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A Zinc-less Zinc Regimen for Adults: Draft 4

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That would be about everything I've run across that presents some evidence of being able to elevate SOD levels. And avoid fructose (fruits, sodas, etc.) and caffeine as much as possible. Caffeine's ability to flatten the melatonin curve doesn't matter once you give up on your melatonin cycle, but the possibility that it can deplete zinc would still matter. Carb malabsorption's ability to prevent tryptophan digestion wouldn't matter, but of course you still have to be able to digest zinc (and all the other pills!).

so if you have to avoid fruits where you getting vit c from?


My Regimen.. accutane

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I'm not a crazy natural person (nut job lol) just a 27 year old guy who has been through it all and can offer genuinely good advice. You can see by my profile how long i've been around this forum.


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Is it ok to take zinc on an empty stomach before bed?

That is how it is given by clinicians who want it to have the maximal effect (e.g., in attempting to lower copper levels for patients with Wilson's disease). Many doctors don't stay up to date on formulations of supplements like iron, zinc, etc. A few decades back, zinc was invariably given in the form of zinc sulfate, which did cause intestinal discomfort in a significant number of people. Nowadays, it's hard to even buy zinc sulfate over the counter -- almost everybody sells some sort of chelate (zinc gluconate, zinc picolinate, etc.) that most people have no trouble with.

AFAIK, taking zinc causes the intestines to "mucus up", as part of the first line of enforcement the body has for tightly regulating zinc levels. The more zinc you swallow, the less gets across the gut lining into the bloodstream. So, another reason to take it on an empty stomach at bedtime is that then you reduce the ability of the zinc to keep other things from being digested.


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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so if you have to avoid fruits where you getting vit c from?
  • meat
  • berries (modest quantities, low fructose/glucose ratio, e.g., strawberries, blueberries).
  • vegetables
  • pill

It's hard to avoid Vitamin C, even if you only eat at McDonald's.


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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This is a bummer about fructose since I love eating fruit. I've heard that some component of fruit, and apples in particular, causes them to stay in the stomach longer. Perhaps this is pectin, but I'm not sure. Anyways, I wonder if by staying in the stomach longer, the fructose is better digested and the effect on Tryptophan is not as severe. Wishful thinking?

Do you have any more/new advice when it comes to setting up indoor lighting that will prevent daytime melatonin? I spend a lot of time at my desk in a room that is quite dark, and am considering installing two two-bulb fluorescent fixtures with day-time bulbs. I was at Walmart and saw that they sell fixtures and bulbs. However, I didn't see any description on the bulb packaging of the actual colors (looking for blue, right?). Is there some technical description I may have missed?

Also, do you think daylight compact fluorescents are any good for this purpose?

Perhaps a rule of thumb for indoor lighting should be that houseplants can thrive in it...currently my room is too dark for most plants, even with the shades drawn.

Lastly, I may have missed it, but what made you think the yams which the Trobriand Islanders ate contained lots of Lycopene?


For me, acne seemed to have been caused by consuming dairy and fruit, and not keeping a regular sleep schedule. And something else I haven't been able to pin down....


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This topic directly relates to what I've believed for years about sunlight. Every summer/fall, I spend at least an hour or two in the sunlight every day with no hat, and my acne diminishes 99%. I use a few topical treatments that I've found help only with the help of the sun.

In my experience, the sun is the only cure. For me, nothing else has even affected the sun's power. I could eat whatever I wanted, sleep whenever i wanted, be in any physical condition I wanted, and as long as I had the sun, I was 99% improved.

I live in a cold climate where decent sun only comes between June-Oct (it was -52 celsius here yesterday) so I cant get any sunlight for most of the year.

I've tried zinc and fish oil before and it didnt help. I'm now trying vit a,c,d, niacin, zinc and fish oil. I've been on it for 2 weeks with no results.

I personally have found no direct link between diet and acne, as I've cut out every type of food subgroup at one point in my testing and have found no difference with my acne. The only great healer has been the sun. Not only do I live in sub-arctic Nothern Canada, I'm also a lawyer so I'm indoors all day. I just dont know how to fix my condition short of moving to florida and becoming a lifeguard.

