MINERAL DEFICIENCIES AND PSORIASIS

** Originally posted by GitOverIt **

I found this article on a google psoriasis group
on copper zinc imbalance
(if you take zinc make sure it has copper added in the ingredients)


Causes and Corrections of Psoriasis
By Dr. Paul C. Eck
and
Dr. Larry Wilson



Introduction
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects over 5 million
Americans each year. It is characterized by lesions over pressure
points such as the elbows, knees, bra line, and belt buckle. Large
amounts of the epidermis become scaly and are continually shed.
Psoriasis is unusual in children but can occur at any time after
puberty. It is not at all unusual for psoriasis to disappear with
exposure to sunlight and to reappear in the winter. -Adapted from
Pfeiffer.(1)


Psoriasis: Not A Single Disease But A Syndrome
Psoriasis is not a single disease. In many cases psoriasis is
concurrent with arthritis. Psoriasis is also intimately associated
with diabetes. Often, the correction of one will result in the
correction of the other.
"Severe psoriasis may be accompanied by arthritic changes in the
joints which leads us and others to suspect that excess copper and
deficient zinc and sulfur may be one metabolic factor psoriasis
patients require more than the usual amount of zinc to restore their
serum levels to a normal of 1000 mcg percent..."(2)
While the conventional treatment of psoriasis consists of the use
of cortisone creams and other topical remedies, modern nutritional
research has yielded much safer and often more permanent ways to
control and correct this common condition.


Mineral Deficiencies Associated With Psoriasis
Zinc Deficiency and Psoriasis
Several thousand hair mineral tests conducted at our laboratory
indicate that zinc levels are consistently low in individuals
suffering from psoriasis. This has been confirmed by other sources.
As early as 1956 Braun-Falco and Rathjens found that zinc was
markedly decreased in the outer layers of the skin of patients with
psoriasis. This was confirmed in 1966 by Ponomareva, who found high
levels of zinc in the scales. Plasma zinc levels were low in psoriasis
according to a 1967 report by Greaves and Boyde, and this was
confirmed by Vorhees et al. in 1969. Pfeiffer(3) also found that
psoriasis patients require more than the usual amounts of zinc to
restore their serum levels to a normal of 1000 mcg%.


Reasons for Zinc Deficiency
A zinc deficiency is extremely common today. Dr. Pfeiffer has
stated that the entire American population is borderline deficient in
zinc. There are several reasons for this:
* Stress of any kind causes increased excretion of zinc.


* A high sugar and carbohydrate diet lower tissue zinc levels.


* Vegetarian diets are lower in zinc, since a main source of zinc in
the diet is meat protein, particularly red meat.


* Low levels of zinc in the soil result in lowered zinc levels in
foods.


* Refining of food removes zinc.


* Many children today are born deficient in zinc because their mothers
are deficient.


Cortisol Deficiency
We know that a zinc deficiency is involved in many skin eruptions
including eczema, neurodermatitis and other non-specific skin rashes.
Zinc is required for adrenal hormone production. Cortisol, an anti-
inflammatory adrenal hormone, is commonly used to treat psoriasis.
Zinc is depleted during stress, and it has been noted that a stress
can trigger or aggravate a case of psoriasis.


Hydrochloric Acid Deficiency
Zinc is also needed for digestive enzyme production, and it was
noted by Dr. Carl Pfeiffer that sufferers from psoriasis often had low
levels of gastric hydrochloric acid. Low levels of hydrochloric acid
are commonly associated with low levels of cortisol production or
secretion.
In some cases, psoriasis will respond to topical zinc ointment and
to oral administration of zinc.


Excessive Tissue Copper and Psoriasis
A review of several thousand mineral tests reveals a very high
percentage of psoriasis sufferers have a copper imbalance. This
finding is confirmed by research reported in Acta Vitaminol Enzymol
2:9-16, 1980 in which the author found that; "compared to healthy
controls, plasma copper levels in psoriatic patients were
significantly higher as measured by atomic absorption
spectrophotometry."
In 1962, Lipkin et al. found serum copper levels to be increased
while ceruloplasmin was not proportionally increased and red-cell
copper might be decreased. Molokhia and Portnoy in 1970 found
significantly higher serum copper levels in psoriasis patients.
Zackheim and Wolf in 1972 found much the same. In 1973 Zlatkov et al.
found elevated serum copper which decreased with effective therapy -
in this case, ultraviolet tanning of the skin.(4)
Copper imbalance is known to be involved in other skin conditions
such as acne and some types of dermatitis. Copper is involved in
protein and collagen synthesis.
A confusing aspect is that in some studies copper was found to be
elevated, while in others it was found to be low. However, this
dilemma is resolved when we understand the dynamics of copper
metabolism. Copper may be present in body tissues; yet be biologically
unavailable. This would account for an elevation in copper levels,
however, in reality there is a deficiency of available copper.


