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QUESTION: I notice you don't support zinc supplementation for Type O's, yet most of your colleagues, many of whom are Bastyr graduates, are big on zinc for acne sufferers? Do you think the harm it causes outweighs its potential therapeutic benefits?
ANSWER: In my opinion, zinc is an absolutely critical nutrient for health, and in my experience, many individuals I encounter in my practice have a relative deficiency of this trace mineral. My concern in the book was to ensure that individuals did not self-prescribe zinc in high amounts for prolonged periods of time. (Note: it is not uncommon for me to encounter new patients taking some zinc in a multiple vitamin/mineral formula, some in an antioxidant, in a cold formula, etc and actually consuming too much zinc).
While high amonts of zinc can sometimes be very useful for acne and other skin disorders, I always use a zinc taste test to monitor someone's response to zinc over time and never use high amounts of zinc for any sustained period of time. Remember, zinc at 100 mg a day can depress immune function, and should be avoided unless an experienced practitioner is monitoring your response to zinc. I think supplementing the diet with about 15 mg of zinc is safe and prudent.