Helps your immune system and metabolism function.
Aids in liver detoxification, blood sugar regulation and enhances skin appearance.
Helps keep your body's blood and nerve cells healthy and helps make DNA.
Aids in brain and nervous system function, metabolism, and circulatory function.
Necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues.
With zinc playing a prominent role in many major processes within the human body, its mechanism of action varies depending on the organ system as well as the relevant process involved.
Immune System and Anti-Inflammation
In the immune system, zinc functions as a second messenger for immune cells; intracellular zinc participates in signaling events in immunity. It is involved in the development of monocytes and macrophages and regulates macrophagic functions such as phagocytosis and the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Zinc also inhibits phosphodiesterase, resulting in increased levels of guanosine-3' 5'- cyclic monophosphate which leads to the suppression of Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1B), as well as other inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, zinc increases the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- alpha; this results in the downregulation of inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules. Due to these and several other actions in the immune system, zinc is considered to be a key anti-inflammatory agent in the human body.
Zincs Effect on Skin
In the skin, zinc exerts its effects through several means in the development and maintenance of the skin cells. Zinc is most concentrated in the stratum spinosum layer of the skin compared to the other three layers namely basal layer, stratum granulosum, and stratum corneum. Studies have shown that zinc facilitates the proliferation as well as the survival of keratinocytes in the stratum spinosum; it also suppressed the activation of interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha by these keratinocytes. Additionally, zinc plays an active role in the development of Langerhans cells, a type of antigen-presenting cells, within the skin. Furthermore, the expression of melanocytes in the human skin is facilitated by zinc through mechanisms that are not yet fully understood.
Central Nervous System
In the central nervous system, zinc is essential in the formation and development of the growth factors, hormones, enzymes, and proteins during neurodevelopment; mild zinc deficiency during pregnancy has been shown to result in learning and memory abnormalities. Zinc helps in the development of the neural tube, the first brain structure that develops during pregnancy, the neural crest, and the process of stem cell proliferation during neurogenesis. Furthermore, free zinc is found in synaptic vesicles where it acts to modulate a variety of postsynaptic receptors; in the synaptic cleft it reduces the inhibitory actions of GABA receptors. Free zinc also exerts inhibitory actions on the release of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter.
Glutathione is an essential molecule required for detoxification. Glutathione acts by assisting the body’s machinery in the removal of harmful destructive oxygen containing molecules.
During the body’s normal functioning an excess of oxygen containing molecules are produced, these molecules are typically very reactive with other molecules they come in contact with. In modern biochemistry these are referred to as reactive O2 species.
Reactive O2 species molecules include peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide anions (O2 with unpaired electron) these molecules are very toxic to the cell. The toxicity can be explained by the tendency of these molecules to bind or destroy important biomolecules.
The body has a natural system to remove these reactive O2 species. These systems metabolize and scavenge for reactive oxygen species, in a controlled and precise fashion.
The system that removes these toxic reactive oxygen species includes a host of enzymes:
- Glutathione peroxidase (GPX): GPX detoxifies peroxides with glutathione acting as an electron donor in the reduction reaction, producing glutathione disulfide as an end product. GPX is a 80 kDa protein that is composed of four identical subunits. It is expressed throughout the entire body, individual isoforms are present in specific tissues. When the body is in a state of excess oxidative stress the expression of this enzyme is induced. Abnormal expression has been associated with a wide variety of pathologies, including hepatitis, HIV, and a wide variety of cancers, including skin, kidney, bowel, and breast. Glutathione reductase (GR)- catalyzes reduction of glutathione disulfide is by requires NADPH producing two glutathione molecules as an end product. GR is a member of the flavoprotein disulfide oxidoreductase family and exists as a dimer. Expression of GR is upregulated during periods of increased oxidative stress, to prepare for reactive oxygen species removal. The level at which regulation takes place is at the transcriptional level as well as at the post-translational level. Down regulation of GR production and activity are thought to be associated with cancer and aging.
- Catalase: is involved in detoxification of reactive oxygen species.
- Superoxide dismutase (SOD): is involved in the removal of superoxide species.
