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Increasing This Common Mineral May Protect Against Diabetes

According to a new study from researchers at Harvard University, increasing your zinc intake may significantly reduce your risk of type-2 diabetes. The results are published in the February 2009 issue of Diabetes Care

For the study, researchers reviewed data on 82,297 women who took part in the Nurses Health Study which ran from 1980 to 2004. The participants were between the ages of 33-60 years old at the beginning of the study.

During the 24 years of follow up, 6,030 cases of type 2 diabetes were diagnosed.

Using food frequency questionnaires completed by the participant's researchers were able to establish dietary intakes of zinc over the study period.

After analyzing the diabetes cases against information obtained from the food frequency questionnaires the researchers found that those with the highest zinc intakes were 10% less likely to develop diabetes than those with the lowest intake.

When the researchers accounted for outside risk factors like smoking, alcohol consumption and confounding diseases the risk reduction jumped to 28%.

An estimated 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes at a cost of $170 billion each year. According to the results of this recent study, zinc may be an effective way to help reduce those numbers.

In addition to diabetes protection, zinc has been associated with a number of other health benefits. Zinc is commonly used to reduce the duration of colds, fight infection and heal wounds. The mineral has also been shown to help with ulcers, ADHD, acne and sickle cell anemia.
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