Low Sex Drive, Saggy Skin and White Spots on Your Nails Signify a Lack of This Mineral — and a Higher Cancer Risk – Cancer Defeated
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Low Sex Drive, Saggy Skin and White Spots on Your Nails Signify a Lack of This Mineral — and a Higher Cancer Risk

By Lee Euler / July 22, 2012

Your body loves this mineral.

Without it, you wouldn’t be able to make babies, or grow and feed them. This mineral also fights diseases and performs over 300 other biological functions.

Too much or too little of this mineral, and all these processes suffer, putting you at risk of disease and possibly even an early death. It’s also a very popular cold remedy. So keep reading and I’ll unveil the secret. . .

Continued below. . .

The Best-Kept Secret in Alternative Health…

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Zinc deficiency leads to cancer —
And cancer therapy leads to zinc deficiency

    Zinc is needed throughout life for proper cellular growth and repair, as well as maintaining immune function.

If you’re deficient in it, you can suffer impaired immune function and have poor resistance to infection and disease.

This can spell a major problem for cancer patients. In the case of zinc deficiency, it most often expresses itself in prostate and breast cancers. But it is also associated with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. In addition, 65 percent of patients with head and neck cancers were zinc deficient.1

As you may know, cancer is primarily a disease of the immune system. In fact, the medical and scientific community has known for over 100 years that nearly ALL diseases are a result of poor nutrition at some level or another.

So anyone wanting to avoid cancer needs to pay heed to the risk factors they can personally control — such as nutrient imbalances in your body that can lead to cancer.

Zinc deficiency is a general cancer risk factor. This is a fact well-established in cell, animal, and human models. Lack of zinc is associated with DNA damage and chromosome breaks. Your cellular level of zinc dramatically influences your cells’ ability to repair such DNA damage and recover.

Can zinc every day keep the doctor away?

    Ladies, Penn State researchers report that the glands in your breasts have unique zinc requirements due to your need to transfer large amounts of zinc into milk during lactation. If you’re deficient in zinc while nursing, your baby can suffer a severe zinc deficiency, resulting in impaired growth and development.

But the news gets worse. If you have a zinc deficiency or aren’t metabolizing it, it can result in breast cancer.

Today, zinc shortfalls are implicated not just with the initiation of breast cancer, but also in its progression and metastasis. Zinc deficiencies are known to cause cellular dysfunction in the breast.2

In another study, Dr. David Watts reviewed trace mineral reports on the hair of thousands of women. He discovered that a pattern of high boron, copper and calcium levels — along with lower zinc — was associated with breast cancer. Boron and copper make you more sensitive to the dangers of high estrogen, and less responsive to progesterone. Zinc helps your body utilize progesterone.

In addition, p53 is the primary gene that protects you from breast cancer. It is believed to be the most frequently mutated or altered gene in cancer. The p53 gene requires zinc — which if missing, causes p53 to become inactivated or suppressed. Because it’s well known that p53 dysfunction promotes breast cancer, it’s very likely zinc deficiency is a risk factor in breast cancer regardless of boron, copper and calcium levels.

The raging controversy over zinc and prostate cancer

    Does zinc also play an important role in maintaining prostate health? Some (including me) say yes. The normal human prostate contains a higher level of zinc than any other soft tissue in your body.

It’s obviously there for a reason. And cancerous prostates have far lower zinc levels than do normal ones, suggesting men need to keep an eye on their zinc levels.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of male American cancer deaths. Despite the well-known role of nutrition in cancer development, conventional medicine still maintains that the cause of prostate cancer is unknown. Conventional doctors like to pretend theirs is the only “evidence-based” form of medicine. Well, maybe they should look at the evidence. . .

Several studies have implicated zinc deficiency in the development and progression of prostate cancer. There’s also evidence that increasing your dietary zinc leads to a decrease in prostate cancer. It’s possible that a zinc deficiency increases your risk for oxidative DNA damage to your prostate cells.

Zinc is an ingredient in many supplements designed to promote prostate health. It’s also found quite often in male potency boosters, and in supplements designed to increase testosterone levels. At this point, the consensus among nutrition experts is that zinc in the diet is essential to male reproductive health.

Can zinc help slow or reverse cancer once it’s begun?

    Potentially yes… because zinc plays a significant role in protecting DNA from damage. Besides, it is a potent anti-inflammatory, and can promote apoptosis (programmed cell death).

But lately there’s been some controversy…

Though several studies showed that high cellular zinc levels inhibit prostate cancer development, one epidemiological study showed a higher risk for this cancer in men who took high-dose zinc supplements (over 100 mg/day) or long-term (more than 10 years).

