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Chromium, Niacin & Zinc

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#1 clayjar

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:55 PM

I am starting this post as a thread for myself to track my new-starting experience with these three supplements. I am having early success so far (after a few days) and so am strangely hopeful of this. If things work out well, I will continue to post to direct people here so as to be a help any way I can to others.

 

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Quick background on my acne experience (in case anyone is interested)...

 

I am a 37 yr-old male and have had various forms of acne since I was 11 yrs old.  This includes normal pustules, whiteheads, occasional blackheads, and cystic acne.  It went from face-only in the early years to spreading to neck, back and chest.

 

My parents felt so bad about the self-esteem demolishment I had and so had me see a dermatologist since 13 and was tried on all the differ antibiotics (oral and topical) as well as put on THREE different runs of Accutane.  NOTHING worked.  Accutane helped only slightly and the acne returned full-force promptly after stopping. It sickens me to know that I have put such a toxic chemical into my body 3 times without helping!

 

I have tried pretty much all the OTC remedies out there and tried at differ times mega-dose B5 (didn't work and thinned my hair!), liver cleansing, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and Paleo diets (all for over a months-time).  NONE of them worked, although the Paleo seemed to help slightly (did this about 3 months).  OTC topicals only made matters worse, except large amounts of Benzoyl Peroxide, but even that only helped slightly, and I got sick of bleaching all my clothes and dumping this chemical into my skin.  Needless to say, I am like so many others on this site...DESPERATE to put an end to the constant psychological torture acne can cause.

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I have recently came across a post called, "I beg all of you to try Zinc + Chromium", in this forum.  Now, the claims are pretty fantastic (as are many that come and go) by the OP, but what made me think that there may be something to it is that I had awhile ago heard about this old study done about 20 years ago or so that high-Chromium yeast had a substantial effect on acne patients.  I believe it was after 5 months when they closed the double-blind study involving placebo and over 80% of the 130 patients were either completely clear or substantially improved (sorry, I cannot find a link). I'd bet the multiple nutrients in the yeast had a complimentary effect, but they theorize that it is primarily the Chromium that had the direct effect. It is believed to be because of the blood-sugar stabilizing effects. And because the Paleo Diet helped me slightly, I think there is something to this!

 

I've googled the hell out of Chromium supplementation (good quality Brewer's Yeast is too expensive and a hassle to take with each meal) and found that it is best absorbed when taken with Niacin. There's even a special form of it that is bonded with Niacin in one pill.  They seem to make each other work better. Then I saw the thread in here about Niacin called, "Niacin is AMAZING for acne!".  It sounds as if MANY people find true relief from Niacin. Bonus! Said to myself, OK, def gonna try both these together. Even if it doesn't work, it's super cheap. If you go to IHerb.com and read the 70+ reviews on Jarrow's Chromium GTF, you will see nearly all of them are SUPER positive and claim it really helps in reducing sugar-cravings and stabilizing blood sugar levels. 

 

Now for where Zinc falls into all this...

 

I have experience over the last year with Zinc, and it's both positive AND disappointing.  I was having particularly bad cystic breakouts on my neck and back when I came across Zinc and started taking 50mg/day.  I can honestly say it was the most dramatic experience I've ever had! My cysts seemed to reduce substantially overnight!  I believe I was truly zinc-deficient to have this kind of effect.  The disappointing part is that it seemed to lose effect after a week or so.  So, I upped the dose to about 90mg/day (too scared to do 100mg or more based off becoming toxic) and not only did it not seem to do much, but I got real sick with the flu.  I have a pretty good immune system and never get the flu, but I did this year. I read that although zinc is good for boosting the immune system, too much zinc can actually hinder it.  So I dropped down to 30mg/day because of this and have lost any acne-benefit I may have once had. 

 

After reading the "I beg all of you to try Zinc + Chromium" thread, I am optimistic of restarting higher dosages of Zinc, although not 100mg like the OP does.  I think I will stay near 80mg/day.

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So...to sum it up, I have been taking for 4 days now the following listed below and have had very positive response in my skin.  I have had just a couple small pimples which heal faster than normal and no new cysts.  I am very pleased thus far!

 

- Jarrow brand, Chromium GTF 200mcg tabs, five times per day (1000mcg/day as recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil)

 

- Feel-Rite brand (a local health food store in Buffalo, NY but any flushing Niacin will do) Niacin 100mg tabs, one tab cut into     quarters and taken four times per day.  After reading the "Niacin is AMAZING for acne!" thread, I plan on increasing the Niacin to a whole 100mg tab four -five times per day.

 

- Feel-Rite brand Optizinc (any brand will do) Zinc 20mg tabs, four times per day.

