Vitamin E and minerals help out behind the scenes

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Vitamin E is important as an antioxidant, for sexual health, heart health and so much more.

Much of what it does cannot be seen, but one thing that can be seen in people with deficiencies of this nutrient is called keloids. This is abnormal tissue growth at the site of a scar. It is almost like the piling up of tissue upon tissue until the scare is an ugly lumpish disfigurement.

Much has been written about keloids, mostly about ways to treat them with surgery and or topical creams. I have found that it is preferable to prevent them than to try to remove them after they have formed.

Keloids can be prevented by having sufficient vitamin E in the body at the time of healing of the scar. When knowing you will have surgery, begin taking vitamin E weeks to months (if possible) before the operation. Topical application of vitamin E after the keloid is formed can help, but taking vitamin E internally will speed the results considerably.

The best results I’ve observed is by using natural vitamin E oil (mixed tocopherols). It comes in capsules to keep it from oxidizing. If you are using it externally, simply pierce the capsule with a needle and apply it directly to the scar several times a day.

When taken orally and applied externally, I have seen these keloids disappear in several months.

We’ve been discussing vitamins and outward signs of deficiencies for the past several columns, so let’s now turn to minerals.

Zinc

This is an important mineral in our diets because it is involved in so many reactions in our bodies. A deficiency can easily be spotted. It is known as leukonychia and recognized as white “flecks” in the fingernails. I’ve seen references that suspect it is a vitamin B deficiency, but through my experiences and many other references I find it is most certainly a zinc deficiency and develops in the nail bed, especially in women during menses if there is a zinc deficiency at that time. Knowing that a fingernail usually takes six months to grow from root to tip, the flecks can give you an indication as to about when your body was short on zinc.

This may be apparent in several fingernails at the same distance from the root indicating that it is definitely a systemic whole body occurrence. A single white fleck on one nail alone however is usually due to an injury to that nail bed or just an anomaly.

Calcium

The body requires tissue calcium and serum calcium. Respectively these are the calcium in bone and the calcium in your blood.

For calcium to be used in our bones we need three components: calcium, phosphorus and a body hormone called parathormone (parathyroid hormone).

If any one of these is missing or insufficient, proper growth in children will not occur. Hence, growing children must have sufficient calcium during the growing years in order for that child to achieve one’s genetic potential. Adults require calcium to prevent osteoporosis.

Serum calcium is another thing. If the level of it in your blood is too low, it will be expressed — but not by a visible sign — by a physiologic sign. Low serum calcium can be recognized by excessive muscle cramps. These may range from frequent spasms (Charlie horses) during exercise, night cramps and even excessive cramps during menses in women.

Chromium

Yes, chromium is what we apply to car bumpers and the like to make them shiny and to keep them from rusting. But in its elemental form chromium has an important function within our bodies as well as a blood sugar regulator. As with calcium it’s deficiency will not be demonstrated by a visual sign, but rather by a physiologic sign.

Our bodies regulate blood sugars in several ways. Besides insulin, another important way is called glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which combines the B vitamin niacin with the mineral chromium. Although this factor can be bought as such, it can also be manufactured in our bodies. GTF can influence both high and low blood sugar. Hence, it is an important dietary mineral to include if one suffers from diabetes or hypoglycemia.

Retired chiropractic doctor Francis Trapani’s background includes 41 years of practice plus doing investigative reporting and fitness programs for broadcast media in Hawaii. He has written three books and is working on a yoga self-help manual “The Doctor Prescribes Yoga.” For more information, go to drftrapani.com.

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