Copper Availability is Controlled by the Adrenal Glands
Copper availability is controlled by the adrenal glands, which
stimulate production of ceruloplasmin by the liver. Weak adrenal
glands result in deficient ceruloplasmin synthesis, which in turn
leads to unavailability of copper.
Copper imbalance is very common today for the following reasons:
* environmental copper exposure.


* adrenal gland insufficiency or exhaustion.


* zinc deficiency.


* congenital copper toxicity.


* the copper personality.
Let us briefly examine each of these in more detail:


Cause of an Adrenal Insufficiency
Adrenal insufficiency can be due to chronic stress, nutritional
deficiencies, or congenitally weak adrenal glands. About 70% of those
tested by our laboratory show weak adrenal glands to some degree.


Environmental Copper Sources
Copper Water Pipes - Copper plumbing was hailed as a great advance in
the 1940's, and today the majority of homes in the United States have
copper plumbing. Especially in areas with acidic water, copper can be
leached from pipes. Water coolers and ice-makers in refrigerators also
use copper tubing. Water that sits in these units can contain
dangerously high levels of copper.


Copper Cookware - Copper tea kettles and other copper cookware can be
a source of copper toxicity if used frequently over a period of time.


Drinking Water - Some areas of the United States have high amounts of
naturally occurring copper in their water supply. Copper sulfate is
also added to some municipal drinking water supplies to kill yeast and
fungi.


Birth Control Pills and Copper
Intrauterine Devices - One of the side affects of birth control pills
is to raise copper levels in the body. This is due to the close
association between estrogen and copper levels.
Several hundred milligrams of copper a year can easily be absorbed
from a copper IUD. Many women still utilize the Copper-7 intrauterine
birth control device, although it has been taken off the market. The
only intra-uterine birth control device sold today, is a copper-T.
These devices can be harmful for women prone to high copper levels.


Vitamin and Mineral Supplements - Copper is frequently added to
vitamin supplements, particularly prenatal vitamins. Although this is
a benefit for some people, it can be harmful to others.


Fungicides for Swimming Pools and Foods - Copper sulfate is added to
swimming pools and may be sprayed on fruits and vegetables to retard
growth of algae and fungus.


Vegetarianism and Other High-Copper Diets - Many diets today are high
in copper. In particular, vegetarian proteins such as soybean, nuts,
seeds, tofu, avocado and grains are high in copper content. Fast food
hamburgers and other popular foods are frequently soy-based. Soybean
protein is coming into wider usage, due to its low cholesterol level
and lower cost.
Other high-copper foods are chocolate, organ meats, shellfish,
wheat germ, bran, yeast, corn oil, margarine, and mushrooms.


Occupational Exposure - Plumbers, welders, machinists, and others who
work with copper are at risk for copper toxicity.


Dental Appliances - Copper is used in dental alloys in fillings,
crowns and other appliances.


Zinc Deficiency Due to Copper Antagonism
Zinc and copper are antagonists. As zinc levels decrease, copper
levels tend to increase.


Congenital Copper Toxicity
Thousands of children are born today with a copper imbalance that
is passed on from their mothers. This is a very serious problem today.


The Zinc/Copper Ratio and Psoriasis
Zinc and copper metabolism are closely related. Zinc is required
for adrenal gland activity, which in turn controls copper
availability. Zinc is considered a copper antagonist. At times we find
that the zinc/copper ratio is therefore a better indicator of a
tendency for psoriasis than either the copper or zinc level by itself.


The Copper Personality: A Possible Coping Mechanism
Some individuals have a tendency to accumulate copper in their
body tissues as a defense mechanism to cope with fears and pressures
from their environment. This we call the copper personality.


Dietary Aspects Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis Associated with the Faulty Utilization of Fats
"The eczema-like skin condition psoriasis appears to result from
the faulty utilization of fats. People with this abnormality usually
have excessive amounts of cholesterol in their skin and blood, and by
the time their blood cholesterol has been reduced to normal their
psoriasis has cleared up..."(5)


Summary of Nutritional Factors in Psoriasis
Any factor that depletes zinc or causes a copper imbalance may
result in psoriasis. Stress, dietary deficiency, weak adrenal glands
and even a congenital weakness, can all contribute to psoriasis.