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This is a bummer about fructose since I love eating fruit. I've heard that some component of fruit, and apples in particular, causes them to stay in the stomach longer. Perhaps this is pectin, but I'm not sure. Anyways, I wonder if by staying in the stomach longer, the fructose is better digested and the effect on Tryptophan is not as severe. Wishful thinking?

Yes, wishful thinking. Apples are some of the worst for carb malabsorption according to the clinicians who specialize in that disorder (apart from what the basic sugar analysis predicts).

Do you have any more/new advice when it comes to setting up indoor lighting that will prevent daytime melatonin? I spend a lot of time at my desk in a room that is quite dark, and am considering installing two two-bulb fluorescent fixtures with day-time bulbs. I was at Walmart and saw that they sell fixtures and bulbs. However, I didn't see any description on the bulb packaging of the actual colors (looking for blue, right?). Is there some technical description I may have missed?

In the U.S., at least, fluorescents are rated according to color temperature and how well they replicate sunlight. You want a temperature of about 5500K, and a CRI about 90 (or larger).

Also, do you think daylight compact fluorescents are any good for this purpose?

Probably could be if you could achieve the brightness. Think about it, when is the last time you had to squint because the light coming from a compact fluorescent was so bright? My rule of thumb is this: at least four 4-foot, 40W bulbs, less than 4 feet from your eyes, pointed directly at your eyes. If you sit at a computer all day, then the ideal route is to just set them up behind and above the monitor so they are pointed right at your eyes. Sunlight is so much brighter than indoor light (even light on an overcast day is!), it takes a lot of artificial light to get close enough to the needed effect (for me, anyway).

Lastly, I may have missed it, but what made you think the yams which the Trobriand Islanders ate contained lots of Lycopene?

I ran across a quote that speculated that high superoxide dismutase levels in Okinawans might be due to yams in their diet. Varieties of wild yams are a staple across a very wide range of island peoples. Still can't find a lycopene analysis of any wild yam, let alone the exact species from the Trobriand Islands.

For myself, I can say two things about a regular, large dose of lycopene. First, it clearly reduces oil production. Second, it clearly does not prevent acne all by itself. This is consistent with my overall theory. You need both zinc and superoxide dismutase to avoid acne. Living in dim light makes it hard to absorb enough zinc, even if a massive dose of lycopene can help elevate superoxide dismutase levels. Decreasing oil may provide marginal decreases in acne, but it's not getting at the root cause, which (IMO) is the immune system's overreaction to contact with the P. acnes bacteria (in direct contrast to all the folks who think they need a "stronger" immune system to get rid of acne). IMO, acne is reasonably characterized as an auto-immune disease; it's not a failure of the immune system causing the problem, it's a failure of the mechanisms (anti-oxidant levels in this case) that dampen the immune system response.


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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In my experience, the sun is the only cure. For me, nothing else has even affected the sun's power. I could eat whatever I wanted, sleep whenever i wanted, be in any physical condition I wanted, and as long as I had the sun, I was 99% improved.

That about describes my experience. If I really kept myself in outdoor light the entire day, I could ignore most other factors, at least to a very large degree. Bright light exposure controls the ability of diet to influence acne. It's an amazing and non-intuitive thing.

I personally have found no direct link between diet and acne, as I've cut out every type of food subgroup at one point in my testing and have found no difference with my acne.
I would expect that if you gave up both carbs and caffeine/drugs/alcohol, that would make a dent. However, numerous diet studies show very few people can actually give up carbs (extreme Atkins) for any significant length of time.

Because a variety of green, leafy things appear to have the ability to elevate superoxide dismutase levels, I don't doubt that some forms of vegetarian diet (the non-fruity, non-starchy forms that very, very few vegetarians eat) could dramatically reduce acne. But without the daily bright light exposure we evolved to get, staying acne-free becomes a more fragile process. I cannot stay acne-free with my bright indoor artificial light setup if I have evening caffeine. Nor can I get away with as much fructose intake as I can when living outdoors 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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This is a very interesting theory. Any new updates databased? I have a few questions though:

How bad is your acne when not following this regimen?

How old are you?

Do you think being outside when it's cloudy and rainy would still be effective?

I'm 20 and thinking about trying this. However, I don't think I would be able to spend much more than 5 or 6 hours per day outside. I'm usually not awake until at least 9, and it starts getting dark here (California) by 5. And since it gets dark so early, that means I'll at least be eating dinner inside. Also the weather is usually cloudy and/or rainy at this time of year, but there are still partly sunny days.

