Zinc protects prostate cells by acting as a tumor suppressor
(NaturalHealth365) In the landscape of male cancers, prostate cancer looms large, ranking as the second most common cancer after skin malignancies among American men. The American Cancer Society’s projections for 2023 paint a stark picture, with approximately 288,300 new cases of prostate cancer and about 34,700 deaths attributed to the disease.
While the incidence of prostate cancer saw a significant decline between 2007 and 2014, reflecting changes in screening recommendations, a recent shift has emerged. Since 2014, the overall incidence rate has risen by 3% per year, with an even more notable 5% annual increase in advanced-stage prostate cancer cases. This nuanced scenario sets the stage for exploring proactive strategies, with recent studies spotlighting zinc as a potential guardian against this prevalent disease.
Elevating health defenses against prostate woes
Long heralded for its integral role in immune function and cellular metabolism, this trace mineral has been a stalwart ally in maintaining health. Traditionally, the recommended daily intake for men has stood at 11 mg, sourced from either dietary choices or supplements. Yet, recent research unveils a tantalizing prospect: a higher daily zinc dosage might wield the ability to quell prostate tumors, act as a preventive shield against cancer, and fortify defenses against advanced prostate disease.
Crucial to note is the revelation that zinc levels are notably lower in cancerous prostate tissue, adding a layer of significance to the mineral’s potential role in prostate health.
Prostate tissues boast higher concentrations of zinc than any other part of the body, with approximately 10 to 15 times the amount found elsewhere. This revelation fuels the emerging narrative that a strategic elevation in zinc intake could be a game-changer in the fight against prostate-related health concerns.
What does science have to say about zinc?
Researchers have long suspected that zinc offers at least some protection against prostate cancer, and now science is backing them up. Studies suggest that high concentrations of zinc can cause apoptosis of damaged prostate cells that could otherwise turn cancerous.
Researchers also found that zinc actually alters the biological makeup of prostate cells, significantly reducing the chance of malignancy. Conversely, researchers examining existing prostate cancer cells find that zinc levels are lower in malignant cells than in non-cancerous prostate cells.
How to use zinc to keep cancer away
The benefits of zinc can be achieved by taking the mineral as a dietary supplement or by consuming it through one of several food sources. Oysters are perhaps the highest food source for zinc, with 74 mg per serving. Grass-fed beef is next, followed by baked beans, and yogurt (preferably of organic varieties).
It is important to note that taking too much zinc is not only non-beneficial, but it can also have a harmful effect on a person’s health and immune system. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that consuming zinc in amounts of 150 mg per day or more actually increased a man’s risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
Naturally, if you’re dealing with a cancer diagnosis – seek the advice of a trusted, holistic medical professional.
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