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A Zinc-less Zinc Regimen for Adults: Draft 4

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But on the other hand i've always slept with the tv on so you'd think that would cancel that all out?

Good question. I suspect the answer would involve: how bright was the TV, how many inches was it from your face, which direction was your head with respect to the TV when you slept, etc. I think it's been proven that you can't get enough light through closed eyelids to trip the intensity-sensitive ganglion cells, so it's the blinking and eyelid leakage that should matter. When you look at the sum total of studies on light at night versus melatonin, it paints a complicated picture.

In my own experience, getting 12 hours of bright sunlight seems to more or less swamp everything else I do to avoid acne. This summer, I had 10-day periods or more where I could totally be "bad" and have my caffeine-laden Coke in the evening (bringing the daily total to 64 ounces), still sleep halfway decent, and stay acne-free. That's unfortunate, since it's hard in modern life (but inevitable in primitive life) to get outdoor light all day. Now that winter's coming, I'll have to rely more on avoiding/managing fructose/caffeine and getting that >=9 hours of effective sleep.

Of course, it's always possible that I'm doing something I'm unaware of that affects my acne and my model is bogus. It sure seems like I have fairly good control over it; in the days when I tried to cure my acne via various extreme diets, nothing that seemed to "work" ever worked for very long, but that's not been my experience with this model of acne. These days, instead of looking back to try to guess what caused my acne, I can predict when it will appear based on my behavior. I chose to have a whole lot of pie, ice cream, and Coke during a big celebration (when I was not getting 12 hours of sunlight) and knew I would pay the price. But I also knew I could pop some zinc pills (which I normally avoid these days) to decrease the inflammation, be strict for a few days, and be quickly clear again, and that's just what happened. In a perverted way, I almost feel like it's a good thing to get visible acne again once in a while so I never forget what a blessing it is to be clear and walk around like a normal person.


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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I went out and bought some zinc and melatonin to "jumpstart" this cycle as you mentioned in an earlier post. Then if i get some results taper those off. About how much zinc would be a good dosage to start at? Some say not to go over 50mg but you mentioned like ~200mg. Melatonin dosage as well?

I was hoping you could weigh in on the chronic fatigue issue as well. Do you think it could be related to the serotonin/melatonin cycle? I have yet to do any research so this cycle is new territory for me. When I wake up every morning it feels literally like i didn't even sleep, regardless of how many hours i get. And that feeling lasts all day. Could this cycle have gotten "bumped" off kilter just a little bit more every day until one day toppling over so to speak? Just a guess!? Heck everything else i've tried hasn't helped any. The only inconsistency is that this happened overnight. I was fine one day, screwed up the next. I never experienced a gradual decrease in energy.

Any input would be awesome

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I wouldn't bother with more than 50mg zinc picolinate/day. Taking a Vitamin B complex and 200mcg of selenium are probably more important than going over 50mg/zinc. I would just follow the directions/dosage on the melatonin pill bottle, and if it's not an under-the-tongue pill (sublingual), I wouldn't bother -- I'm not sure there's good evidence that melatonin can reliably make it past the intestines (which has it's own large pool of melatonin, since it is effectively a "second brain" and needs to create neurotransmitters like serotonin, which degrades into melatonin).

The only inconsistency is that this happened overnight. I was fine one day, screwed up the next. I never experienced a gradual decrease in energy.

I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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Your research here, as with your other drafts, is very interesting.

I'm currently 98% clear using Dan's BP, which I have used for almost 6 years with success. It has kept me clear for most of that time, with a couple of blips in the last year - in February 09 when it was extremely cold here, and bizarrely in June/July when it was much warmer.

The first one was, I thought, attributable to the cold weather and lack of sunshine.

The second one stumped me. The only thing I could think of was a couple of weeks before I had stayed in the hot sun for a good while, and this had somehow caused the breakout. Other than that, I didn't change anything in the regimen. I eventually got it under control and got clear, except with the red marks which remain.