Immune Function: Glutathione plays a significant role in immune function. It encourages the T-cell function that’s essential for a healthy immune system and protects from environmental toxins.
Additionally, glutathione is essential in a broad range of metabolic processes:
- Glutathione acts to neutralize a toxic metabolic byproduct: Methylglyoxal
- Glutathione is involved in the protein disulfide bond rearrangement that is necessary for the synthesis of one third of the body’s proteins
- It protects the body from the oxidative damage caused by glutathione peroxidase by acting as a helper molecule for certain enzymes
- The liver uses Glutathione to help detoxify fats before the gallbladder emits bile, supporting healthy digestion
Detoxification: Glutathione may also be crucial in the removal and detoxification of carcinogens, and according to recent studies alterations in this metabolic pathway, can influence cell survival profoundly. Glutathione may be responsible for several vital roles within a cell besides antioxidation:
- Maintenance of the redox state (chemical reactions in which the oxidation state of atoms are modified)
- Modulation of the immune response
- Detoxification of foreign bacteria and viruses
Chronic Disease: Research has demonstrated that glutathione deficiency may be a factor in many chronic conditions; HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, different cancers, cataracts, macular degeneration, open angle glaucoma, diabetes, and many diseases of the liver, kidneys, lungs, and digestive system.
Depletion Due to Aging and Alcohol Consumption: Glutathione plays a major role in the detoxification of ethanol (consumed as alcoholic beverages) and people who routinely drink will experience Glutathione depletion.20 Aging is another factor; as the body ages glutathione levels may drop below the level necessary to maintain healthy immune function (among other processes).
Depletion may also Caused by Other Factors: Besides alcohol consumption and the aging process, there are other factors that can deplete levels of Glutathione:
- Benzopyrenes (tobacco smoke, fuel exhaust, etc.)
- Many household chemicals (detergents, fabric softeners, air fresheners, mothballs, cleaners, bleach, etc.)
Fertility: In a study of eleven infertile men, suffering from dyspermia associated with various andrological pathologies - Glutathione was observed to exert a significant effect on sperm motility. Glutathione appeared to have an observable therapeutic effect on certain andrological pathologies that cause male infertility.
Artherosclerosis: In one study, ten patients with artherosclerosis were administered glutathione which resulted in a significant increase in blood filtration, in addition to a significant decrease in blood viscosity and platelet aggregation. Consequently, Glutathione infusion was determined to be an effective method of decreasing blood viscosity while increasing blood filtration.
Dermatological Properties: In a three-month study of female subjects, the women taking Glutathione showed significantly improved skin elasticity and amelioration of wrinkles compared to test subjects who received a placebo.2
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)
Methylcobalamin, or vitamin B12, is a B-vitamin. It is found in a variety of foods such as fish, shellfish, meats, and dairy products. Although methylcobalamin and vitamin B12 are terms used interchangeably, vitamin B12 is also available as hydroxocobalamin, a less commonly prescribed drug product (see Hydroxocobalamin monograph), and methylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is used to treat pernicious anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as to determine vitamin B12 absorption in the Schilling test. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin found in the foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. Deficiency in healthy individuals is rare; the elderly, strict vegetarians (i.e., vegan), and patients with malabsorption problems are more likely to become deficient. If vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated with a vitamin B12 supplement, then anemia, intestinal problems, and irreversible nerve damage may occur.
The most chemically complex of all the vitamins, methylcobalamin is a water-soluble, organometallic compound with a trivalent cobalt ion bound inside a corrin ring which, although similar to the porphyrin ring found in heme, chlorophyll, and cytochrome, has two of the pyrrole rings directly bonded. The central metal ion is Co (cobalt). Methylcobalamin cannot be made by plants or by animals; the only type of organisms that have the enzymes required for the synthesis of methylcobalamin are bacteria and archaea. Higher plants do not concentrate methylcobalamin from the soil, making them a poor source of the substance as compared with animal tissues.
B vitamins play different roles but their functions are inter-related and complementary. They work as coenzyme in several biochemical reactions to activate enzyme reaction of corresponding protein by creating holoenzyme. As holoenzyme they participate in the majority of cellular processes.
