Elevated blood pressure causes more premature deaths worldwide than any other factor. Blood pressure is regulated by a number of things such as diet and lifestyle. Science has also discovered that low blood levels of zinc contribute to high blood pressure because it impairs the ability of the kidneys to regulate sodium levels. This was demonstrated recently in a study that is published in American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology. Clinical zinc deficiencies are especially common among type 2 diabetics and people with kidney ailments. Subclinical zinc deficiency is also quite common. Even if you get plenty of zinc from your diet, the risk of poor zinc absorption increases with age. Vegetarian and vegan diets, overconsumption of calcium, drinking too much alcohol, using birth control pills and several types of medicine, plus certain other factors can also increase the risk of a zinc deficiency.
Earlier studies have shown that zinc plays an important role for our health and for preventing esophageal cancer. However, it has been a puzzle to science to understand how zinc protects against this widespread cancer form. Now, Professor Zui Pan and a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, USA, have identified the mechanisms through which zinc protects healthy cells and prevents cancer cells from spreading in the esophagus. The scientists behind the new study believe that zinc given in the right dosages has a great potential for helping to prevent the disease and serving as an adjuvant in therapy. Their study is published in The FASEB Journal.
- which your brain, nervous system, and liver need
A cold beer with lunch or a glass of red wine to go with your steak may be tempting. In fact, alcohol in limited amounts can be relaxing and it provides beneficial antioxidants. However, Danes drink too much, and our excessive alcohol consumption is one of the worst threats to public health. Many alcoholics suffer from unstable blood sugar levels, which can have a rather bad impact on their willpower. In addition, the empty calories deplete the body’s levels of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, on which the nervous system, the brain, and the liver depend. This can easily turn into a vicious cycle. Therefore, having stable blood sugar and making sure to get plenty of vital nutrients is important for preventing and treating alcohol abuse.
Impaired sperm quality if one of the major reasons for involuntary infertility. Studies show that oxidative stress, an imbalance between harmful free radicals and protective antioxidants, causes damage to sperm cells. In a review article that is published in Reproductive Sciences, a group of researchers look closer at different molecular mechanisms and how vitamins C, E, selenium, zinc, and coenzyme Q10 plus other antioxidants protect the vulnerable sperm cells.
Birth control pills are commonly used as a source of prevention. Most women seem to tolerate the pills rather well, but there are known side effects such as headaches, mood swings, and a slightly increased risk of blood clots and breast cancer. The different side effects are a result of the birth control pills and their disturbing impact on various enzyme processes, which depend on most B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Vitamin C, zinc, and selenium also serve as effective antioxidants that protect our cells and cardiovascular system against oxidative stress. It is therefore essential to get plenty of these nutrients in order to lower the risk of side effects.
Birth control pills have many physical and psychological side effects and they leach the body of vital vitamins and minerals
According to Danish research, more than one in three women suspect that their birth control pills cause side effects. Other studies show that birth control pills affect the body’s ability to utilize several different B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. The lack of these essential nutrients contributes to a number of common side effects such as fluid retention, blood clots, cancer, and depression.
Seniors have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death. It is commonly known that diet plays a key role in preventing these diseases, and a team of scientists therefore decided to look closer at zinc because of this nutrient’s many functions in the heart and cardiovascular system. The scientists found that older people often lack zinc for different reasons. Therefore, the dietary guidelines for zinc in old age should be reconsidered with regard to cardiovascular health and other zinc-dependent functions.
- and a common trait in most chronic diseases
Although chronic inflammation is not something that you feel as such, it sets the stage for a number of symptoms and a host of different diseases including fatigue, overweight, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatism, metabolic disorders, asthma, periodontal disease, bowel infections, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, sclerosis, and cancer. Not surprisingly, people are more and more hooked on the anti-inflammatory lifestyle, and we will take a closer look at studies showing how fish oil, vitamin D, selenium, magnesium, and zinc contribute to preventing and fighting inflammation, related diseases and premature death. Any nutritional supplements must be of a proper quality that the body can absorb, and they should contain therapeutic dosages.
In ancient times when our ancestors hunted, they consumed every inch of the animal – from one end to another. Organ meat such as the liver, the heart, and the kidneys were delicacies that contained far more essential nutrients than other parts of the animal. In Western countries, we primarily consume muscle meat. In addition, animals often get unnatural fodder with suboptimal nutrient content. This results in deficiencies and an imbalance between amino acids and fatty acids. In the following article, you can read more about organ meats (also known as offal), bone marrow, and bone broth and their high content of essential amino acids, vitamin B12, iron, selenium, Q10, calcium, magnesium, collagen, glucosamine, CLA, and other vital nutrients. Also, you can read more about why it makes sense to choose meat from free-range livestock.
