Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Supplemental Zinc Decreases Incidence of Infections in Older Adults


Adults over the age of 55 years are more susceptible to infections, immune dysfunction, increased oxidative stress, and zinc deficiency.

Since zinc has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, new research sought to determine the effect of zinc on the incidence of total infections in the elderly. Researchers also tested the effect of zinc on markers of oxidative stress.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of zinc supplementation was conducted in 50 healthy subjects of both sexes aged 55–87 years. The zinc-supplemented group received 45 mg of zinc orally for 12 months. Incidence of infections during the supplementation period was documented. Plasma zinc concentrations and markers of oxidative stress were measured at the beginning and after supplementation.

After zinc supplementation, the incidence of infections was significantly lower, plasma zinc was significantly higher, and generation of oxidative stress markers was significantly lower in the zinc-supplemented group than in the placebo group.

Zinc supplementation decreases incidence of infections in the elderly: effect of zinc on generation of cytokines and oxidative stress. Prasad AS et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2007 Mar;85(3):837-44.

Note from Deanna: I notice that The MultiMineral Plus in the Usana Essentials gives a person 40mg of zinc daily.

Zinc apparently helps in the production of about 100 enzymes in your body. It also helps to build healthy immune systems, as you can see from the above study. It maintains your senses of smell and taste and is needed for DNA synthesis.

So what can you eat to obtain zinc? Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, clams, crabmeat, turkey, lobster, and salmon.

For vegetarians, dairy products such as milk and cheese, peanuts, yeast, beans, and wholegrain cereals, brown rice, whole wheat bread, yogurt and potato. Pumpkin seeds give one of the most concentrated non-meat food sources of zinc.

Unfortunately, no matter how much of these foods you take in, only 15%-40% of the zinc actually gets absorbed by your body overall. This is particularly true for non-meat zinc food sources.

It has been found that increasing intake of vitamins such as Vitamin C, E and B6 and minerals such as magnesium can increase zinc absorption in the body. So, that's where Usana's Essentials come in. Pharmaceutical grade, you can take them with confidence, knowing they are guaranteed for potency and purity.

Zinc is just one of many minerals needed every day in specific amounts. Can you imagine trying to eat just the right amounts of various foods to get everything you need for some 52 nutrients, minerals and co-factors? It's impossible. That's why we supplement.

For further information: Deanna Waters 1-888-320-8250 www.ddwaters.com thewatersedge@shaw.ca


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