The confusion stems from a 2003 National Cancer Institute (NCI) study, which found that taking more than 100 mg a day was linked to a doubled risk of advanced prostate cancer.3

It could be that 100 mg is too high a level, a toxic dose. But the finding could also be linked to the study’s design. I can tell you one problem right off: NO alternative health expert recommends a zinc dose that high. It’s widely understood that doses higher than 45 mg. per day over the long term can be toxic. Most zinc supplements and prostate or potency formulas contain daily doses much lower than 40 mg.

The study’s design was poor and the analysis
that followed was even worse

    Some critics say these scientists used statistical gymnastics to arrive at the calculation that taking 100 mg. of zinc daily for ten years or more doubled the risk of prostate cancer.

Nevertheless, the mainstream media ran a huge anti-zinc campaign to try to convince men to stop taking extra zinc.

We should also note that this study was hijacked by a friend of Big Pharma who later became head of the FDA. His role at the agency was to grant highly profitable cancer drug approvals to his Pharma friends. This zinc study was performed on his watch.

Most people are aware that statistics can be massaged to show results to meet a particular agenda. This NCI study is itself a poorly-designed study.

Even the researchers admitted their data could be skewed by men who chose to take higher levels of zinc after discovering their prostates were already in trouble. This is a vital point: it’s likely many of these men already had prostate disease BEFORE they started taking zinc. A lot of people figure if a little bit of a supplement is good, a lot is better. If zinc didn’t help their pre-existing problems, maybe it just goes to show that a higher dose didn’t help a man who’s already ill.

This lack of control should never have been allowed, and makes the study too weak to prove anything.

Interestingly, the journal publishing it lists it as a “Brief Communication” — not a study. But the media portrayed it as a study.

Finally — as often happens with anti-vitamin studies — the researchers didn’t consider the quality of the zinc being consumed. Most consumers would take cheap zinc oxide. Oxides generate free radicals — not desirable in men who are already struggling with low antioxidant levels. The use of low-quality nutrients is common to most studies that claim to prove vitamins or minerals don’t work, or are harmful.

Contrary to the weak 2003 study, a 2009 study at the University of Washington evaluated zinc intake lasting more than ten years. They found a 66 percent reduction in advanced prostate cancer in men who took at least 15 mgs zinc per day. Of course, the media failed to run this story.

In related news, a study found zinc to be helpful at reducing enlarged prostate, officially called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The researchers found it was essential to help control initial prostate swelling which could eventually become cancerous. It’s no wonder zinc produced these healthy effects, considering everything it does in our bodies. . .

Like the athletes who pass the torch from Athens to London…

    Specific proteins in your body pass zinc atoms from your digestive system to every cell and system in your body.

Like the Olympians who pass the torch, these twenty-four special zinc transporters each has its own special purpose. Some move zinc into cells, some manage its intracellular functions, and some remove it from your cells.

Penn State’s ongoing zinc research shows how zinc impacts your health at all stages of life, from before birth all the way through old age.

Zinc plays a substantial role in a baby’s development in the womb. The nourishment from the placenta is directly related to the mother’s zinc levels.

But even before you were in your mother’s womb, zinc was critical. It aids the sperm’s motility, allowing it to be a “strong swimmer” and thereby start the reproductive process. Without it, the sperm would be unable to “break into” the egg, and you would not have been conceived.

Once your lungs first breathed air, you were exposed to new diseases, and you needed zinc as a key component for your fragile immune system. Fortunately mother’s milk, assuming she wasn’t deficient, contained ample zinc for your needs — both your immune needs and growth and development needs.

Are YOU deficient?

    The World Health Organization cites zinc deficiency as the most common cause of childhood disease for children under age five, worldwide.

One-third of the world’s population suffers from some level of zinc deficiency. However, in some areas, a staggering 75 percent of the population is zinc deficient — with women and children being the worst victims.

While effective testing for zinc levels is under development, some symptoms of a zinc deficiency might alert you.

If you experience slowed wound healing, poor appetite, mental fog, sagging skin, a decreased ability to taste and smell, or white spots on your nails, it could indicate a zinc deficiency.

White spots on your nails are the classic sign of zinc deficiency.

Zinc’s working partner

    Zinc usually acts in tandem with selenium, but I’m not going to digress about selenium.

Both zinc and selenium are vital minerals normally found in soil in only small amounts — and reportedly the levels these days are much lower than fifty or 100 years ago. In fact, two-thirds of the earth’s tillable soil is now either severely or completely lacking in selenium. And zinc isn’t faring much better.