Anyway, I never paid attention to vitamins/supplements before, but that experience made me realise how unreliable and aggravating BP can be. It works for me, but the daily time it takes and problems with irritation and dryness made me look elsewhere.

After doing some reasearch, I stumbled upon the 1938 trial done on vitamin D3, of which I'm sure you will be well aware:-

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender...mp;blobtype=pdf

I always did think sunlight helped my face, but not by preventing spots - rather by tanning my face and "hiding" the red marks temporarily. I started taking 5 x 1000IU d3 daily, along with 100mg of zinc, as I read that D3 aids the absorbtion of zinc.

This is with the ultimate aim of coming off BP for good....however(!) the thought scares me as I simpy do not know what will happen to my skin should i stop. I was hoping that by taking supplements, and perhaps making some other lifestyle choices (sleep, diet etc) that my skin would eventually become totally clear, rather than waking up with a spot every few days. This would hopefully lead to reducing and finally eliminating BP from my skincare regime.

I read yesterday in one of your drafts how BP also kills not only the p.acnes bacteria, but another component in the skin that doesn;t hurt us. I wonder if applying BP every single day can cause acne in certain circumstances - we know BP can irritate the skin, and in my experience is not always 100% reliable - so could this lead to producing rather than eliminating acne on some occasions? It certainly makes me think. Another factor is that having used it for 6 years, I actually have no idea what my skin is like when untreated. Over-medicating is a theory I am interested in as well.

At 26 it appears likely that I'll be stuck with acne for the forseeable future. I think I'll continue with the zinc/d3 for a while and see how it goes - I've been on it for 3 - 4 weeks now. I'll also take up your suggestion and add 200mcg Selenium.

Unfortunately I work shifts and getting 9hrs of sleep at night is impossible for me at the moment. But what works for you may not necessarily work for me and vice versa!


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After doing some reasearch, I stumbled upon the 1938 trial done on vitamin D3, of which I'm sure you will be well aware:-

Much like the more modern report (neither constitute a trial at all) of using B5 to treat acne, this very old D3 report is a case report. He was free to only report successes, no factors were controlled for at all, and most of the patients studied were in an age range where acne often "clears up" on its own. Not even the simple test of stopping Vitamin D3 to see if the acne returns was performed. I continue to doubt the ability of D3 to have any affect on acne -- beyond the fact that being severely D3-deprived can affect all sorts of processes in the body, and many people in modern society definitely are severely D3-deprived.

I wonder if applying BP every single day can cause acne in certain circumstances

Personally, I would be surprised if it caused acne, because IMO the cause is tightly tied to cellular signals you're unlikely to create by externally rubbing anything on the skin. An ability to sometimes exacerbate the skin-level symptoms seems less impossible.

At 26 it appears likely that I'll be stuck with acne for the forseeable future. I think I'll continue with the zinc/d3 for a while and see how it goes - I've been on it for 3 - 4 weeks now. I'll also take up your suggestion and add 200mcg Selenium.

There's good reason to not be D3-deficient for many reasons beyond acne, not least of which is the evidence that not keeping your D levels up is nearly 3 times worse for certain cancer risks than smoking. Try a B complex pill as well. I think most are from a single manufacturer and contain a hefty dose of most of the B family (with the qualification that their folic acid content may not quite qualify as "hefty"). If you happened to not be getting enough B in your diet, it could cause large amounts of tryptophan to be diverted to create it, and therefore be unavailable for getting into the brain to be available to create pineal melatonin. Also, folic acid itself has to be present for the chemical reactions that transform tryptophan->serotonin->melatonin, and there are other reasons a good-sized dose of B is a good bet if you're taking zinc for acne.

Unfortunately I work shifts and getting 9hrs of sleep at night is impossible for me at the moment. But what works for you may not necessarily work for me and vice versa!

