While there is no cure for herpes, and the virus stays in the body forever, zinc is one trace mineral that has been clinically proven to kill the herpes virus and reduce healing time during outbreak.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that is important for the function of the immune system and for repairing and healing the skin. Clinical studies have found that people who have a low level of Zinc are often more susceptible to infections.
This mineral assists all cells in the body, and aids in the development and repair of every tissue including the skin. Zinc plays a key role in activating and enhancing the immune system, and helps the body to ﬁght off viral infections more effectively.
Can Zinc help treat Genital Herpes?
Zinc has been show in the laboratory to kill HSV-1 and HSV-2. The type of zinc used play a significant factor with zinc lactate deactivating herpes at a rate of 92% and zinc gluconate (a common form of zinc) was only 30% effective.
One study with HSV-1 showed that a zinc ointment applied to the skin at the first sign of an outbreak led to significantly faster healing of the lesion. Another study gave a zinc supplement (22.5 mg zinc sulfate twice a day) to 20 patients with more than 6 outbreaks of oral herpes per year, and found a 50% reduction in the number of outbreaks.
Zinc and Cold Sores
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex 1 virus. After the initial infection, the virus sequesters itself within nerve cells, where it can reactivate and cause recurrences. Topical or oral zinc supplements have been shown to suppress cold sore recurrences and promote healing when outbreaks do occur.
Why Zinc could be helpful for herpes
- Zinc is critical to the immune system, and therefore low levels could be linked to frequent and/or acute outbreaks
- Assists in the healing of wounds and is vital for skin repair
- May help to prevent skin damage, such as scarring or loss of pigment
- Enhances and optimizes the body’s immune resistance against infection
- Dietary Zinc
The Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine performed a clinical study to observe the effectiveness of zinc for herpes labialis, also known as oral herpes, cold sores, and herpes simplex virus- 1.
In the study, twenty patients who had greater than six outbreaks of herpes per year were given 22.5 mg zinc sulfate by mouth twice a day for two months in the spring and two months in the fall. The patients were followed for a year. The results showed that outbreaks of oral herpes were reduced to an average of three per year. Healing time was reduced to less than a week.
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Make sure that you only buy a zinc supplement where the zinc is bound to another element like oxygen or glucose, in a process called “chelation” A zinc supplement that is chelated (known as zinc chelate) is likely to be absorbed more efficiently by the body. Chelating is a special process that bonds the essential zinc mineral to the amino acid glycine, making the mineral a more easily absorbed form for the body to process.
This is because all minerals need to be bonded with another compound in order to be digested and utilized by the body, and one of the most effective of these compounds is a fragment of a protein (an amino-acid). Chelated Zinc is therefore more easily accepted through the body than non-chelated Zinc.
Zinc applied externally onto a herpes affected area has also been shown to have beneﬁcial results, although I haven’t tried that yet as I apply oregano oil topically.
Foods Rich In Zinc
Nutrients from natural sources are better absobed and bio-available. While there are several different forms of zinc you can take supplementally the most popular are chelated forms of zinc, such as zinc orotate and zinc picolinate because they are in a more usable form for your body.
You can naturally increase your intake of zinc by consuming foods that are high in zinc.
• Oysters (16-182 mg per 100 gm)
• Crab and lobster (7.27 mg per 100 gm)
• Shrimp (1.34 mg per 100 gm)
• Beef and lamb (12.3 mg zinc per 100 gm)
• Turkey (3.09 mg per 100 gm)
• Salmon (.64 mg per 100 gm)
• Egg Yolks (4.93 mg per 100 gm)
• Pumpkin seeds (2.9 mg per ounce, or 28 gm, of seeds)
• Sunflower seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds are also high in zinc.
• Chickpeas (3.43 mg per 100 gm)
• Brown rice (2.02 mg per 100 gm)
• Peas (1.24 mg per 100 gm)
• Sesame Seeds (7.75 mg per 100 gm)
• Lamb (8.66 mg per 100 gm)
• Pumpkin seeds (7.81 mg per 100 gm)
• Watermelon seeds (10 mg per 100 gm)
• Lima beans (2.83 mg per 100 gm)
• Peanuts (3.27 mg per 100 gm)
• Spinach (.53 mg per 100 gm)
• Kidney beans (2.79 mg per 100 gm)
• Peanuts (3.27 mg per 100 gm)
• Garlic (1.16 mg per 100 gm)
• Dark chocolate (9.6 mg per 100 gm)
• Work as a Powerful Antioxidant
• Enhances Immune Function
• Promotes Wound Healing
• Balances Hormones and Supports Reproductive Health
• Aids in Nutrient Absorption
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