Both are vital to the production of two powerful antioxidant and anti-aging enzymes — Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Glutathione peroxidase. Scientists believe the “anti-aging gene” makes SOD — and that aging is just the natural outcome of declining SOD and other antioxidant enzymes.

The “million dollar question”

    How much zinc do you need, then?

That indeed, may be the “million dollar question”.

The problem with zinc is that individual needs can vary wildly. Men need more than women. Your levels can plummet when you’re under stress or you sweat a lot — so if you exercise outdoors during the heat of the summer, you’ll need more.

A typical amount is 15 mg to 40 mg per day. As I said before, the consensus is that amounts in this range are totally safe. But some women need up to 75 mg per day and some men need up to 100 mg per day. This can only be determined by a qualified doctor who knows nutritional medicine.

For best absorption, use high quality forms of zinc — zinc citrate, zinc picolinate, and zinc as methionine. Any other form must be converted to these before it can be assimilated.

Zinc can upset your stomach — it does mine — so take it with food. But I’m told most people don’t experience this side effect, and zinc can help revive a weak or poor appetite.

Want even better absorption or more zinc? Take it in food form:

  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Egg yolk
  • Kelp
  • Lamb
  • Legumes
  • Lima beans
  • Liver
  • Meats, especially grass fed, organic red meats
  • Mushrooms
  • Pecans
  • Poultry
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sardines
  • Seafood
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Wheat germ
  • Alfalfa
  • Burdock
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Dandelion
  • Eyebright
  • Fennel seeds
  • Milk thistle
  • Nettle parsley
  • Rose hips
  • Sage
  • Skullcap
  • Wild yams

By all means eat some of these foods, but please don’t listen to the press and conventional doctors who claim you can get all the nutrients you need from your food.

Today’s soil is depleted of nutrients, even the soil used to grow the best organic foods. Nutritional supplements are advisable. Most people’s diets are woefully deficient in zinc, selenium and other minerals.

Take heed, and make it a priority to get all the nutrients you need for your best health.

Last issue we talked about colonoscopy, one of the few cancer screening tests that’s really accurate and valuable. Now here’s more good news — there’s another test for colon cancer that’s cheaper, easier and almost as accurate as a full-scale colonoscopy. If you missed this important information, scroll down and take a look now.

Less Invasive Tests May
Replace Colonoscopy

    Mention the word “colonoscopy” to someone and they’ll probably get a funny look on their face. Although you’re unconscious during the test, it’s not a pleasant thing to think about or go through.

The most unpleasant part is the harsh laxatives you have to take to clear everything out before the test. Is there a better way? There may be now… keep reading…

Continued below…

“Shocking Confessions of a Drug Company Insider”

    In this exposé, a top executive of a major pharmaceutical company spills the naked truth about the drugs you and your family take… which drugs heal, and which ones KILL… what doctors turn to when they don’t know the cure… what they do when they themselves or their loved ones are stricken with disease or illness… what life-saving resource they insist should be in every home. Watch this must-see video now because your life — or the life of your loved ones — may depend on it.

Despite the drawbacks, a colonoscopy is worth the bother because it gives you an excellent chance of avoiding colon cancer — one of the most common cancers. As opposed to, say, skin cancers, which are seldom fatal, or other cancers that are extremely rare, colon cancer is one you SHOULD worry about.

And you’re in luck, because colonoscopy is one screening test that IS successful at finding cancer and precancerous growths while they’re still easily treatable.

But if you’d like to avoid some of the bother and discomfort, a large federal study suggests that a simpler, less invasive lower bowel exam may reduce your risk of colon cancer almost as much as a full-scale colonoscopy.

The study, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests a sigmoidoscopy could be a cheaper, easier way to diagnose colon cancer risk.

The exam can be used to determine whether the lining of your lower sigmoid colon, rectum and anus are normal in color, size and texture. During the exam the doctor can also perform a biopsy on a suspicious growth if one is found.

During the exam, the doctor inserts a flexible tube into your anus and guides it through the rectum deeper into your lower colon, but not through the entire colon as in a colonoscopy. A small camera mounted on the scope sends videos that help the doctor examine the intestinal lining.

And this is BETTER than a colonoscopy because…

    According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a sigmoidoscopy has quite a few advantages because it:

  • Costs far less than the colonoscopy
  • Doesn’t require sedation
  • Examines only the sigmoid, or descending colon, and is less invasive
  • Requires less bowel cleansing, i.e. harsh, nasty laxatives

Although it inspects only the lower part of the colon, this is where most colon cancers occur. And randomized clinical trials suggest that this procedure is effective in helping to reduce colon cancer incidence and deaths.