If you're on a swing shift, then this model says you're going to have a tough time getting clear. It would be nice if there were a trick that could be used instead of constant bright light exposure to get the intestines switched into "daytime mode". Unfortunately, because of the need for the switch to go both ways every 12 hours, it's hard to imagine that there could ever be a pill solution for this.

I suspect it's possible rig a battery-powered baseball cap with LEDs that can effectively suppress pineal melatonin. The problem is, at that distance from the eyes, there is a very fine line between being intense enough to suppress melatonin and being intense enough to cause lesions on the retina when worn for hours per day.

Simple solutions seem elusive. OTOH, if there were a simple solution to acne, someone would have found it by now...


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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Hi databased,

Great read as usual, just like to comment about the new theory. I'm originally from the UK but moved to Dubai 2 yrs ago. Now the climate in Dubai is basically sun and more sun so i get a ton of outdoor light exposure. The flat i am living in has a full height window which is south facing and my office seat is also the same. I also spend the majority of my daytime during the weekend on the beach yet the dam acne is still here since i moved from the dark and grim UK.

I've read your older threads about Zinc and it worked for 3 months and then the all mighty happened and acne returned to its previous form without much change to my lifestyle.

Whats your take on this? By the way i hope i dont sound like i am trying to discount your theory as i'm not but tying to get a better understanding of the new thoery, as you seem to have a better theory than these dam dermatologists.

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the climate in Dubai is basically sun and more sun so i get a ton of outdoor light exposure.

Define "ton", exactly. Are you actually working outdoors with a straight line (no hats, glasses, sunglasses, etc.) from the sky to your eyeballs 12 hours per day?

The reason I say this regimen is impossible for most people is, that's pretty much what I mean by daylong bright light exposure -- exactly what the acne-free Trobriand Islanders have no choice but to experience every day.

The flat i am living in has a full height window which is south facing and my office seat is also the same.
I've never been able to get anything close to the same effect by sitting indoors. I had to move my office (laptop + desk, really) outdoors where I'm surrounded by light and sky.

I also spend the majority of my daytime during the weekend on the beach yet the dam acne is still here since i moved from the dark and grim UK.
Unlike most people you're not wearing sunglasses or a hat on the beach? Do you go to bed at the same time each day and sleep >=9 hours? Do you naturally get sleepy right at bedtime and then wake up >= 9 hours later feeling total alert and refreshed?

I've read your older threads about Zinc and it worked for 3 months and then the all mighty happened and acne returned to its previous form without much change to my lifestyle.
It took me a long time to figure out that even enormous doses of zinc wouldn't keep me clear unless I had a significant nocturnal melatonin surge. It took even longer to figure out that the most powerful tool for achieving that was to live all day in outdoor light -- powerful enough that no zinc was required at that point.

By the way i hope i dont sound like i am trying to discount your theory

It's just a theory, and it could be that it only works for me, or that I'm doing something else I'm unaware of. All I can say is, every time I repeat the same experiment, I get the same results. Let me live each waking hour in outdoor light and get my 9 hours of functional sleep at the same time each night, and I can go from 10 big zits on my face to clear (even redness disappears much faster) in 5 days at the very most. I'm in the midst of repeating this experiment yet again, as we're getting a last burst of warm weather. Today was the morning after Day 2 and there are zero new zits, and all existing lesions are significantly less inflamed. After just 2 days in day-long outdoor light exposure, my sleep cycle was significantly improved. I slept more soundly and woke up feeling better. Several days ago, I was waking up not feeling rested, with an urge to take a nap multiple times before the day was over.

FWIW, I am also usually taking: 200mcg selenium, a Vitamin B complex, and a calcium/magnesium pill. I don't bother with zinc if I'm living outdoors.


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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I've tried the getting enough sleep waking up bright and earlier and going in the sun routine for the past week and I've noticed a vast reduction in inflammation. Old pimples that were all inflamed are now hardly visible and starting to disappear. It's pretty awesome. Check this article out it says melatonin is a better antiinflammatory than any other antioxidant: http://www.molmed.org/content/2009/1_2_09/...rkmaz.00117.pdf

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Some questions:

1. So you're spending the entire time in daylight, then approx. how many hours is that? 14 hours awake, so 14 hours in daylight?