 

 

 

 



#2 Thehoper

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:50 PM

Ha my sister used to work at Feel Rite, like that store.  Those are three good supplements, ive never tried niacin but I have read a lot of positive things about it.  Good luck and GO SABRES!  



#3 clayjar

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:25 PM

Go Sabres!!



#4 clayjar

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:01 PM

So far, day 7 and skin has improved tremendously, barely any new formation and the couple that did, healed fast.

I am very pleased and hopin this lasts!

I should add that for almost a month and a half now I've been taking one other supplement which is an herbal medicine skin remedy, called Burdock Seed. It's a tincture extract and is supposed to work very slowly over time. Anywhere from 3 months to a year of daily dosing to notice results. It was not doing anything when I started the Chromium, Niacin and Zinc.

#5 mikito

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:44 AM

Hi Clayjar, I am female, 43 años, still suffering from cystic acne, I have also tried everything including 3 couses of accutane, the only thing that helped me just a little, but not definitely a cure, was Dianette 35 ( control birth pill) .

 

A month ago, I decided to give "zinc" a try, actually I'm taking 32 mg of zinc gluconate every day, but it's too soon to get any conclusion now, but I'll keep updating. Databased had success with zinc, but the doses were higher (200 mg) and I am afraid of taking megadoses of vitamines. Also, Dan (administrator) had sucess with zinc and chromium, and another person I don't remember the nick name.

 

Please, keep reporting your experience, and if anyone has sucess with zinc, please let us know.

 

If it doesn't work, I'll try vitaminaD3, sebumsucks had sucess with this vitamine, but actually I prefer not to add anything in order to know what work and what doesn't work.

 

My third experiment will be with B5 + Lcarnitine, if the other stuff doesn't work. Windeserpent had success with this stuff and a juice he make himself with different vegetables.



#6 alternativista

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:08 AM

Chromium GTF is chromium POLYNICOLINATE - chromium bound to niacin. And you need to be careful about high doses of metals like sink and chromium. And about taking niacin without the other b vitamins.

#7 clayjar

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:30 PM

@mikito...I really think the key here is all three (chromium, niacin and zinc). Like I said, I tried zinc alone and it only helped short term, and not to this extent. The three together have proved worthy adversaries to my acne after 8 days.
Will keep you posted :)

@alternativista...the chromium GTF I use is not polynicolinate (although that is prob good too, being bound to niacin). It's chromium in nutritional yeast. Jarrow chromium GTF...
http://m.iherb.com/J...00-Capsules/227

#8 clayjar

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:54 PM

@alternavista...I agree that it's probably wise to take a B-complex with Chromium and Niacin.

#9 alternativista

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:19 AM

So, I guess we dot have a separate supplement forum anymore?

#10 mikito

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 07:47 AM

Clayjar, I hope this three element are the clue. But I think if we have to wait for at least 1 month to get a conclussion. I have read so many sucess at this forum with different elements, that everything is a mess. I'll keep waiting for your updating. rolleyes.gif



#11 Thehoper

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:36 AM

Yeah thats the same Chromium I take, you can get a great deal on 3 bottle on amazon.  And at the suggested dose your not going to have any problems having excess, most people are deficient in chromium to being with.  As for niacin what's the problem with taking it without other b vitamins?  Ive never took it as a supplement since its high in chicken and lentils and I eat plenty of those.  



#12 clayjar

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:31 PM

@Thehoper...I'm just assuming that any one B vitamin would work better and be less likely to cause imbalances if taken with all the B's instead of alone.

#13 Exister

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:48 PM

I've tried all three. First niacin, then gave up because it did nothing. Then zinc, which didn't do anything but I kept buying and taking it just in case. At some point I started taking chromium too. Plus magnesium. A big mineral kick. None of them worked for me. Nothing works for me except positive thinking. I am prone to dismissing all "new age bullcrap", but I've now seen it, so I believe it. The mind-body connection is incredibly strong. As is the placebo effect.



#14 clayjar

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:46 AM

@exister...if I've learned anything from this site, it's that there are so many causes of acne unique to different individuals and so many people are improved by different things. There is no one cause for all acne sufferers. For me, the "skin diabetes" theory seems to be my particular cause. I believe it's a chromium deficiency i have and the niacin just helps the chromium absorb or work better. It has been 9 days and I have NEVER seen this kind of dramatic effect with my skin. I am trying not to be SUPER PUMPED about this ONLY because I am almost waiting for it to stop working (been let down for too many times all my years and learned to expect nothing to work, let alone last).

What we all need to do is just never give up (positive thinking!) and try the various things we see help others until we figure out our own cause of acne.

I'm glad you find positive thinking helpful. What is it about positive thinking you've seen work? Any special techniques, like visualization?

#15 Thehoper

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:17 PM

Whats your diet like?



