Zinc Orchestrates Immune Response

Stops Inflammation and Infection




Many have heard that zinc can stop a cold in its tracks, and new research from Ohio State University tells us why; it turns out that zinc gently taps the brakes on immune responses, slowing them down and preventing inflammation from spiraling out of control.

The researchers’ work with human cells and animals found that zinc serves to balance the immune response within the cells so that the consequences of insufficient zinc at the time of an infection include excessive inflammation. Of all the zinc contained in our bodies, only about 10 percent of it is readily accessible to help fight off an infection, notes Daren Knoell, professor of pharmacy and internal medicine and lead author of the study, published in Cell Reports.

The research team suggests that proper zinc balance is especially important in battling serious and potentially deadly infections. Zinc deficiency affects about 2 billion people worldwide, including an estimated 40 percent of the U.S. elderly.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Music Reduces Need for Post-Surgery Opioids

After surgery, 86 percent of patients engaged in music therapy eschewed opioids and other painkillers, compared to 26 percent in a control group.

Vitamin D Supplements Ease Irritable Bowels

People with irritable bowel syndrome tend to be low in vitamin D, but symptoms can ease with supplementation, report British researchers.

Holding Hands Reduces Pain

The brainwaves of couples tend to synchronize when they are in each other’s presence, and holding hands markedly lowers pain levels—especially if the man is empathetic.

Herbs Ease Polycystic Ovary Symptoms

Ingesting a combination of five herbs returned menstrual cycles to normal durations for 55 percent of women with polycystic ovary syndrome among those participating in an Australian study.

Saunas Lower Blood Pressure

Four to seven saunas a week halved high blood pressure risk in a study of 1,621 Finnish men.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags