While much of the zinc that we consume is literally incorporated into our bones and helps strengthen the immune system, this mineral is key to a strong heart and cardiovascular system as well.
Deficiencies in zinc can mean that the heart and arteries are left exposed to oxidative and inflammatory damage. Over time, this adds up: oxidized cholesterol and inflamed arteries begin to close off blood circulation, and the heart must work harder while being less protected. This is no small problem. Cardiovascular disease accounts for 31 percent of global mortality
Zinc supplementation may be a key. Food sources are inconsistent – even typically zinc-rich sources like meats, nuts, and legumes, can be compromised by soil types, processing, and other factors. Plus, zinc is rapidly used by the body by more than 300 enzymes and bound to over 2,500 proteins. In other words, when zinc is on board, it is a hot commodity.
This review found that zinc supplementation can reduce the risk of clogged arteries and heart attacks. One of the challenges of supplementation is getting healthy levels of zinc that are well absorbed and utilized. A key is ensuring that zinc is bound, or chelated, to the amino acid glycine. This helps guide the mineral through the digestive process, and can help overcome deficiencies that can lead to inflammatory states that compromise heart health.
Choi S, Liu X, Pan Z. Zinc deficiency and cellular oxidative stress: prognostic implications in cardiovascular diseases. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2018;39(7):1120‐1132. doi:10.1038/aps.2018.25
Zinc is an essential nutrient for human health and has anti-oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory functions. The association between zinc deficiency and the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) has been supported by numerous studies. Supplementing zinc can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against myocardial infarction and ischemia/reperfusion injury. In this review we summarize the evidence in the literature, to consolidate the current knowledge on the dysregulation of zinc homeostasis in CVDs, and to explore the significant roles of the zinc homeostasis-regulatory proteins in cardiac physiology and pathophysiology. Moreover, this review also deliberates on the potential diagnostic and prognostic implications of zinc/zinc homeostasis-associated molecules (ZIP, ZnT, and MTs) in CVDs.
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