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Fighting P with Zinc Supplements
from Karin E.

Hi Ed. I am writing to you for the first time but I have read in your archives for a long time ;-)

My story is that I have had mild P since the age of 10 (I have now passed 30).  After a stressful working experience my P got worse, I also got P arthritis in a mild form, and I took UVB treatment for a few months.  The P cleared, and returned as soon as the treatment was over.  Where to go next?

I started to search on the internet, to read books ... tried to find that "last rope" you are talking about. My conclusion is that the P seems to be the results of our genes in connection with the "stressors" of the body — in my case severe nutritional deficiencies which I have due to the stressful life I have lived so far. My recommendation is to make a blood test on whole blood (not just the serum) and then to boost the immune system in order for the body to fight back the plaques!

I have a severe deficiency of zinc and a small deficiency of copper evaluated by the blood analysis, and I take approximately 60 mg elemental zinc every day and will have to do so until the levels are back to normal again.  This may take 1-5 years according to my therapist.  A new [blood] test is to be done every fifth month.

A severe zinc deficiency hinders immune function as well as a healthy PH level in the body! After eight months on the zinc supplements my skin has started to clear — the lesions are thinner and not shedding as much as before.

I will keep you updated on the progress!

All the best.  -Karin E. (Göteborg, Sweden)


Ed’s Response:  Nice to hear from you, Karin! I am a Swedish expat by four generations (my mother’s grandfather was a Swedish Lutheran minister to the United States).

I look forward to future emails from you regarding progress on your zinc regimen.  Similar diet supplement therapies have been tried with mixed success by other FlakeHQ correspondents and, as you no doubt know, we have our own well-publicized nutrition therapy advocates in the U.S. — Dr.s Pagano and Connolly (to name two).

Zinc has been particularly contentious, as you can read by visiting the “Zinc...” exchanges in the Archive or searching on “zinc” from the homepage, here.  One of the therapies that enjoyed a brief popularity here required taking very LARGE dosages of zinc.  I believe results were supposed to be obtained in less than your 1-5 years (which would make sense, I guess) but evidently that much zinc made many people sick and they abandoned the therapy.

For P, dietary therapies are not “mainstream” in the U.S.  Nevertheless, there has been and probably always will be a significant level of interest in dietary approaches to treating P.  This is understandable, here, as the cost of effective medicines is high and getting higher and we are on the cusp of an insurance shakeup that could be profoundly bad.  One problem we have is lack of an accepted infrastructure for the reliable evaluation of dietary therapies and use of supplements.  Aside from stepping in when dangerous fraud or health hazards are propagated, our government takes a caveat emptor attitude without policing OR much research. 

I understand that in Sweden, health care is nationalized, and I’m deducing from your email that a higher level of what we call “alternative medicine” is accepted into that nationalized healthcare infrastructure.  Am I right?

Another comment you made that is much argued here:  “My recommendation is to ... boost the immune system in order for the body to fight back the plaques.”  The prevalent belief in our established medical community right now is that P is related to a hyperactive immune system response.  Indeed, the classic systemic drugs for P treatment here — methotrexate, cyclosporine, acitretin — are immune response suppressors.  The new biologic drugs just introduced and/or under investigation — Enbrel, Amevive, Raptiva, Remicade, etc. — are more refined immune response suppressors.  As immune response suppressors have been so successful in palliating P for many years, how do they interact with the counter notion that the immune response should be “boosted”? 

A question I can’t answer.  Given that many people have had reported success with diets and dietary supplements, the answer isn’t going to be an easy one.

So, we'll appreciate it if you let us know how things progress with you.  Thanks again.  -Ed

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