Monday, December 20, 2010

Do Your Skin, Hair, or Nails Need a Pick-Me-Up?

Skin is the body's largest organ and it, along with the eyes, is constantly assaulted by household and outdoor pollutants and sunlight. Almost non-stop exposure to one or several of these elements creates cell-damaging free radicals. To fend off that relentless assault, defenses beyond sunscreen and lotions are needed, says Adean Kingston, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Cooper Clinic.

Cooper Complete Dermatologic Health provides an array of nutrients that our skin, hair and nails welcome. Vitamin A, in the form of natural beta carotene with mixed carotenoids, and zinc are included to improve your complexion. Both nutrients counter facial oil and acne and its lesions.

Lutein is included in the formula for skin health. Lutein filters high-energy, blue light that can damage skin cells, and protects the skin by attacking free radicals. Lutein is an antioxidant found in spinach, kale, collard greens and other vegetables. Lutein also supports eye and cardiovascular health.

Results of a 2007 study published in the Skin Pharmacology and Physiology journal showed that 10 milligrams of lutein can improve skin hydration and elasticity and enhance the skin's photo-protective activity. Data indicate that lutein inhibits skin reactions to ultraviolet light and prevents UVB-induced skin cancer. Cooper Complete Dermatologic Health contains 10 milligrams of FloraGLO lutein, the most bioavailable form of lutein.

“Copper, essential to enzyme reactions, is part of the supplement's formula to increase elastin production and reduce the appearance of stretch marks, lax skin and wrinkles,” said Dr. Kingston. Copper combats psoriasis and other skin conditions. Biotin, a member of the B Complex and essential to skin, hair, and nail rejuvenation, is also in the formula.

Vitamins C and E are included as potent anti-oxidants, countering the effects of sun exposure by scavenging for free radicals. Studies have shown that when Vitamins A and E are taken together, the risks of basal cell carcinoma, a common, sun-induced skin cancer, are reduced. Selenium is included to protect skin from sun damage and lower the risk of skin cancer.

An antioxidant called polypodium leucotomas, derived from a tropical plant in South and Central America, is included in the supplement, too, to protect against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Polypodium leucotomas is often marketed as heiliocare. Native Americans used the plant's extract to treat inflammatory disorders and skin diseases. Dr. Kingston says polypodium leucotomas is beneficial for dermatitis and psoriasis, and it lowers the risk of skin cancer.

Horsetail extract, included in the supplement's formula, is a living fossil that contains high levels of the element silicon, found to be effective in hair growth. Dermatologic Health also contains biotin and zinc to promote healthy hair. Biotin and horsetail extract are often used to help brittle fingernails, a condition affecting 20 percent of Americans. Brittle nails can be caused by a lack of nutrients, an underlying health condition, and other factors like repeated washing of hands.

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store.

Our toll free number is 888-393-2221; email us at

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stop The Stink

I know it’s a somewhat personal question, but do your feet stink? In a recent “Dear Annie” advice column, Annie had a nurse write in and report that a zinc deficiency can cause body odor, including stinky feet. I decided to look up the science on zinc to find any literature connecting a zinc deficiency with odor.

Our body requires zinc for the functioning of more than 300 enzymes. The U.S. recommendations for daily intake are 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. While food sources of zinc include oysters, shellfish, poultry and meat, as well as fortified cereals and nutrition bars, the average diet may not contain enough zinc. Zinc supplements come in several forms – zinc chelate, citrate, picolinate and sulfate. The sulfate form is less expensive than the other forms. (Cooper Complete products use the chelate form of zinc.)

The scientific literature on zinc is extensive, and there is good evidence to support zinc supplementation to:

• Reduce the severity and duration of diarrhea in malnourished children

• Help the healing process of gastric ulcers

• Help manage or reduce symptoms of sickle cell anemia
In the studies, participants showed an increase in heath, weight, immune system function, and testosterone levels, while reducing the number of sickled cells.

• Prevent zinc deficiency
Zinc deficiency symptoms include hair loss, impotence, skin and eye conditions, and reduced appetite.

There’s conflicting research on the impact of zinc in treating the severity and duration of the common cold. In a small double-blind trial of 100 people experiencing early cold symptoms, the half given 13.3 mg of zinc from zinc gluconate recovered from their cold much more quickly than the placebo group. Coughing disappeared within 2.2 days (versus 4 in the placebo group), the sore throat lasted 1 day (versus 3), nasal drainage lasted 4 days (versus 7), and headache time fell from three days to two days. Unfortunately, other studies show little difference between zinc and a placebo.

In a search of the scientific literature, I came up empty when seeking a connection between smelly feet and zinc. In anecdotal information, the writer to “Dear Annie” reports that taking zinc supplements eliminated foot odor. The Graedon’s at the People’s Pharmacy have heard 50 to 100 mg zinc daily made a dramatic reduction in foot odor within 30 days. Another home remedy found in the People’s Pharmacy is to soak the feet in warm water with tannic acid. Because tea is high in tannic acid, adding tea bags to a foot bath is an easy way to try this remedy.

Because long-term high levels of zinc can be toxic, it’s important to talk with your doctor about any supplements you take.

The adult Cooper Complete multivitamin and mineral supplements (including Elite Athlete and Basic One) contain 15 mg zinc per daily serving.

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store.

Our toll free number is 888-393-2221; email us at


Ask Annie Advice Column Suggests Zinc for Body Odor and Stinky Feet

Zinc Gluconate Lozenges for Treating the Common Cold


Strange Solutions for Smelly Feet

Smelly Feet – free download from the People’s Pharmacy with Joe and Terry Graedon

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.