Natural Therapy for Psoriasis
Nutritional therapy aims at restoring zinc levels and correcting a
co-existing copper imbalance. Along with supplementing zinc, often
synergistic nutrients such as vitamin B6 and vitamin A are very
helpful. Restoration of adrenal gland activity often requires B-
complex vitamins, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin E. To aid
absorption of nutrients, betaine hydrochloride with pepsin may be
needed. To improve energy levels for more rapid healing, it is
important to balance all the important mineral levels and ratios.
Results may be noted in several weeks or months, but in some cases
more time is required to reverse long standing or severe nutritional
deficiencies. Patience is needed, and will usually produce extremely
gratifying results even in stubborn cases.
Because there are many complicating factors that should be taken
into account, we find that the hair mineral test is an excellent guide
for determining the dosage of nutrients that are required, and to
guide food selection as well.
Stress can be an important factor in psoriasis. Excessive stress
will interfere with any healing approach. Any technique or modality
that enhances one's ability to cope with stress is helpful in the
correction of psoriasis.
As with all health conditions, proper attention to lifestyle and
diet will greatly facilitate progress.
By using a natural healing approach, a rapid and permanent correction
of psoriasis is possible.


Other Interesting Facts Regarding Psoriasis
It has been noted that when a woman becomes pregnant often her
psoriasis will subside, only to return after she delivers a child. We
known that pregnancy causes important alterations in copper
metabolism, and perhaps this is one of the causes of the phenomenon.
Psoriasis is often triggered or aggravated by a stressful episode
or incident. It is known that zinc is lost in varying amounts within
minutes of a stressful event. The result is an excessive amount of
copper.
It has also been noted that psoriasis is associated with elevated
cholesterol and triglyceride levels. There is ample medical evidence
that alteration in cholesterol metabolism is associated with a copper
imbalance. Copper is stored in the liver, and, in excess impairs liver
function. This could explain the connection between cholesterol and
psoriasis.
Psoriasis may be associated with a specific form of arthritis.
Again, in mineral research there is a close connection between copper
metabolism, adrenal gland activity and arthritis. The same medication
that helps psoriasis, cortisone, is helpful in reducing the
inflammatory process associated with various forms of arthritis.
Cortisone production within the body, as stated earlier, is dependent
upon adequate zinc levels.

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18 replies. Join the discussion

** Originally posted by twinieten **

Wow, thanks Sally! This is a great article!

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** Originally posted by DD **

How much zinc should we take?

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** Originally posted by GitOverIt **

Dr Heng said from 50 mgs to 220 mgs......I've been taking 2 caps..... 50 mgs (with copper) each... by Source Naturals,,,,they are a pretty inexpensive supplement...good for skin, nails, hair......etc!

Heng said zinc deficiency is related to lactose intolerance...and to stay away from all dairy!

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** Originally posted by jorel-1 **

I can back up Sally's post with this -

The following comes from page 81 of "The Psoriasis Cure. " It has been copied verbatim:

Zinc

Zinc helps your body heal. It is necessary for the proper growth of your skin, hair, and nails. It regulates the activity of your oil glands. It is the most critical nutrient to the health of your immune system, as it is involved in every aspect of immunity. It also protects your liver from chemical damage and is vital for bone formation. Psoriasis has been associated with zinc deficiency or depletion in research studies (****). (my emphasis - Jor-EL).
Symptoms of deficiency include acne, spotty hair loss, loss of appetite, loss of taste and smell, brittle nails, white spots on nails, scaly skin rashes, frequent infections, impotence and male infertility, irritability, night blindness, poor wound healing, high cholesterol, and fatigue. (that's quite a list !!!- Jor-EL)
(she recommends taking the following dosage, which I did - Jor-EL)
Take one combined supplement containing 1,000 mg of calcium, 500 mg of magnesium, and 50 mg of chelated zinc three times each day with meals. Always take zinc in the chelated form; it can cause you to become deficient in copper in the ionic form.

(****)She gives 4 references to scientific papers that can be found on page 145 of the book.

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** Originally posted by encyclopedia **

Thanks, Sally! This is a great article! I will look for zinc supplements to take. I have responded only partially to the Barneys formula so I am looking for other nutrients or natural treatments to take, in addition to Barneys. But what about copper, taking supplements of it might be harmful, no? It wouldn't be good to take copper supplements if we already have a high level, right?

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** Originally posted by encyclopedia **

Oh no! I read in the Nutrition Action Health Letter of March 2006 (published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest) that the highest safe level of zinc intake per day is 40 mg ,or else it interferes with copper metabolism. What to do then?

