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    Zinc deficiency linked to systemic inflammation and chronic disease!

    znA recent study helps explain how zinc deficiency impacts chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autism and cancers including prostate, lung, ovarian and breast cancer. Zinc status is especially important for seniors, 40% of whom do not consume enough zinc, and their bodies do not appear to use or absorb zinc efficiently. In one study researchers showed that zinc deficiency induced an increase in inflammatory response in cells, and showed that reducing zinc caused improper immune cell activation and dysregulation of IL-6 cytokine, a protein that affects inflammation in the cell. In an animal model they found that older mice had low zinc levels that corresponded with increased chronic inflammation and decreased IL-6 methylation, an epigenetic mechanism used to control gene expression. They found the same decrease in IL-6 methylation in human immune cells from elderly people. Because the body doesn’t store zinc, adequate intake is crucial. Professor Ho, the lead investigator stated “zinc deficiency is probably a bigger problem that most people realize” and “Preventing that deficiency is important.” 

    CP Wong,NA rinaldi, E Ho. Zinc deficiency enhanced inflammatory response by increasing immune cell activation and inducing IL6 promoter demethylation. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2015; DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201400761
    Oregon State U. “Zinc deficiency linked to immune system response, particularly in older adults”. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2015

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