Although vitamin B1 and B6 participate more actively in the methionine cycle and citric acid cycle, which is the mitochondrial energy production process, the entire vitamin B group is involved in its successful execution. B vitamins also help to maintain the health of nervous system by playing a crucial role in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system functions.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) serves as a coenzyme with transketolase enzyme in the pentose phosphate pathway of glycolysis. This pathway generates pentose sugar for synthesis of amino acid and nucleic acid and converts glucose to ribulose-5-phosphate via retrieving the carbon from the pentose phosphate shunt. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) plays an important role in many biologically important redox reactions such as energy producing, biosynthetic, detoxifying and electron scavenging pathways as a precursor of coenzyme flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Riboflavin is also essential for the metabolism of homocysteine, as a cofactor for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and methionine synthase reductase (MTRR).
In the citric acid cycle, Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is involved in the formation of acetyl-CoA while conversion of its co-enzyme takes places from NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) to NADH. In the anabolic methionine cycle, niacin, in the form of NAD, is a necessary co-factor for the enzymes dihydrofolate reductase in the folate/tetrahydrobiopterin cycle and S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is a component of coenzyme A. At least 70 enzymes utilize coenzyme A for the metabolism of fat, protein, carbohydrates and proper functioning of citric acid cycle.13 It is also involved in synthesis of several neural transmitters.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) acts as a necessary cofactor in the folate cycle and combines with serine hydroxymethyl transferase to effect the conversion of tetrahydrofolate(THF) to 5,10 methylene THF. B6 is a rate limiting cofactor in the synthesis of several neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), noradrenaline and the hormone melatonin. Even a minor deficiency of B6 can cause a substantial down-regulation of these neurotransmitters. B6 also plays an important role in immune functions and is also a bio-marker of inflammation with its down-regulation being associated with severe inflammation.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Ascorbic acid is necessary for collagen formation (e.g., connective tissue, cartilage, tooth dentin, skin, and bone matrix) and tissue repair. It is reversibly oxidized to dehydroascorbic acid. Both forms are involved in oxidation-reduction reactions. Vitamin C is involved in the metabolism of tyrosine, carbohydrates, norepinephrine, histamine, and phenylalanine. Other processes that require ascorbic acid include biosynthesis of corticosteroids and aldosterone, proteins, neuropeptides, and carnitine; hydroxylation of serotonin; conversion of cholesterol to bile acids; maintenance of blood vessel integrity; and cellular respiration.
Vitamin C may promote resistance to infection by the activation of leukocytes, production of interferon, and regulation of the inflammatory process. It reduces iron from the ferric to the ferrous state in the intestine to allow absorption, is involved in the transfer of iron from plasma transferrin to liver ferritin, and regulates iron distribution and storage by preventing the oxidation of tetrahydrofolate. Ascorbic acid enhances the chelating action of deferoxamine during treatment of chronic iron toxicity (see Interactions). Vitamin C may have a role in the regeneration of other biological antioxidants such as glutathione and α-tocopherol to their active state.
Ascorbate deficiency lowers the activity of microsomal drug-metabolizing enzymes and cytochrome P-450 electron transport. In the absence of vitamin C, impaired collagen formation occurs due to a deficiency in the hydroxylation of procollagen and collagen. Non-hydroxylated collagen is unstable, and the normal processes of tissue repair cannot occur. This results in the various features of scurvy including capillary fragility manifested as hemorrhagic processes, delayed wound healing, and bony abnormalities.
Currently, the use and dosage regimen of vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of diseases, other than scurvy, is unclear.
Although further study is needed to recommend vitamin C therapy for the following ailments, recent data indicate a positive role for vitamin C for: overall increased mortality; the prevention of coronary heart disease (especially in women); management of diabetes mellitus; reducing the risk of stroke; management of atherosclerosis in combination with other antioxidants;789 osteoporosis prevention;10 reducing the risk of Alzheimer disease in combination with vitamin E; and the prevention of cataracts. In humans, an exogenous source of ascorbic acid is required for collagen formation and tissue repair.
Vitamin B-Complex: https://www.empowerpharmacy.com/drugs/b-complex-injection
Ascorbic Acid: https://www.empowerpharmacy.com/drugs/ascorbic-acid-injection