2. Do you go to sleep RIGHT when the sun goes down? That'd be like 7 or 8 PM here. What time do you go to sleep and wake up?

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Check this article out it says melatonin is a better antiinflammatory than any other antioxidant: http://www.molmed.org/content/2009/1_2_09/...rkmaz.00117.pdf

Thanks for the article pointer, which had a couple points I hadn't seen before. What's missing there is the realization that both halves of the melatonin cycle are crucial. In fact, this paper cites the folks who tried (but failed) to improve rheumatoid arthritis by administering melatonin. The Italian researchers who've spent the most years studying melatonin's relationship with RA were horrified by this experiment, since they know melatonin can be both pro- and anti-inflammatory and they believe RA is related to excess melatonin (I think they're almost right, but it's the failure to suppress daytime melatonin that is causing the immune system disruption, not the nocturnal surge).


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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1. So you're spending the entire time in daylight, then approx. how many hours is that? 14 hours awake, so 14 hours in daylight?

At the peak of summer, I was spending about 10-12 hours outside each day, by the time you subtract off time spent in vehicles, running indoors for something, etc. That was difficult to accomplish, but on the other hand I could pretty much imbibe as much fructose and caffeine as I wanted without getting acne. I also ate a suspicious amount of dairy (ice cream) without having a problem, but not enough to constitute a good experiment; I remain agnostic about whether or not dairy can cause acne via a pathway that cannot be prevented by a normalized melatonin cycle.

Now that it's getting too cold to type outdoors, I'm spending about 10 hours per day in my office, where I've set up eight 4-foot Chroma-50 (more blue spectrum than normal) fluorescent tubes. This is definitely not as good, as I now have to cut back on caffeine (no evening caffeine) and fructose. I also now make an effort to get at least brief aerobic exercise an hour or two after the evening meal (containing meat = tryptophan) to try to help move tryptophan into the brain. I was probably getting that much exercise during the summer too, as walks were more inevitable when the weather was wonderful.

What time do you go to sleep and wake up?

Mostly, I try to arrange things so that I get my >=9 hours sleep before there's much outdoor light. Right now, that means I'm eating supper around 5-6pm and trying to get to sleep around 9-10pm, so that I've got my 9 hours in by around 6am-7am. When I'm managing my light exposure and cutting off caffeine after lunch, I seem to reliably sleep about 9 hours (no alarm clock).


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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Hi, just wanted to add some input here.

I thought I had my acne under control with vitamin bcomplex, fishoil, and the caveman regimen (which is the serious attempt to not scrub or wash your face often at all).

I think a combination of these efforts does have an effect on acne, but I hadn't pieced together why i was still breaking out, minorly or majorly from foods or drinks that at times seemed to be nullified, and at other times seemed to be detrimental.

I always assumed that the apparent first hand success of each new piece of my regimen was the 'thing' or factor missing from my life life to quell this thing, but I hadn't noticed the behaviors that usually precipitated or came after I started the new regimen.

and usually successes were preciptated by a surge of outdoor activity.

I remember once going on a driving trip across the U.S. for two weeks - no supplements at all, and no cleaning for the most part... and being completely acne free by the end of the trip. In fact my skin was amazing for the most part.

I assumed at that time it was the caveman regimen aspect, but hadn't assumed that it was actually a change in lifestye lending to the effect.

I'd like to point out that I have for the last 11 years of my life, mostly worked indoors on a computer, with barely any light at most times... and have struggled mightily with acne.

My worst of times were at college, were I almost exclusively slept during the day and worked all night. Extreme breakouts; I learned to control my diet almost exclusively, but never gained complete control. This lead me to accutane eventually, which was a short comfort, and with some long term results, but never a definitive answer.