#16 clayjar

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:02 PM

@Thehoper...Well, this past summer, I did a Paleo diet (only veggies, olive or coconut oil and meat at each meal) , cutting out any carbs other than what I got from veggies and the blueberries in my daily protein shake.  My skin definitely improved during that time, but by no means "cleared".  I know I was onto something, but it is not exactly easy to eat this way all the time and I lost weight during those three months which I didn't like (I lift weights a couple times a week and have always been on the thin side) so I decided to start eating things like potatoes and rice again.  My skin became worsened, but I need calories to not get too thin so I'm still eating non-Paleo.

 

I kid you not, this Chromium/Niacin/Zinc has improved my skin to like 99% clear since taking AND I'm eating carbs!  Since the Paleo diet helped, I believe that there is something wrong with my skin working with insulin. I'm guessing that the Chromium makes this working-relationship much improved.  I'm loving that I don't have to be so anal now with my diet!

 

I eat healthy overall, no junk food or sweets.  Lots of water, vitamin C and D (have always taken these and never did much for my skin). I can't afford grass-fed meat or organic veggies so I just buy what most people do at the supermarket.  I steer clear of any processed food, but do indulge occasionally.



I will say that I also have been including Mung Beans and Chrysanthemum tea in my diet lately because I learned that in Traditional Chinese Medicine they teach people with acne to incorporate these things to reduce "heat" from the liver and blood.  I wouldn't doubt they help to some extent, but I can't believe they would have made this much difference. I started adding them about a week before starting the Chromium/Niacin/Zinc.  I stopped breaking out pretty much the same day as starting the CNZ combo. 



#17 Thehoper

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:47 PM

Interesting.  Yeah you sound similar to me, do you only get breakouts around your mouth/chin?  I too have done the paleo and the candida diets, did raw vegan too and lost too much weight.  Diet I do now has been great and have gained back a lot of weight/muscle.  For carbs I eat lentils, mung beans, and adzuki beans.  All easy to digest beans.  And my other carb source is bananas.  Eat 3-4 large bananas after lifting weights.  In a large banana there is 120 cal, so in 4 almost 500 calories.  And even though bananas have a high GI I have read about diabetes patients who ate bananas and then tested their insulin levels and bananas never spiked the insulin, not even after a guy ate 15 bananas in a row lol.  Grains are what really spike your insulin and potatoes, ya might wanna go the beans/banana route.  Cool thing too is that my supermarket every friday does bananas 3lbs for 99 cents, I end up getting about 40-50 bananas for like 5 bucks haha its so efficient and I love bananas.  



#18 clayjar

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:31 PM

That's awesome, thank you! I love bananas but only eat them occasionally cause of the high GI thing, but this news is encouraging! I think I will try this, along with the mung and adzuki beans.  Lately I have been grinding a tablespoon of sprouted, dry mung beans and putting it in my protein shake. I usually have this daily.  I also bought a couple of unsprouted mung and adzuki beans which I plan on sprouting and eating daily, but haven't got around to it yet.   Sprouting them is supposed to unlock the full nutritional potential. This is a good video on how easy it is to sprout...http://showmethecurr...rout-beans.html

 

I get breakouts everywhere (whole face, neck, chest, back and sometimes upper arms).  How is your skin currently with the mung and adzuki beans? How long have you been eating them? 



#19 Thehoper

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:33 PM

Oh wow sorry to hear my friend, yeah I used to get acne around my face and body as well but all that completely went away after I cleaned up my diet, its only the chin breakouts that i cant fully get rid of.  And yeah I sprout my beans as well, same with the seeds I eat, been doin that for some years now.  As for the beans they have been in my diet on and off for the past 3 years but have been eating them daily for about 9 months now.  My skin is good Im happy with it but I dont think it has much or anything to do with the beans, the beans in my diet are there for calories and easy digestion not to fight acne.  

 

I highly suggest taking a digestive enzyme everyday with your largest meal.  A big theory of mine from the research that I have read is that many people with acne have digestion issues, and food isn't properly broken down and toxins and waste end up getting in the blood stream which then exists through the skin, enzymes are a must for me and make me feel much better.  I also take Carlson fish oil and some hemp oil everyday for the GLA.  Also am a juicer fan, juice veggies every morning.  Good for extra enzymes, detox, and get your vitamins and minerals.  Cucumbers, celery, carrots, red cabbage, beets, ginger all have many benefits, ginger also acts like niacin where it opens your blood vessels and allows better blood circulation which seems to be another reason for acne, poor blood circulation and toxins building in high sebum areas.  Ginger also has powerful enzymes that are great for digestion.  



#20 clayjar

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:17 PM

Thanks, man...that is some good advice. I appreciate you sharing your wisdom.