Zinc is the worst enemy of cancer: this mineral is the key to cancer prevention, scientists say.
Zinc consumption may only be possible when the cold season is fast approaching, given its exceptional performance in warding off colds, but its value goes far beyond the prevention of this relatively innocuous problem. extends to something much more serious: the fight against cancer.
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Researchers at the University of Texas in Arlington have discovered the important role that zinc can play in preventing cancer, particularly the esophageal variety. Although previous studies have indicated that zinc has a protective effect on the esophagus when it comes to cancer, it was not clear why.
A team of researchers led by Associate Professor of Nursing Zui Pan decided to deepen his research. They discovered that zinc has the incredibly useful ability to selectively arrest the growth of cancer cells while leaving the normal esophageal epithelial cells intact. The researchers say their finding could help improve the treatment of esophageal cancer and even give insight into how it could be prevented. Pan pointed out that many cancer patients have zinc deficiency.
This is an important discovery; esophageal cancer is now the sixth leading cause of cancer death in humans worldwide, and the average five-year survival rate for people with this disease is less than 20 percent. In 2016, the National Cancer Institute reports that the disease claimed the lives of 16,000 people in the United States alone.
Next, researchers would like to study how the signals between zinc and calcium are linked and influence each other in the hope of further refining treatment and prevention strategies.
Do you eat enough zinc?
Zinc deficiency is a serious problem. It is necessary for many proteins and enzymes in the body, and a lack of zinc can prevent cells from functioning properly, resulting in the development not only of cancer, but also of other diseases. Zinc is also important for immune function and good wound healing.
Zinc is an essential mineral, which means the body is unable to produce it and people have to get it from food to maintain the right amounts. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adult men need 11 milligrams a day and women 8 milligrams. It is important, however, not to exaggerate; NIH reports that the toxicity of zinc can have adverse health effects, such as
vomiting, diarrhea, headache and nausea.
Some groups are particularly vulnerable to zinc deficiency. For example, people with certain digestive and gastrointestinal diseases may have difficulty absorbing zinc. People with chronic liver or kidney disease, diabetes, sickle cell disease and chronic diabetes are also at risk.
Experts say that vegetarians must also be sure to consume enough zinc, as this group tends to miss some of the best sources of zinc, such as meat. The fact that vegetarians tend to consume large amounts of whole grains and legumes, which contain phytates inhibiting the absorption of zinc, further aggravates the problem; soaking the beans before cooking can help alleviate this problem to a certain extent.
Which foods contain zinc?
The good news is that Zn is found in a very large choice of foods. Oysters are the best choice because they contain many more minerals per serving than other foods, but there are many other more convenient food sources you can turn to.
Here are some good choices: crab, beef, lobster, beans, chicken, cashews, chickpeas and yogurt. If you do not like any of these foods, it may be worth considering a zinc supplement to make sure you are consuming enough, but you should look to a reliable source to avoid dangerous ingredients.