Over the past decades, it has been common practice to use zinc in creams and salves for treating various skin disorders. Zinc has wound-healing, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties that make it useful for such purposes. In a review article that is published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, the authors look closer at zinc’s role in skin health. They also look at whether zinc supplementation may positively affect eczema, acne, psoriasis, herpes, and other skin diseases. The authors also address the fact that around one third of the world’s population is zinc-deficient.
It is commonly known that vitamin A is good for your vision, but most people are unaware that we also need specific nutrients in order for our hearing to function optimally. In this connection, age-related hearing loss is not necessarily linked to mechanical dysfunctions of the ear but rather to how the brain processes the sound information.
According to a new study that is published in the British Journal of Nutrition, even minor zinc deficiencies may cause poor digestion, skin problems, and fatigue - and lead to numerous other health problems in the long run. You should therefore avoid zinc shortages, and people with poor diets, vegans, vegetarians, and older people should make sure to get enough zinc.
Zinc supplements help your immune defense fight colds faster. This was seen in a Finnish meta-analysis where the majority of cold-ridden subjects who took supplements had recovered from their colds after five days, as opposed to those who did not take extra zinc. It is important to choose high-quality zinc supplements, which the body is able to absorb. Moreover, it is vital that the dose is sufficiently high during those days where the immune system actively fights the cold. High-dosed zinc supplementation is not encouraged for therapeutic use in other cases.
Ageing is linked to uncontrolled, low-grade inflammation, also known as inflammaging, according to articles published in the journals Nature Medicine and Ageing and Disease. Although chronic inflammation is not felt directly it may set the stage for cardiovascular disease, rheumatism, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. Chronic inflammation may also cause virus infections like influenza and COVID-19 to become life-threatening because the immune defense suddenly overreacts and attacks healthy tissue. It is therefore vital for ageing people to protect themselves against chronic inflammation, which means getting plenty of vitamin D, selenium, coenzyme Q10, zinc, omega-3, and melatonin. These are all things that many older people often lack.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a widespread condition that is characterized by pain and gastrointestinal discomfort with varying degrees of diarrhea and constipation. There can be a number of underlying causes, but diet plays a major role. Also, there is evidence that being deficient in B-vitamins, vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc may be a contributing factor. In addition, strict dieting as part of the disease management may result in nutrient deficiencies, according to a review article that is published in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Minerals are involved in countless functions of vital importance to the immune defense. That is why lack of one or several minerals can increase your risk of infections or perhaps trigger unwanted inflammation that can damage healthy tissue. In a new review article that is published in Nutrients, a group of scientists look at magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, and copper and their role in the immune system. They also look at the fact that vegans, older people, chronically ill, pregnant women, and elite athletes often have nutrient deficiencies that call for supplementation. The agricultural soil in Europe and many other parts of the world is selenium-depleted, which makes it challenging to get enough selenium from our diets. But it is also important not to overdose on minerals. In this article, you can read more about how to optimize your nutrient intake for your immune health.
- and has a long-term effect on the maturation of a woman’s eggs
It is well established that zinc is important for the maturation of the eggs in the fallopian tube during a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, a new American study has shown that zinc is involved in even earlier stages of the maturation of the eggs. A zinc deficiency therefore reduces the chance of the eggs being fertilized and dividing later on, which they are supposed to during pregnancy. Lack of zinc is rather common and may harm your fertility for several months to come.
Australian scientists are about to initiate the first clinical trial of intravenous zinc therapy for COVID-19 patients. Zinc is important for our immune capacity but it also helps counteract organ damage caused by an impaired oxygen supply to the cells and hyperinflammation. Zinc deficiencies are common, especially among older people, chronically ill, and other exposed groups.
More and more women take key nutrients that work from the inside to support smooth skin, strong nails, and healthy hair.
You probably spend a fortune already on expensive face creams and the like but did you know that a supplement combining two specific micronutrients is one of the best things you can take for your skin, hair, and nails? More and more women include selenium and zinc as part of their daily routine for beauty and appearance and find that it works surprisingly well.