This summer though, I was completely clear for 3 months, and associated with the use of B-Complex and Fishoil. However, I didn't assume that simply having a friend down who spent almost all his time exclusively outdoors (and me following suit) had any connection.

Amazing then, that after he left back for school, and I was indoors again; ACNE. Huge breakouts.

I was perplexed... and fighting it for the last 3 months lead me here, with your hypothesis. I've resolved to sit outside everyday, and do as much work as possible, and loe and behold I'm seeing some incredible results since.

My sleep cycle (where I used to wake up incredibly tired everyday) has resolved itself, and I wake up refreshed. Not only that, but I've been having incredibly vivid dreams as of late. My REM cycle seems to be working much more efficiently.

Most importantly; no new acne. At first my current bout of acne was resolving itself, but since I've 'charged' up so to speak in the sun, no new spots. I haven't tested my dietary abilities yet as I'd like to clear up first (for psychological, and testing reasons).

I think you've really stumbled onto something here databased and I hope you keep up the research. I've looked around online and have found no one particularly exploring this avenue concerning acne.

I imagine the fact this hasn't been explored so thoroughly yet is that it is probably more symptomatic of adult acne, than it would be hormonal, or teenage acne.

I'm really convinced this might be the final puzzle piece for me concerning acne, and if it is, it is quite a profound one that will require lifestyle changes on my part.

Again, I'd like to hear more, and I'll do my part reporting back the results.

-salute


:D

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I was a lifeguard this summer. I was outside everyday for like 10 hours. Acne still stayed the same, the tan helped abit but not much.


Prisoner on Acne.org now lmaooooo peace out.


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I was a lifeguard this summer. I was outside everyday for like 10 hours. Acne still stayed the same, the tan helped abit but not much.

Yeah, but what other factors contribute? I've personally narrowed down a specific set of things that trigger my acne, and it took years to do.

Being in the sun couldn't possibly be the deciding factor for everyone's acne, but it quite possibly has a role for a lot of people.

This assumption that a single item covers the entirety of everyone's case for acne is misguided and lends to a lot of dismissive postures being impressed on people.

I personally still take vitamin b-complex and fish oil everyday as I have concluded it has a role in curtailing my acne. That won't stop; from anecdotal evidence, being in the sun as well has a huge effect on my acne... so it becomes part of the regimen too, until I've concluded otherwise.


:D

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True, I was 100% clear when I was on vacation in the Caribbean I guess the salt water, sun, and no dairy made me clear.


Prisoner on Acne.org now lmaooooo peace out.


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Great read databased.

I have a question, I wake up pretty much every night to goto the toilet turn on the bathroom lights then pee and go back to sleep.

Would this be screwing up my melatonin cycle or is it not that big of a deal?

I sleep in a very dark room and I dont wear anything to cover my eyes btw.

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I was a lifeguard this summer. I was outside everyday for like 10 hours. Acne still stayed the same, the tan helped abit but not much.

Interesting. So, you didn't wear hat or sunglasses when you were a lifeguard, and there was an unblocked path from your eyeball to the sky all day?


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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I was a lifeguard this summer. I was outside everyday for like 10 hours. Acne still stayed the same, the tan helped abit but not much.

Interesting. So, you didn't wear hat or sunglasses when you were a lifeguard, and there was an unblocked path from your eyeball to the sky all day?

I wore sunglasses most of the time but I don't know I think the sun isn't enough for my acne. I need the salt water too lol then I get flawless skin.


Prisoner on Acne.org now lmaooooo peace out.


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Would this be screwing up my melatonin cycle or is it not that big of a deal?

I sleep in a very dark room and I dont wear anything to cover my eyes btw.

