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Protect DNA with Zinc

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Increased Zinc in the Diet May Reduce DNA Damage, Inflammation and Oxidative Stress 

Let’s talk about zinc. We need this mineral for so many vital functions including immunity, growth and development, cellular metabolism, and gene expression. Recent research out of the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute finds zinc can also help protect our DNA. 

In the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 18 men ate a controlled diet with up to 6 mg zinc per day for two weeks. Daily zinc was then increased to 10 mg for another four weeks. This 4 mg increase in zinc led to decreases in DNA strand breaks, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Researchers believe zinc affects proteins involved with DNA damage and repair, oxidative stress, and inflammatory responses and that zinc may also prevent DNA damage by protecting cells from oxidation. 

What does this mean for your health? Unrepaired DNA damage, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can increase risk for chronic diseases including cancers and heart disease. This study suggests eating foods rich in zinc may help keep your cells healthy and disease-risk low. 

Most adults need about 8 to 11 mg zinc per day, well in line with the 10 mg served in this study. Top sources include oysters, crab, turkey, chicken, chickpeas, beans, cashews, and yogurt. Many cereals are fortified with zinc. 

Enjoy Chilled Fresh Oysters with Cucumber and Kale Granita and you’ll get 220% of the daily value for zinc! 

BONUS: A Japanese study found dietary zinc may help reduce hostility and depression.

Published May 1, 2017

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