Current guidelines recommend that people at average risk should have a colonoscopy every 10 years. The sigmoidoscopy is recommended every five years—which increases the opportunity to catch abnormal growths sooner.

As with a colonoscopy, you still might need a laxative or an enema the night before, but it’s not necessary to evacuate the whole colon. And this is true for another screening option doctors use to check colon health…

Talk about ‘virtual reality!’

    The American Cancer Society (ACS) has wholeheartedly endorsed the use of virtual colonoscopy as a screening tool for colon cancer.

This procedure uses computerized tomography (CT) scans to detect abnormalities or changes in your colon and rectum. The scan involves a massive dose of cancer-causing X-radiation, and for this reason I don’t recommend it. My first choice would be colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.

But so you’re informed about your full range of choices, I’ll describe what a virtual colonoscopy involves.

The exam only takes about 20 minutes and typically is performed in a hospital radiology department.

During the test, the patient lies on her left side on a table connected to a CT scanner or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

With the patient’s knees up toward the chest, medical professionals insert a small tube in the rectum and gently pump air into the tube. This helps expand the colon so it’s easier to see.

Finally, with the patient lying on her back, the table slides into the CT or MRI machine to take hundreds of x-ray images of the colon. A computer combines the images to form 3-D pictures of the colon for viewing on a video monitor.

The exam is short and less invasive than a traditional colonoscopy. But remember that the virtual colon exam won’t allow a doctor to remove tissue samples or polyps.

And despite its sweeping endorsements by the medical establishment, many hospitals have been slow to adopt the procedure. They cite a lack of sufficient evidence to support approval for Medicare reimbursement.

With costs averaging between $400 to $800, the virtual scan is significantly less expensive than the average $1800 for a traditional colonoscopy.

But if doctors note a suspicious polyp, they must perform a colonoscopy anyway, in order to excise tissue for a biopsy. This is one reason Medicare won’t reimburse for the virtual scan.

There’s yet another option for checking your colon that won’t require the pesky laxative purge.

Introducing… the world’s first colon cleanser ‘app!’

    Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) recently developed computer software that can digitally “cleanse” waste matter from a virtual colonoscopy.

According to study results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, this procedure produces a pretty accurate picture of the colon wall and any potentially cancerous growths.

NO laxatives and NO probes are required, and this may make it more attractive to people who refuse to go through the more invasive tests.

Lead study author Dr. Michael Zalis, director of CT colonography at MGH, told Time magazine that “the level of performance was very comparable to CT [virtual] colonography as well as optical [scope-based] colonoscopy.”

For this procedure, reseachers asked 605 men and women between ages 50 and 85 to eat a low-fiber diet for two days before the virtual colonoscopy. They also drank small amounts of contrast agent dissolved in their food or drink three times a day.

The contrast agent selectively marked only digested food or drink and feces in the stomach or colon. This allowed all other tissues, including possible polyps, to remain untouched.

Patients underwent a 15 to 20 minute CT scan, without sedation, and were able to go back to their normal activities right after the test.

The investigators then used their software program to digitally remove all elements tagged by the contrast agent. This allowed radiologists to examine a whistle-clean picture of the colon.

Dr. Zalis said this procedure detected a whopping 91% of patients who had one or more of the high-risk lesions that were 10 mm or larger.

This screening tool still won’t allow doctors to remove and test suspicious tissue. But it may help ensure that a great many people don’t get unnecessary treatment for non-cancerous growths.

In any case, these newer, less-invasive tests may encourage more people to schedule colon screenings. And this just might be a step toward cutting colon cancer and death rates down to size.

Kindest regards,

Lee Euler Publisher

Footnotes from 1st article:1http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20155630, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan.
3http://www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/prostate_cancer_and_zinc_can_zinc_be_overdoneResources from second article:Harvard Health Letter. 2012, June 5. Does colonoscopy save lives? Healthbeat. Available online at
Marchione, M. 2012, May 21. Study: Alternative to Colonoscopy Also Cuts Cancer and Death. Time—Healthland. Available online at

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 2012. Flexible sigmoidoscopy factsheet. Available online at

National Institutes of Health. 2012. Virtual colonoscopy. Medline factsheet available online at

Park, A. 2012, May 15. Can Laxative-Free Colonoscopy Improve Colon Cancer Screening Rates?

About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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