Nasal polyps are local growths that may cause runny nose, breathing difficulty, reduced sense of smell, and other symptoms. The polyps are a result of chronic inflammation that can have its roots in a number of causes. According to a new study that is published in Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health, patients with nasal polyps have lower levels of zinc in the affected tissue. Zinc is important for our immune system and for regulating inflammatory processes. Therefore, the nutrient may even have therapeutic potential because many people have relapses after their treatment. Earlier studies even suggest that patients with nasal polyps lack selenium, which is why one should also pay attention to underlying causes like respiratory allergies and food intolerance.
What should your choice of food supplements rely on?
Are manufacturers of nutritional supplements making a whole-hearted effort of documenting their products? Or do they often get away with hot air? If you browse through the web sites of Danish supplement producers it seems rather obvious that only very few are actually able to put their money where their mouth is.
Brain cancer is associated with physical and cognitive disruptions, and many patients die within a few years. Compared with other cancers, the development of brain cancer is more complex and there has been focus on underlying causes such as head traumas, allergies, and electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, transmission towers, etc. Scientists have also looked at vitamins and brain health, whereas minerals have been ignored. Now, a team of Chinese scientists have conducted a large population study and found that higher intake of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper is linked to a reduced risk of different types of brain cancer (gliomas). Apparently, selenium also has a protective effect.
Poor sperm quality, which is a bit of a taboo, is one of the main causes of involuntary infertility. Evidence suggests that Western diets can impair sperm quality, whereas the Mediterranean diet does the opposite. Vegan diets are somewhat controversial, according to a review article published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Previous research has shown that supplementation with selenium, zinc, fish oil, and coenzyme Q10 can improve sperm cell quality.
If you are vegetarian or vegan you need keen insight in order to know how to get enough protein, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and certain amino acids. Lack of essential nutrients can cause anemia and fatigue but may also increase your risk of serious diseases.
According to WHO, chronic inflammation is the leading cause of death worldwide. Although it is not something that can be felt as such, chronic inflammation sets the stage for a host of different diseases. In a new review article that is published in StatPearls, the authors look closer at why chronic inflammation is so dangerous and how a healthier lifestyle with vitamin D, selenium, magnesium, zinc, and fish oil can help fight the inflammation and prevent the many different diseases and early death that follow in its wake.
Widespread nutrient deficiencies among younger adults can harm their fertility and cause them to age faster
Large population studies of adults and their diet habits often tend to overlook certain groups such as younger adults. A British study therefore took a closer look at eating habits of adults in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties. It revealed a widespread lack of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, iodine, zinc, and selenium. Being deficient in these essential nutrients can harm your fertility and increase your risk of different diseases, while speeding up concealed ageing processes such as loss of cognition and bone mass.
Decades of intensive farming have depleted the soil. As a result, crops lack up to 40% of their essential nutrients, according to a previously published study from University of Texas and a more recent one from Switzerland. Even if you stick to the official dietary guidelines, you may have difficulty with getting enough calcium, selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and other essential micronutrients that are required for good health.
Multiple studies have shown that zinc and a zinc-containing protein named ZAG are involved in lipid metabolism, satiety, and weight regulation, but zinc deficiencies are widespread, and having too much body fat can reduce blood levels of zinc, thereby increasing the risk of overweight and disturbances of the lipid metabolism. In a recent review article that is published in Nutrients, scientists look closer at zinc’s role in the lipid metabolism and why overweight people often lack zinc. The authors call for increased focus on zinc and end up concluding that it would be obvious to include zinc supplementation in the treatment of disrupted lipid metabolism and overweight.
It is commonly known that zinc boosts the immune defense, although there has been some uncertainty about how. A team of scientists from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the United States therefore decided to look closer at the subject and they found that zinc is important for T cell activity and for the thymus that produces the T cells. The scientists say that this new insight may be useful for the development of new therapies for patients with compromised immune systems. Apparently, zinc deficiencies are rather widespread and this increases the risk of infections where T cells play a key role in supporting the immune function.
Zinc strengthens the immune defense and controls inflammatory conditions such as eczema. According to a Finnish meta-analysis, high-dosed zinc supplements can help the immune defense fight a regular cold much faster. It turns out that there are widespread zinc deficiencies. First of all, sugar, birth control pills, inorganic iron supplements, and normal ageing processes impair the body’s zinc uptake. Secondly, it may be difficult to get enough zinc if you are on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Not only does a zinc deficiency have a negative effect on your immune defense and skin health, it also upsets the countless enzymatic processes in which zinc is involved.
