To Your Health
April, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 04)
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Zinc and Selenium

The minerals zinc and selenium are also emerging as vital nutrients for skin health and appearance.

Zinc is necessary for oil gland function, local skin hormone activation, wound healing, skin inflammation control and regeneration of skin cells. Zinc supplementation has been used with success in the treatment of many cases of acne and as part of the nutritional treatment for psoriasis and eczema. Studies indicate that most individuals consume only 8-9 mg per day of zinc from dietary sources, whereas the RDA for zinc is set at 15 mg for adults.

Selenium helps to provide antioxidant protection as part of the glutathione peroxidase enzyme. Selenium modulates the synthesis of prostaglandin hormones, which affect the smoothness and texture of the skin, and affects immune system function. Low blood levels of selenium have been associated with both eczema and psoriasis in human studies.

Are You Getting Enough Nutritional Skin Support?

The skin is a dynamic, highly proliferative organ that has an inherent need for specific vitamin and minerals to support its structure, function and development. Exposure of the skin to both internal and external sources of free radicals appears to create a demand for appropriate nutritional and topical antioxidant support to defend against photo-aging and mutations linked to cancer development. In addition, scientific investigation reveals that certain vitamins and minerals play a vital role in the prevention and management of many skin conditions and diseases, and affect other aspects of skin cell maturation that determine the texture, moisture and smoothness of the skin. Although various topical skin lotions and treatments provide effective anti-aging and therapeutic benefits, the addition of a high-potency multivitamin/mineral supplement to your skin care program is emerging as an invaluable intervention to complement topical and cosmetic practices. (See Table for a detailed account of desirable levels of nutrients provided by an appropriate multivitamin/mineral formula, and talk to your doctor to learn more.)

Vitamin/Mineral Form Amount
Vitamin A Retinyl palmitate 2,000-3,000 IU
Beta Carotene N/A 10,000-20,000 IU
Vitamin C Ascorbic acid 500-1,000 mg
Vitamin D Cholecalciferol 400 IU
Vitamin E D-alpha tocopheryl succinate 200-400 IU
Thiamin Thiamine mononitrate 50 mg
Riboflavin N/A 50 mg
Niacin Niacinamide 50 mg
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine hydrochloride 50 mg
Folic Acid N/A 400 mcg
Vitamin B12 Cyanocobalmin 50 mcg
Biotin D-Biotin 300 mcg
Pantothenic Acid Calcium pantothenate 50 mg
Calcium Calcium carbonate,
Calcium citrate
500 mg
Iron Ferrous fumarate 6 mg
Magnesium Magnesium oxide 200 mg
Zinc Zinc citrate 15 mg
Selenium Selenium HVP/HAP chelate 100-200 mcg
Copper Copper gluconate 2 mg
Manganese Manganese gluconate 5 mg
Chromium Chromium amino acid chelate 50 mcg
Molybdenum Molybdenum citrate 50 mcg
Citrus Bioflavonoids N/A 50 mg
Lutein N/A 6 mg
Lycopene N/A 6 mg


James Meschino, DC, MS, practices in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is the author of four nutrition books, including The Meschino Optimal Living Program and Break the Weight Loss Barrier.