Just 4 mg of Extra Zinc in Daily Diet May Reduce DNA Damage
You’ve heard it a gazillion times that Zinc is an essential mineral to be included in daily diet to promote immunity, reproduction health, skin, and vision. Now scientists have suggested a modest increase in dietary zinc – just 4mg of extra zinc, in your daily diet could dramatically improve cellular health and reduce DNA damage.
Zinc may be a less familiar dietary mineral than iron, calcium or sodium, but it is as essential as its counterparts for our metabolism and our health. Everyone, young and old, requires this trace element regularly to survive. Zinc is present in every cell, organ, bone, tissue, and fluid in our bodies and adequate level of this micronutrient in the body is absolutely essential for strong immunity, neuropsychologic performance and overall growth. Deficiency of this mineral could lead to such health problems as diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria as well as coughing, fatigue, fever and stomach pain.
Researchers from the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Research Institute have found that adding just 4 milligrams of extra zinc to a daily diet can dramatically improve cellular health and keep “wear and tear” on DNA at bay.
Upping zinc in daily diet can have a substantial, positive impact on cellular health that aids in fighting infections and diseases. This recommended extra amount of zinc is equivalent to what biofortified crops, such as zinc rice and zinc wheat, can add to the diet of people who are deficient of zinc or vulnerable to this mineral.
“We were pleasantly surprised to see that just a small increase in dietary zinc can have such a significant impact on how metabolism is carried out throughout the body,” said lead researcher Janet King, Senior Scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California.
“These results present a new strategy for measuring the impact of extra zinc on health and reinforce the evidence that food-based interventions can improve micronutrient deficiencies worldwide,” King noted.
For the study, King and colleagues carried out a randomized, controlled, six-week trial in which they measured the impact of zinc on human metabolism by counting breaks in the DNA strand. The scientists used the parameter of DNA damage to examine the effects of a moderate amount of this micro-nutrient on healthy living.
The findings showed that a modest increase in dietary zinc decreased oxidative stress and DNA strand breaks. In addition, the dietary-zinc increase raised the level of proteins involved in repairing of “wear and tear” on DNA as well as restored antioxidant and immune functions.
The researchers believe these findings will provide profound, novel information for designing an efficacy trial of biofortified rice and the zinc status of infants and young children.
The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.