Zinc is a trace mineral, used commonly for immune modulation, acne, diabetes, burns and a wide range of other conditions. It’s also the most abundant trace mineral in the brain . As such there’s good reason to believe it may have some function within the scope of treating concussions.
Zinc and Concussions
Research out of Florida State University showed that after acute brain injury, such as a concussion, urinary zinc excretion and serum zinc levels decreased . Treatment with zinc, after a concussion showed to reduce traumatic brain injury associated depression and improved cognitive function, specifically spatial learning, and memory. So, there may be some indication for supplementing zinc post-concussion for some individuals.
As mentioned above, after concussion zinc deficiency seems to prevail. Also, other factors have been found to reduce zinc in the brain. Work by MIT researchers showed phytates and glyphosate can bind to zinc and induce a deficiency . Furthermore, gut bacteria seem to influence zinc metabolism, which also points to the importance of gut health post-concussion.
Caution with Dosing
Too much free zinc (particularly in hippocampus) is associated with acute injury  – so be careful with how much you take, consult your naturopath first.
Interested in learning more?
Read on in our series of articles on Concussions!
About the Author - Dr. Johann de Chickera
Dr. Johann is a fully licensed Naturopathic Doctor. His approach emphasizes the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and improving one’s health naturally. Dr. Johann obtained a Doctor of Naturopathy at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). Education at CCNM is a vigorous four years, with a curriculum involving biomedical sciences, physical diagnosis, clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, botanical (herbal) medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy and lifestyle management.
While Dr. Johann has a general practice, he focuses on fertility, hormonal imbalances, gut health, and autoimmune disease.
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