Zinc Deficiency Found To Be The Cause Of More Disease-Related Complications In Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Patients

Crohn's disease, Ulcerative colitis, IBD, Zinc deficiency complications

Although zinc deficiency is common in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the impact of low serum zinc levels on IBD is found to be a cause of disease-related complications such as more hospitalization and surgeries. Therefore zinc can be a powerful tool for improving Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease treatment.

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Zinc Is An Essential Trace Mineral for IBD Patients

Zinc is an important immune boosting mineral and one that humans are mostly deficient in no thanks to heavy pesticide use and subsequent soil deficiency. Zinc is a dietary mineral, which means the body doesn’t make it, so humans have to get their zinc from the foods that they eat. What is more, zinc has been shown to be an important trace mineral for those dealing with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and can be the cause of many of the disease-related complications associated with both diseases. Zinc is also a powerful ally in successful Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease treatment

More and More American Diagnosed With IBD

In 2015, an estimated 1.3% of U.S. adults (approximately 3 million) reported being diagnosed with IBD (either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis). This was a large increase from 1999 (0.9% or 2 million adults) and that number continues to climb.

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What Are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease?

Ulcerative colitis primarily affects the large intestine and anus and it causes the inflammation sores in the inner lining of colon and rectum, where Crohn's disease affects any part of gastrointestinal tract. Unlike ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s affects all the layers of gastrointestinal walls. Further, Ulcerative colitis tends to more prevalent than Crohn's disease.

Zinc Deficiency Is A Co-factor of IBD

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Zinc deficiency is common in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), however, the impact of low serum zinc levels on disease course is not known. Zinc plays a pivotal role in wound repair, tissue regeneration, and the immune response.

In a study published in the Oxford Journal, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases patients enrolled in an IBD registry. There were at least two serum zinc measurements included in the analysis. Using a logistic regression model, rates of IBD-related surgeries, IBD-related hospitalizations, and IBD-related complications were evaluated following a diagnosis of zinc deficiency (with a serum concentration less than 0.66 mcg/ml) compared to those with normal zinc concentrations.

In patients who were zinc deficient, outcomes were also analyzed between those who had normalization of zinc levels within 12 months and those who remained deficient.

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More Complications In Zinc Deficient IBD Patients

A total of 773 patients with Crohn’s disease and 223 with ulcerative colitis were included in the analysis. After adjusting for covariates, zinc deficiency was associated with an increased risk of subsequent hospitalizations, surgeries, and disease-related complications in patients with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. Normalization of zinc was associated with improvement in these outcomes in patients with both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Zinc Deficiency Worsens IBD

The study concluded that IBD patients with zinc deficiency are more likely to have adverse disease-specific outcomes. As these outcomes improve with normalization of zinc, the results from this study support the role for close monitoring and replacement of zinc in patients with IBD.

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How To Get More Zinc In Your Life

Getting more zinc in your life is a powerful part of Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease treatment. Because humans need to get it from their diet, bioavailable dietary sources of zinc can be found in many nourishing plant-based foods such as cherries, pumpkin seeds, and apricots, as well as some grains and legumes. Zinc can also be supplemented by using a quality ionic zinc concentrate. Always work closely with your health practitioner when adding new supplements to your diet.

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