration. There was a small, insignificant rise in serum zinc during zinc picolinate, zinc citrate and placebo supplementation.

The recent studies show that zinc amino acid chelates but also amino acid chelates of other minerals are absorbed better.

A study published in International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research in 2007 stated that Zinc bisglycinate bioavailability after oral administration was 43.4% higher compared to Zinc gluconate.

The aim of the present study was to compare the oral bioavailability of zinc bis-glycinate (a new formulation) with zinc gluconate (reference formulation). A randomized, cross-over study was conducted in 12 female volunteers. The two products were administrated orally at the single dose of 15 mg (7.5 mg x 2), with a 7-day wash-out period between the two tests.

Bis-glycinate administration was safe and well tolerated and bis-glycinate significantly increased the oral bioavailability of zinc (+43.4%) compared with the gluconate.


Another study from 2008 compared the bioavailability of 4 popular zinc complexes – oxide, picolinate, gluconate and glycinate.

In the present study, in 12 young adult women, four zinc complexes (oxide, picolinate, gluconate, and glycinate) were compared for acute uptake using a zinc tolerance test (plasma zinc changes hourly for 4 h after a single zinc dosing), and two related measures (erythrocyte zinc and activity of the zinc enzyme 5′-nucleotidase over the same 4 h period). Plasma zinc rankings based on area under the curve, as well as by rank results per person, were: glycinate > gluconate > picolinate=oxide. Erythrocyte zinc rankings based on area under the curve, as well as by rank results per person, were: glycinate > picolinate >oxide > gluconate. None of the supplement significantly increased 5′-nucleotidase activities at any of the time points. In summary, zinc glycinate showed the best acute uptake of the four complexes tested.

Disclosure Note: R DiSilvestro has a consultant retainer agreement with Albion Laboratories, who supplied zinc glycinate, but this was not true when the study was done, nor did Albion fund this study.

As you can see zinc glycinate ranked the best.


Personally, I have tried zinc picolinate, gluconate and glycinate; and zinc glycinate works by far the best in my opinion. But take that just as it is – my opinion because the outcomes and effects I experienced might be significantly improved by other supplements I took concurrently – especially B6 (and other b-vitamins).

The combination of B6 and zinc is a well known formula for pyroluria (-like pathologic states) which is a subset of porphyria disorder.

Zinc should be taken with food as it may cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach.

One interesting article about the minerals, zinc and its effects on plants is published on MaximumYield.com. I recommend you to read it.


1) Ananda S Prasad, distinguished professor of medicine. Zinc deficiency; Has been known of for 40 years but ignored by global health organisations. BMJ. 2003 Feb 22; 326(7386): 409–410.

2) Robert A DiSilvestro and Melinda Swan. Comparison of Four Commercially Available Zinc Supplements for Performance in a Zinc Tolerance Test. (The FASEB Journal. 2008;22:693.3.)

3) Barrie SA, Wright JV, Pizzorno JE, Kutter E, Barron PC. Comparative absorption of zinc picolinate, zinc citrate and zinc gluconate in humans. Agents Actions. 1987 Jun;21(1-2):223-8.

4) Gandia P, Bour D, Maurette JM, Donazzolo Y, Duchène P, Béjot M, Houin G. A bioavailability study comparing two oral formulations containing zinc (Zn bis-glycinate vs. Zn gluconate) after a single administration to twelve healthy female volunteers. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 Jul;77(4):243-8.

5) I. Cakmak, A. Yilmaz, M. Kalayci, H. Ekiz, B. Torun, B. Erenoglu and H.J. Braun
Plant and Soil. Zinc deficiency as a critical problem in wheat production in Central Anatolia. Plant and Soil Vol. 180, No. 2 (March (II) 1996), pp. 165-172

6) Yashbir Singh Shivay, Dinesh Kumar, Rajendra Prasad, I. P. S. Ahlawat. Relative yield and zinc uptake by rice from zinc sulphate and zinc oxide coatings onto urea. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems. February 2008, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 181–188

7) Nazanin Roohani, Richard Hurrell, Roya Kelishadi, Rainer Schulin. Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. J Res Med Sci. 2013 Feb; 18(2): 144–157.

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2 Responses

  1. Masynee says:

    Great information. Thanks John.

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