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Small Amount of Zinc May Boost Cellular Health

A recent study suggests that consuming just 4 milligrams more of zinc per day may boost cellular health and help fight infections and diseases. This is equivalent to the amount of zinc provided by biofortified crops such as zinc rice and zinc wheat.


Participants in the study included 18 men who were given a controlled low-zinc, rice-based diet for six weeks. The diet contained 6 mg of zinc per day for two weeks, followed by 10 mg of zinc per day for four weeks. The initial diet period also included phylate, in order to reduce zinc absorption.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted increases of total absorbed zinc but no changes in plasma zinc concentrations or zinc transporter expressions. Increased dietary zinc also resulted in decreases in leukocyte DNA strand breaks as well as restored levels of proteins involved in DNA repair and restored antioxidant and immune functions.


Researchers from Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on December 21, 2016, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Zinc is an essential mineral that has been linked to maintaining a healthy immune system, healing wounds, helping with growth, supporting the reproductive system, and improved eye health.


The human body cannot make zinc, so it’s important to get it from food and supplement sources. Zinc can be found in many foods, including oysters, beef, crab, fortified cereals, lobster, beans, yogurt, nuts, milk, chicken, cheese, and oatmeal.

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