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** Originally posted by GitOverIt **

I always buy zinc that has copper in it...when shopping for zinc check the label...............
most one-a-day vitamins have your minerals included...what I was referring to was that Dr. Heng, in my consultation told me to up my zinc because most people with P were found to have low levels of zinc in skin analysis.....
The average person may not have to worry...we aren't average :p

here is a good article...doesn't mention psoriasis though



http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:yS3fN-rbvygJ:www.drkaslow.com/html/zin c-copper_imbalances.html+zinc+with+copper%3F&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=us&ie=UT F-8

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** Originally posted by crowfriend **

Hey there,

I wanted to say that I talked to my chinese medicine doctor this morning about the zinc thing. She has a heavy accent, so I didn't catch everything but she said that her thesis was about trace minerals,* and she said she too studied hair samples, red blood cells, and one other thing, I forget what. Anyway she said that even though zinc was low in hair samples, some people still had high levels of zinc in their red blood cells. I believe she said that the zinc might not be necessarily deficient in the body, but distributed differently. Anyway, the upshot being that for some people, taking zinc supplements might not be good - because too much zinc is bad for you. So she suggested that each person should get tested individually before taking zinc supplements. I asked if the study was published, and she said yes, but in China, in Chinese.

* I thought she was saying "tri-sediments" and so half way through this conversation I said "are you saying 'tri-sediments?" and she looked at me like I was crazy and said "no! TRISEDIMENTS TRIS - SEDIMENTS" and finally I heard "trace elements"!!! I find that a kind of hilariously funny aspect to my treatment - every time I ask a question I understand about 60 percent of the reply, although I'm getting better at understanding her

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** Originally posted by encyclopedia **

I always buy zinc that has copper in it...when shopping for zinc check the label...............
most one-a-day vitamins have your minerals included...what I was referring to was that Dr. Heng, in my consultation told me to up my zinc because most people with P were found to have low levels of zinc in skin analysis.....
The average person may not have to worry...we aren't average :p

here is a good article...doesn't mention psoriasis though



http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:yS3fN-rbvygJ:www.drkaslow.com/html/zin c-copper_imbalances.html+zinc+with+copper%3F&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=us&ie=UT F-8

I can see that we have to up our zinc intake, but my question is, if psoriatics have elevated blood copper, why take more copper?

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** Originally posted by GitOverIt **

if uncertain get a blood test :p I don't think a hair analysis test would a give recent reading, since it takes so long for hair to grow out and you would be getting a reading from the past. (they recommend a hair analysis in the article ...just make sure the hair is cut as close to the scalp as possible)

A confusing aspect is that in some studies copper was found to be
elevated, while in others it was found to be low. However, this
dilemma is resolved when we understand the dynamics of copper
metabolism. Copper may be present in body tissues; yet be biologically
unavailable. This would account for an elevation in copper levels,
however, in reality there is a deficiency of available copper.

(taken from the article)

and these quotes are worth re-reading:

Natural Therapy for Psoriasis
Nutritional therapy aims at restoring zinc levels and correcting a
co-existing copper imbalance. Along with supplementing zinc, often
synergistic nutrients such as vitamin B6 and vitamin A are very
helpful. Restoration of adrenal gland activity often requires B-
complex vitamins, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin E. To aid
absorption of nutrients, betaine hydrochloride with pepsin may be
needed. To improve energy levels for more rapid healing, it is
important to balance all the important mineral levels and ratios.
Results may be noted in several weeks or months, but in some cases
more time is required to reverse long standing or severe nutritional
deficiencies. Patience is needed, and will usually produce extremely
gratifying results even in stubborn cases.
Because there are many complicating factors that should be taken
into account, we find that the hair mineral test is an excellent guide
for determining the dosage of nutrients that are required, and to
guide food selection as well.
Stress can be an important factor in psoriasis. Excessive stress
will interfere with any healing approach. Any technique or modality
that enhances one's ability to cope with stress is helpful in the
correction of psoriasis.
As with all health conditions, proper attention to lifestyle and
diet will greatly facilitate progress.
By using a natural healing approach, a rapid and permanent correction
of psoriasis is possible.


Other Interesting Facts Regarding Psoriasis
It has been noted that when a woman becomes pregnant often her
psoriasis will subside, only to return after she delivers a child. We
known that pregnancy causes important alterations in copper
metabolism, and perhaps this is one of the causes of the phenomenon.
Psoriasis is often triggered or aggravated by a stressful episode
or incident. It is known that zinc is lost in varying amounts within
minutes of a stressful event. The result is an excessive amount of
copper.
It has also been noted that psoriasis is associated with elevated
cholesterol and triglyceride levels. There is ample medical evidence
that alteration in cholesterol metabolism is associated with a copper
imbalance. Copper is stored in the liver, and, in excess impairs liver
function. This could explain the connection between cholesterol and
psoriasis.
Psoriasis may be associated with a specific form of arthritis.
Again, in mineral research there is a close connection between copper
metabolism, adrenal gland activity and arthritis. The same medication
that helps psoriasis, cortisone, is helpful in reducing the
inflammatory process associated with various forms of arthritis.
Cortisone production within the body, as stated earlier, is dependent
upon adequate zinc levels.