Hard to say for any individual case. There is evidence that the intensity-sensitive cells in the retina can take on the order of 30 seconds to fire, so if you have the lights on only 15 seconds, the odds of an effect are arguably less. Although there's good evidence it doesn't take much light, there's also good evidence for significant individual variation. Consider this study, where 2 out of the 17 subjects just weirdly did not have their melatonin suppressed by nighttime light. Or consider this sleep-disturbed guy, who effectively was putting out no pineal melatonin. Yet, they were able to restore a melatonin rhythm in him by forcibly exposing him to a "normal" pattern of light and darkness. This kind of variation may help explain the wide variation in acne in civilized society; while nearly half the population has at least some acne on any given day, clearly there are people who can violate most any rule that might be associated with acne (light/diet/exercise/whatever) and not get acne.

It's interesting that in the past, the relationship of a disturbed melatonin cycle to cancer has been a hot topic, as melatonin is both generally an anti-oxidant, and more specifically, oncostatic in variety of ways (for example, it is an aromatase inhibitor, emulating what is becoming the most used adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer). But more recently, there's growing interest in the possibility that a disturbed melatonin cycle has an influence on things like cardiovascular health, diabetes, and obesity -- such is the widespread effect of melatonin's normal cycle.

This assumption that a single item covers the entirety of everyone's case for acne is misguided and lends to a lot of dismissive postures being impressed on people.

Sure, but I so far I still see a good case that the melatonin cycle could be the backbone cause of the lion's share of acne in civilized society. For example, someone might be a lifeguard getting lots of daytime sun exposure and find that didn't help their acne. But only if that person also does not use alcohol or caffeine or other drugs, goes to bed at the same time every day, and sleeps 9 hours in total darkness every night -- only then does that become one clear contradictory data point for this hypothesis.

That's both the strength and the weakness of this hypothesis. Because it's so hard in civilized society to have a normal melatonin cycle, that makes it plausible that this could explain why roughly half the population has some evidence of acne on any given day. But it also doesn't offer any easy examples of segments of the population that should, therefore, be acne-free. For example, one might think the Amish should be acne-free since they don't drink alcohol or have electric lights. But they do use caffeine AFAICT and they do have artificial lights (just hydrocarbon instead of electric). In fact, ingenious use of air/hydraulic/solar power seems well on the way to making the Amish eschewing of 110VAC a mere show of vanity. It's hard to come up with any group of people in modern society that implicitly avoid ingesting substances that interfere with melatonin, that are exposed to bright light all day, and that sleep long, hard, and regularly in total darkness. Maybe some monks somewhere (though they often curtail their sleep and use caffeine to help them do that...).

With luck, the newer interest in impaired melatonin cycles as a root cause for metabolic syndrome might attract enough research dollars to eventually accidentally expose the link to acne, if indeed it exists. Governments are unlikely to fund acne research, but the dollars are there for figuring out why childhood obesity is increasing...


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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Since we're both living in Seattle, I'm drawing from your conclusions that the intensity of light isn't as significant as being exposed to a real-light environment? I haven't ever noticed a benefit from supplementing zinc oxide or zinc piccolinate (or vit d for that matter) so maybe that means I can't process it from impaired melatonin production. right now I have to be very strict on my diet to maintain clear skin so I was thinking of introducing more normal foods, getting up early in the morning and going outside for a couple of hours, and taking a melatonin pill because I won't be able to sleep until past midnight due to my job.

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What should I do in the winter, when the light is dim even outside?


Please, use Retin-A. It has nearly eliminated my acne and continues to lighten my red marks.


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I'm drawing from your conclusions that the intensity of light isn't as significant as being exposed to a real-light environment?

These strange cells in the retina absolutely are intensity-sensitive; that is well proved. IOW, get the frequency right but not enough intensity, and they won't fire. OTOH, their sensitivity is one big hump, centered around blue. So, if you want red light to trigger them, it's going to have to be pretty damn intense, because their sensitivity isn't that good at that frequency.