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Any new updates databased?

Nothing new learned, and no surprises. If I put in the hours in bright light, I don't have to worry much about acne. Otherwise, I have to watch caffeine, take a zinc supplement, exercise, etc. to push all the buttons to avoid acne.

How bad is your acne when not following this regimen?

I would say about 3 new lesions per day is a rough average when living in dim light, taking no pills, and ignoring what I know about how diet can affect acne. Sometimes it's been much worse, sometimes better, but if I knew then what I knew now, I suspect I could have predicted those variations. For example, one of my worst historical periods was when I was sleeping days and working nights. Duh. But at the time, it was a mystery to me why it was very bad and then improved shortly after I went back to normal hours. This is why it's always sad to see people talking about acne driving them to stay in their room and never go out -- the psycho-social aspects of acne will directly worsen the physical symptoms that way!

How old are you?
50

Do you think being outside when it's cloudy and rainy would still be effective?

It's usually still much brighter than being indoors. My easy rule of thumb is to walk my laptop outside. If it gets harder to read, then it's surely significantly brighter outside.

However, I don't think I would be able to spend much more than 5 or 6 hours per day outside.

If you sit at a desk for any number of hours, the fluorescent bulb set up described earlier in this thread is an option. Four 4-foot Chroma 50 40W bulbs less than 4 feet from the eyes makes a clear difference IME.


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 forgot to ask: databased, do you use any face products while on this regimen? If so, which ones and how often?

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Acne at 50? Is that really possible? :|


Male, 16.

My Epic Regimen

Morning: Wash my face


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I forgot to ask: databased, do you use any face products while on this regimen? If so, which ones and how often?
Wash with Dove bar in the shower, that's it.

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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Acne at 50? Is that really possible?

Ah to be young. It's not only possible, it's a frequent occurrence for women entering that age range (but some of us guys get blessed too). Of course, that's just talking about clinically relevant degrees of acne. Nearly half the civilized adult population has at least one acne lesion on any given 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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Does fructose malabsorption interfere with zinc absorption (as it does with tryptophan)?


For me, acne seemed to have been caused by consuming dairy and fruit, and not keeping a regular sleep schedule. And something else I haven't been able to pin down....


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How long should it take to see definitive results? I'm on day 10 of trying this regimen out, and I just had a breakout today.:(

I can't say that I'm surprised that I broke out though; I've only been spending an average of 5-6 hours outside instead of your recommended 12. I was hoping that getting 9 (at least) hours of sleep, not drinking caffeine, and avoiding excess fructose (especially in the evenings after the sun has gone down) would be enough to offset this, but apparently it's not (or I'm doing something wrong =P).

Any ideas of where to go from here? I'm wary of trying your artificial light solution, mostly due to the cost (and lack of desire to explain to dormmates/friends why I have a bank of lights in front of my face XD). I have about a week or so of break left where I can try something out, so your thoughts are appreciated.

Also, Merry Christmas!

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Acne at 50? Is that really possible? :|

Anything is possible my friend.


Prisoner on Acne.org now lmaooooo peace out.


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Does fructose malabsorption interfere with zinc absorption (as it does with tryptophan)?

So far, the evidence suggests it does.

Did you have severe acne when you were in your teens/20s?
Of course, it seemed "severe" to me many times, but I believe it would have clinically been classified as "moderate".

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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How long should it take to see definitive results?

In the presence of day-long bright light exposure to my eyes combined with full/productive sleep, digestion changes that same day (I can eat things that would otherwise give me heartburn). New acne lesions usually stop within 48 hours. YMMV.

Any ideas of where to go from here?

Questions:

What is your sleep actually like? Do you get really sleepy at bedtime and wake up without an alarm clock feeling totally alert and rested, no yawning at all? Toss and turn, or sleep like a log? With no easy way to actually measure the nocturnal melatonin surge, about all you can do is infer it from the quality of your sleep.

What supplements do you take? I'm mainly interested in the basic: B complex, zinc, selenium.

What is your activity level like? Sitting all day? Lots of walking?

Finally, what does your diet look like? What-all got eaten during the last week?


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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