As you can see from the article zinc can be depleted so easily especially under stress...
maybe we should be going to a doctor that specializes in this type of study rather than a derm :p

anyway I take the zinc/copper combo

I just dug out a test called "Nutrient Mineral Levels" taken years and years ago! my copper was low an "8" referance range is 11- 41
zinc was "170" ref. range 124- 184

wonder what it is today....since I went on and developed P....interesting that I got it so late in life!

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** Originally posted by annisan **

Hi All! I am confused about how much (if any) zinc I should take. I just started taking it 5 days ago, first day I only took 15mg, then I read somewhere that people with psoriasis need more, so I did 2 days where I took 45mg., yesterday only 15. Tonight I came across the info from the DermaHarmony site that said zinc was an immune booster. If this is the case shouldn't I avoid it (from a supplement I mean). Right before my major flare, before I found out I had an infection, I had been taking echinacea because I felt I was coming down with a cold, It's what I had always done, it always worked before and I never got sick. Last week, thinking in retrospect I put 2 and 2 together and realized me doing that could have actually assisted in bringing this hell on, and sure enough I go read the label and it says "Not recommended for use by people with autoimmune conditions". As you can see I am very cautious now and don't need any more boosters, in fact are there any natural immunosuppresants out there? Please advise, Thanks - Annie

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** Originally posted by MadCat **

Vegetarian diets are lower in zinc, since a main source of zinc in
the diet is meat protein, particularly red meat.

This is very interesting. When I was still eating a LOT of meat (2 or 3 times a day) I was found to have a zinc deficiency.

But since I changed to a vegan diet and was given a course of zinc supplements, I no longer have a deficiency.

Zinc is also found in grains, legumes and nuts.

That zinc test I had was yucky to say the least, it tasted truly foul.

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** Originally posted by MadCat **

every time I ask a question I understand about 60 percent of the reply, although I'm getting better at understanding her

My Chinese medicine doctor was fantastic, just excellent and cured me of many things with truly disgusting dried mushrooms, leaves and twigs that I had to brew into a foul smelling tea ........BUT I could hardly understand a word he said. Made for some interesting visits I must say. :)

.

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** Originally posted by crowfriend **

It's great to hear from you! I switched Chinese Doctors back in midwinter, and my new doctor is much easier to understand, though I still have to ask him to repeat things. He is a very subtle doctor, and he is helping me heal slowly but surely. I'm very encouraged. Especially since the rain is coming, and the dark.

You are heading into your summer, aren't you?! Lucky you!

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** Originally posted by MadCat **

Especially since the rain is coming, and the dark. You are heading into your summer, aren't you?! Lucky you!

Yes, heading into summer - thank goodness. This past winter was very cold, coldest Australian winter I have ever experienced. Although sometimes it can get too hot. New Years Day a few years ago was 45C, with no air-conditioning. I was sweating like crazy and my P at the time was itching like crazy.

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** Originally posted by Green77 **

I did a full cleanse back in March from Dr. Natura. he really does have the best cleansing products according to a few different sources when I was doing the reserach....

So I paid the money and did the Colonix and Toxinout cleanse for 2 months. My P did get better. They advise to also continue with a healthy diet to keep the effectiveness of the cleanse going, of course. But they recommend doing the cleanse at least once a year. After the first cleanse you can go down to doing it for a month.

The Colonix is self explanatory
and the Toxinout:

"Detoxifying the liver, kidneys, blood and other parts of the body
with Toxinout
Toxinout is designed for the removal of the most commonly occurring and dangerous heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum, as well as other toxic elements, while supporting the liver and other organs in the body. "
I called them and asked about copper and they couldn't give specifics but they said anything that's not suppossed to be there.

So anyway, maybe one of the reasons why I improved was that the Toxinout not only cleansed copper from my system but was also zinc supplement.

Just a thought......
Maybe I should do it again.

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** Originally posted by Shaman **

Yes, zinc, magnesium, and iron deficiency are common.

Shaman

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** Originally posted by Brandi **

In my opinion this is rated in the top 10 of the most useful information on this messasge board. Hallalueia!!

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