Type 2 diabetes is spreading like a bushfire with many people unaware that they have the disease. Diabetes increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, blood clots, and early death. A group of scientists from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland has looked closer at the different processes and studied the trace element zinc and its ability to improve the outcome of therapy by preventing dangerous blood clots. The new study is published in the Chemical Science journal. Zinc deficiencies are rather common and type 2 diabetes in itself increases the need for this nutrient.
Zinc is of vital importance to the immune defense, our mental balance, fertility, skin, hair, sense of taste, and numerous other functions. According to a new study that is published in Current Research in Physiology, zinc interacts closely with vitamin D and is important for our cells’ ability to absorb vitamin D. Conversely, vitamin D supports the uptake of zinc in the intestines and supports various zinc-dependent cell functions. According to the new study, lack of one or both nutrients can result in a host of different problems such as infections, poor wound healing, muscle diseases, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, osteoporosis, cancer, and many other diseases. This is a problem because zinc and vitamin D deficiencies are rather common – mainly because of unhealthy eating habits, lack of sunlight, ageing, overweight, and the use of certain types of medicine.
The mineral zinc has demonstrated a surprising ability to help the liver fight virus infections and prevent tissue damage caused by chronic liver diseases. By regulating a specific protein, zinc both strengthens the immune defense and counteracts undesirable inflammation. This was shown in a new Australian study headed by scientists from Westmead Institute for Medical Research.
It also turns out that minor to moderate zinc deficiencies are rather common. Most importantly, sugar, birth control pills, inorganic iron supplements, and ageing processes impair the body’s ability to absorb zinc. Moreover, it is often difficult to get enough zinc from vegetarian and vegan diets. Being zinc-deficient takes its toll on the immune system and the liver, but also has a negative impact on the countless enzyme processes that involve zinc.
The immune system is of vital importance to our ability to react to a COVID-19 infection. Most people don’t get any symptoms or only have mild ones, whereas the infection can become complicated and potentially life-threatening for certain exposed groups of people. Numerous studies have shown that our immune defense depends on different vitamins and minerals to function optimally. Now, a meta-analysis has shown that zinc supplementation can lower the mortality rate among COVID-19 patients. Many older people, chronically ill patients, and other vulnerable groups tend to lack zinc. This is a problem because the nutrient is not only essential for a well-functioning immune defense but also protects cells and tissues against damage caused by oxidative stress.
– but will enrichment do the trick?
Even minor zinc deficiencies may cause poor digestion, infections, skin problems, and fatigue – and many other diseases may occur along the way. A new study shows that a diet with as little as four extra mg of zinc daily may strengthen cellular DNA and help protect the body. The four milligrams of zinc are about the same as populations with deficiency symptoms can get by eating zinc-enriched wheat and rice.
- and provide other benefits
Zinc is a trace element that is necessary for around 300 enzymes that control the thyroid gland, fertility, the nervous system, the immune system, and a number of other functions. A team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has found a close link between the body’s zinc status and cardiac function. Although clinical zinc deficiencies are rare, short-term subclinical zinc deficiencies are more widespread than previously thought. Even a minor zinc deficiency may affect cardiac health and the countless enzyme processes that depend on the presence of zinc. Besides, zinc is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells against oxidative stress. There are many reasons why it is important to get enough of this nutrient.
- together with two other nutrients
Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder that can ruin your quality of life and cost you many sick days. Migraine medicine does not necessarily work for all patients and many people get side effects. Therefore, prevention is a better strategy. According to a new study published in Nutrition Journal, zinc supplements have the potential to significantly reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. You can also read about two other nutrients that reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks and what it is that triggers them. The most important thing is to find and address the different causes. Diet and lifestyle have a profound impact.
We have relatively large quantities of zinc in our central nervous system where it plays a vital role in various physiological and pathological processes. Zinc is also important for brain development, various gene activities, the formation of new neurons, and the immune defense. What is more, zinc is a vital antioxidant that protects the brain against calcification and cell damage caused by oxidative stress. Zinc deficiency is a global problem and may be involved in a number of different neurological diseases – including stroke, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression, according to a new review article that is published in Biomolecules.
Zinc is involved in numerous enzyme processes and proteins that are of importance to fertility and pregnancy. The nutrient also plays a role in fetal brain development and the child’s health later in life, according to a review article that is published in the scientific journal, Nutrients. The authors address the fact that zinc deficiencies are rather common and account for around 20 per cent of infant deaths, typically around the time of birth. It is therefore important to get plenty of zinc throughout life – especially for women before, during, and after pregnancy and while they breastfeed.