Will this common cold fighter also fight cancer?
December 01, 2012
Volume 2 | Issue 94
This time of year, the common cold is top-of-mind for most of us. If we haven’t already suffered through one, we’re doing everything we can to prevent the next one. And one of the best ways to fight off a cold is with the mineral zinc. But new research says we need to take more zinc throughout the year – not just to fight colds, but to fight cancer.
Researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University and the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences recently discovered why most people are deficient in zinc. And they found that this deficiency dramatically impacts our ability to fight disease.
Not surprisingly, the scientists said the lack of zinc in our diet is the primary cause of the deficiency. Because we need zinc and don’t get enough of it, the problem gets much worse as we age. As the deficiency worsens, there is a direct impact on our immune system’s ability to keep us healthy. In other words, your zinc levels have a direct impact on your ability to avoid many common diseases, from the common cold to cancer and heart disease.
To prove this, the researchers gave old lab animals high doses of zinc. The dose was 10 times their normal dietary requirement. The result? The zinc restored their inflammation markers to those of young animals.
As you may know, inflammation is a major contributor to many diseases, including cancer. Cancer thrives in a high-inflammatory environment. A zinc deficiency can lead to inflammation because it damages your DNA. This injury causes inflammation, which is your body’s natural means for healing the injury. Some inflammation is good on a temporary basis. But constant inflammation says there is constant injury, which makes you susceptible to disease.
By taking high doses of zinc, your body can heal the damage and lower inflammation. And lowering your inflammation levels will boost your immune system and your body’s ability to prevent and kill various diseases.
Anyone over the age of 40 should supplement with ample amounts of zinc. Most nutrition experts recommend 25 to 50 mg per day. However, taking too much will deplete your copper stores. So don’t overdo it. The most effective form of zinc is zinc acetate. Unfortunately, this form isn’t available. But the next best form is. That’s zinc gluconate. You can find zinc gluconate lozenges on the internet and in most health food stores.der for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
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