Zinc and recovery from TBI / Concussion

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2018

Hi everyone, today's article that we're dealing with ... little bit different where it came from. This actually came from a supplement company that I deal with. One of their authors had written it. But the title is "New Study Demonstrates Zinc Supplementation Improves Clinical Outcomes from Traumatic Brain Injury", or TBI. A concussion as most of us older people would call it. This was posted back on May 5th of 2017. So, any way, I just wanted to talk about a couple things. The study that this article was written about was published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements back in the very beginning of May. The study included 100 participants with severe head trauma, ranging from 18 to 65 years of age. So they had a nice broad spectrum of age ranges. It would have been very interesting if they had enough people to use in the study to divide it into like 30 and under and over 30. But, any way, this ranged from 18 to 65.

                             Participants received either a placebo or 120 milligrams of zinc per day. Now, zinc dosages ... if I was going to supplement somebody with zinc, for adults in this age range would range somewhere between 10 and 15 milligrams of zinc a day. That's considered normal. 20 or 25 milligrams, maybe even up to 50 milligrams of zinc, that's getting fairly aggressive but certainly safe. So, 120 milligrams of zinc a day is a significant dose of zinc. And they did that for I think 16 days after their head injury. And they monitored them. They did plasma zinc testing. They looked at copper levels because zinc and copper interact with each other. 24 hour urinary zinc excretion. Couple of inflammatory markers. White blood cell test.

                             Then they did some questionnaires. One of them was called a sequential organ failure assessment. One was called the Glasgow Coma Score, which is commonly done in people with head injuries. Mortality rate and length of stay in the hospital. So, those are all the different measurements that they tested looking at people who took zinc and didn't take zinc after their head injuries.

                             So, what they found, zinc supplementation had positive effects on the Glasgow Coma Score, the sequential organ failure assessment, the inflammatory markers; those were all better. Plasma zinc levels were increased as you would expect in the group that took the zinc compared to the placebo group. And then, all of those were still increased. They were all better through day 16 of the study. And the length of stay in the hospital was shorter, and fewer people died in the zinc group. So, it was pretty clear that zinc supplementation made a significant change in what happens to someone after they have a traumatic brain injury.

                             Concussions are talked about quite a bit in the news. We know with the NFL, we're talking about it. Boxers have issues with concussions. Kids getting concussions earlier is a bigger problem now, or we're more aware of it being a problem than it used to be. So, we've also come to know in the past few years that concussions can have effects on your brain and your physiology for years well beyond when the concussion actually occurred. So, understanding something like zinc supplementation having that much of an impact on the outcome of a concussive event is pretty significant. We also should mention that high dose omega threes or high dose fish oil can have a big impact on how people do after concussions. We know that being on a ketogenic diet makes you much less likely to have a concussion. Not that you're less likely to bang your head into something, but less likely to have that do damage when you're in ketosis.

                             So, for some people, and I've heard that in certain kind of elite military groups they will go into ketosis before they do certain maneuvers so that they're less likely to run into those kinds of problems ... if an IED goes off close to them, that concussive wave will do less damage to their brain if they're in ketosis than if they're not. So, we've known that for a while. We do get some of that research out of the military. They come up with some really cool stuff that has to do with human performance, brain functioning, those types of things.

                             There is a supplement that you can get called glycerophosphocholine, of GPC, and there have been some studies that have shown that giving someone GPC after an event that could be either a stroke or a traumatic brain injury increases the brain's ability to repair and survive. So, that's helpful. And of course, you know, don't fall down and hit your head, that is also good advice. If you look at this information in totality, and also if you go back and watch the video we did a couple of days ago on brain regeneration and infrared light therapy, put all of this together with some infrared light therapy, and what do you do for patients with post-traumatic or traumatic brain injury, it can make substantial difference in their outcomes. Especially their outcomes three and five and eight and 10 years down the road.

                             So, I think we've got a lot more information about what to do for head injuries these days. I don't know that many people are actually doing anything about it. Typically if you get a head injury and you go get assessed for it, they kind of watch you and that's it. They don't do much. They say, "Please don't hit your head again." And maybe you get some occupational therapy to work on coordination and learning and memory skills but, they don't do much biochemically, right? Or physiologically. So, to take a brain injured patient and do high dose fish oil, make sure their zinc status is where it needs to be, make sure their vitamin D status is up where it needs to be, do something like the GPC supplementation, put them into ketosis for a period of time, do that along with the other therapies, do the infrared light therapy. How much more quickly and how much more completely could we rehab these patients if we availed ourselves of this kind of information and actually took the time to go ahead and institute those interventions?

                             We see people from time to time that are already patients of mine that have head injuries, and so we share some of this information with them. And they say, "Hey look, I've seen all these other doctors. Nobody's told me this kind of stuff." It's not pharmaceutical. It's not all that sexy. It doesn't make a ton of money. But the research is out there that this information is valid and beneficial and that it makes a big difference. And they're still continuing to test more things, and we're gonna come up with more therapies in the future.

                             But any way, today's topic, traumatic brain injury. We wanted to talk about zinc and that and the impact that it makes. So, again, and as usual, share this around if you have friends whose kids play concussive sports or they're boxers or they do kickboxing for that matter, you might wanna share this information with them. And they can go look some of this up and find more what to do. You can also look into the Amen Clinics, Dr. Amen, A-M-E-N, does a great job. He's been dealing with brain damage whether it's from traumatic brain injury or whether it's from chemical insult. He's been dealing with that for years. He's a very accomplished neurologist.  And then you see I think he's written a couple of books lately. Now sometimes you actually see him on PBS doing almost infomercials for his book. But his information is good. And his clinics do a very good job. I actually had a patient in just the other day who was talking to me about their experience with Amen Clinics, and they were another very satisfied customer to say the least.

                             So, anyway, zinc, fish oil, something like the GPC supplementation, infrared light therapy, all of those are important when you've been through a head injury. Hyperbaric chambers can do a good job as well if you can get your hands on that or you can find where that's available. So, I wanted to share that with you today. Ask the questions you need to ask. I'll type in answers as you do. I've had a couple of people start requesting topics for videos. Some of those requested topics will start coming up next week. And then a little bit of housekeeping: I have had a couple people notice that there is also a Functional Wellness Academy VIP Facebook page. That page is only available to people that have been through one of my online courses. The only online course that's active right now is the breast cancer prevention course.

                             So, if you go to and scroll down the page, on the, I guess as you're looking it'd be the left hand side, on the left hand side of the page you'll see a notice about the breast cancer prevention course. Click on that, put in your email. You'll get some emails about it, and learn about the breast cancer prevention course. If you've been through the breast cancer prevention course, then one of the bonuses for that course is to have access to the Functional Wellness Academy VIP Facebook page. And I do put content in there on a fairly regular basis that I will not be sharing other places. We did one yesterday on tamoxifen and raloxifene, and the differences between those and what they do for people with breast cancer, uterine cancer, those types of things. So, that was a discussion that you probably wouldn't necessarily benefit from if you hadn't been through the course and didn't have access to the material that I present in the course. So those kinds of things get presented in the VIP group. And so if you're not already, or if you don't at some point sign up for the breast cancer prevention course, you won't have access to the VIP group. But a lot of good information is going to come out in the general Functional Wellness Academy group, and that's probably where you're seeing this now.

                             That's it for today. You know what I say: eat for your health; train for performance; and of course, live the life you love today. And don't bang your head. That's good advice. You guys have a good afternoon.


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