The researchers who showed that "bright" light can alter your digestion didn't document exactly what the frequency spectrum of their lights were, unfortunately. But they focused on intensity. The subjects were exposed to 5,000 lux at their eye level from 7am to 3pm, and further required to spend at least 10 minutes of every 30 staring at the bulbs to ensure the effect.

I haven't ever noticed a benefit from supplementing zinc oxide or zinc piccolinate (or vit d for that matter) so maybe that means I can't process it from impaired melatonin production

My suspicion is Vitamin D is irrelevant, unless you're highly deprived (possible for modern humans not working outdors near the equator or taking >1,000IU D3 per day). In my own experience, the magic of zinc required a good melatonin surge at night (inferred by an ability to sleep long and deeply). But combined with that melatonin surge, zinc sure can help wipe out inflammation and redness, IME.

right now I have to be very strict on my diet to maintain clear skin so I was thinking of introducing more normal foods, getting up early in the morning and going outside for a couple of hours, and taking a melatonin pill because I won't be able to sleep until past midnight due to my job.

Worth a try. What is the least amount of bright light exposure that could make a difference? I wish I knew. Maybe it's possible to get all/most of the benefit with some bright light exposure just a few times per day. I sorta doubt it, and that hasn't been my experience so far, but light research has nothing to offer for that question so far, AFAICT.


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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What should I do in the winter, when the light is dim even outside?

I suspect the outdoor light is still bright enough, but I work with books and computer, so I can't manage to sit outdoors in the cold and rain and still get any work done.

OTOH, I can manage to sit at my desk indoors for many hours each day, so what I'm doing is kicking up the intensity. For $10, my local Home Depot sells a crappy little 2-bulb, 4-foot, bare "shop light" fluorescent fixture. My local Fred Meyers sells a 4-foot, 40-watt Chroma 50 bulbs, hidden inside boxes labelled "Ecolux technology sunshine F40" for $8 each. So, for $26, I can hang on the wall in front of my desk almost 5,000 lumens of light angled to point right at me, such that the bare bulbs are a bit less than 4 feet from my eyeballs. I'm going to try that for a couple of weeks, and if it can't reproduce the effects I get from being outdoors all day, I'll add a second fixture to push it up to 10,000 lumens. Given that people are selling light boxes for hundreds of dollars, this seems like a much cheaper way to see if fluorescent bulbs with a decent amount of blue energy (the Chroma 50's) can do the trick.

I already had a lot of light in my office, but it was being bounced off the ceiling and definitely was not as effective as being outdoors. Hanging the 2-bulb fixture in this way so it's directly whacking me in the eyes is definitely a step up in intensity (and violates every ergonomic rule for lighting!).

In general, people selling light therapy boxes have been operating on the assumption that the point is to re-synchronize a skewed melatonin cycle with a relatively brief exposure to bright light at the right time of day. I suspect they get marginal results because the real benefit is to be in bright light all day long, both because it alters digestion so you can get enough tryptophan to make more melatonin, and keeps your pineal gland from pissing away tryptophan at a relatively low level all day long (and thereby also leaves more available in the brain for making serotonin to help you keep from being depressed).


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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My new $26 "light therapy" device has passed its first test. In later years, working indoors all day has made digestion a real struggle. Even cutting out sugar and caffeine in the evening often still left me needing some kind of anti-acid if my evening meal contained beans, or was at all spicy, had significant carbs, etc. Living outdoors utterly cured that, and now my indoor lightbox seems to be producing the same effect. I've had no acid reflux at all since using the light box, and it even passed my worst-case test: eating a large spicy burrito and large Coke for supper, which is a 100% guarantee of severe gas and acid reflux when I'm living in dim indoor light. One of these days I'll break down and buy a cheap light meter and try to measure just exactly how bright it is in my office where my eyes sit. As I would expect after seeing the changes in digestion, no new acne sores either since ramping up the light intensity.


I think impaired zinc metabolism is the root cause of chronic acne.

A Zinc Regimen. | My crappy blog.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer -- superstition ain't the way" -- S. Wonder


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