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May 1979

Zinc, Essential Fatty Acids, and Prostaglandins

Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(5):641-642. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010050065047

To the Editor.—  We were interested to read the suggestion by Drs Schroeter and Tucker (Archives 114:800, 1978) that zinc may enhance the conversion of essential fatty acids to prostaglandins. They pointed out that this could explain the similar effects of essential fatty acids and zinc on the skin.We have come to a similar conclusion and have provided evidence that zinc may have a specific effect in enhancing the formation of prostaglandins of the E, series.1,2 This indicates that wherever either zinc or essential fatty acid therapy has been found effective, there may be an advantage in adding the other agent to the regimen.We have conducted preliminary studies using zinc sulfate (30 mg/day) and evening primrose oil (3.0 mL/ day). Evening primrose oil is a uniquely rich source of essential fatty acids since it contains 9% of γ-linolenic acid as well as 72% of linoleic acid. Linoleic

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