Zinc – The anti-inflammation mineral that prevents disease
Your immune system depends on having the right amount of zinc. Otherwise, the process of inflammation can run wild and start damaging the body, causing chronic illnesses that are the biggest killers in the world – high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
“When you take away zinc, the cells that control inflammation appear to activate and respond differently; this causes the cells to promote more inflammation,” says researcher Emily Ho, who is with the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
More than one in ten people in the U.S. consume too little of it. For older people, the situation is worse: About 40 percent of people over the age of 65 get an insufficient amount.
“It’s a double-whammy for older individuals,” says Ho.
In lab tests, the Oregon scientists demonstrated how zinc deficiency accelerates the inflammatory responses. Without enough of it, cells run into trouble regulating the activity of IL-6, a protein that is central to controlling inflammation.
Ho also points out that the recommended daily intake for adults is 11 milligrams for men and 8 milligrams for women, which should be increased for older adults.
Unfortunately, there is no good blood test to show if you have a deficiency. But the body can’t store much much of it, so it’s necessary to frequently eat foods high in zinc, including meat, shellfish, and particularly oysters. Unfortunately, older adults don’t eat enough of these foods and their intestinal tracts can’t absorb the mineral very efficiently. That makes them especially vulnerable to developing a deficiency.
To prevent a deficiency and stop inflammation, you can supplement. Zinc, like magnesium, can be bound in quite a few forms. Zinc acetate is good for reducing colds, and zinc gluconate is fine, if made through an industrial process. Probably the most absorbable is zinc orotate because it passes into cell membranes more easily that other forms of the mineral.
“The anti-inflammation mineral you need to stave off disease” Carl Lowe, Retrieved 12 April 2016. <http://easyhealthoptions.com/anti-inflammation-mineral-need-healthy/>.