If you take a multivitamin, chances are it contains zinc.
You might not hear much about zinc — in fact, you might be wondering why it’s in your multi formula to begin with. As it turns out, according to the latest research, zinc actually plays a pretty substantial role in your overall health — and in some powerful ways science is just discovering…
Firstly, we’ve known that zinc protects and strengthens your immune system — which of course, is important in and of itself. But more recently, researchers have found it can provide an even bigger benefit: Zinc can reduce the risk of developing multiple cancers.
Today, I’m going to discuss the exact dosage that provides these powerful benefits. But for now, I want you to take a minute and find your bottle of multivitamins. Take a look at the “Supplement Facts” on the back. How much zinc are you getting each day?
Keep that dosage in mind, because in a moment, I’ll tell you if it’s enough to give your immune system maximum protection against cancer and other chronic diseases.
Thwarting cancers of all kinds
As we grow older, our bodies absorb nutrients with less and less efficiency. And zinc, of course, is part of that problem. By one estimate, about 40 percent of Americans over 65 have zinc levels that would be considered dangerously low.
And chief among those dangers is cancer.
For instance, one study revealed that women who have the BRCA-1 gene (which puts them at higher risk of breast cancer) can reduce their risk by increasing their zinc levels.
Similarly, men are less likely to develop prostate cancer when their zinc levels are sufficient. (Note that very high levels of zinc appear to increase prostate cancer risk, but only when zinc intake exceeds 100 mg per day. However, it’s very unlikely that most men will consistently reach that level.)
Another study showed that in people with head and neck cancer, nearly 65 percent were zinc deficient, prompting reduced activity of natural killer cells — one of your immune system’s first lines of defense against cancer.
And in Dr. Fred Pescatore’s Essential Protocol to a Cancer-Free Future, he cites a recent study where researchers found that zinc was able to block overactive calcium signaling (which helps cancer cells to travel and spread) in esophageal cancer cells. This impeded cancer growth, while leaving healthy cells intact.
And he adds a revealing insight on the study’s importance: “This would be a major discovery for any type of cancer. But for cancer of the esophagus — which carries a five-year survival rate below 20 percent — it’s nothing short of groundbreaking.”
It’s also encouraging that zinc’s powers of prevention aren’t limited to the cancers mentioned above. Dr. Pescatore points out that healthy levels also appear to play a key protective role against colon, bladder, kidney, and non-melanoma skin cancers.
A familiar culprit: Inflammation
Research shows that zinc deficiency boosts chronic inflammation — one of the driving forces behind a damaging, age-related condition called immunosenescence, or as Dr. Pescatore bluntly calls it, “immunity rot.”
He notes that immunosenescence is the gradual erosion of your immune defenses that, unfortunately, is a normal part of aging. This is why seniors are much more susceptible to the flu, pneumonia, shingles, and other health threats.
So it’s no surprise that chronic inflammation is one of the hallmarks of immunosenescence.
“Runaway inflammation,” he explains, “is the culprit behind virtually every age-related disease imaginable. Not just cancer, but Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, fatty liver… the list goes on. And it just so happens that research has tied zinc deficiency to every one of these leading killers, too.”
Getting your zinc on the right level
Unfortunately, most conventional doctors aren’t all that knowledgeable about the dangers of zinc deficiency. Modern medicine doesn’t put much focus on nutrition or the merits of using supplements to meet your nutritional needs.
Nevertheless, Dr. Pescatore recommends you ask your doctor for a Red Blood Cell (RBC) mineral screening if you’re over age 50. This blood test measures several key minerals, including magnesium, potassium, chromium, copper, manganese, calcium, and, of course, zinc.
RBC measurements vary from lab to lab, so as a general rule of thumb, he says, you’ll want your results to be in the “upper normal” range.
To ensure that your zinc level lands in that ideal range, you’ll probably need the help of a high-quality multivitamin. In addition to eating foods rich in zinc such as red meat, eggs, nuts, and shellfish, Dr. Pescatore recommends supplementing with at least 30 mg of zinc per day.
And because elevated zinc may reduce copper absorbency, look for a multivitamin supplement that also includes 1 mg of copper, just to ensure you stay balanced.
You can find Dr. Pescatore’s specific recommendations for zinc, copper, and many other powerful cancer-fighting supplements in the Resource Directory that accompanies his Essential Protocol to a Cancer-Free Future. Click here to learn more about this invaluable learning tool, or to enroll today.
“Selective inhibitory effects of zinc on cell proliferation in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma through Orai1.” The FASEB Journal 2018; 32(1): 404-416. doi.org/10.1096/fj.201700227RRR