Zinc is a crucial mineral that plays a role in many functions throughout the body. It also helps keep your immune system healthy and strong.
A new study suggests that zinc boosts immunity in two ways, promoting the regeneration of a critical immune organ. It may also help prevent infection from triggering a severe sepsis response, a life-threatening condition often fatal in hospital patients.
Improves Immune Function
Zinc helps the immune system by gently tapping the brakes on an inflammatory response that can be out of control. As a result, it prevents a vicious cycle of inflammation and infection that can be dangerous and deadly.
In addition to its benefits to the immune system, zinc is essential for cellular maintenance. It is used in hundreds of biological processes, and if you don’t get enough, you can experience decreased immunity, hair loss, and impeded healing.
A chelated form, such as zinc picolinate, is more accessible for your body to absorb. This type of zinc is bound to the organic acid called picolinic acid, produced by your body from the amino acid tryptophan.
This zinc is also better absorbed than other forms, such as zinc citrate or zinc gluconate. It makes zinc picolinate more effective at boosting your immune system and improving enzyme function. To receive the maximum benefit from Zinc Picolinate, take 1-2 capsules daily with or without food or as directed by your healthcare provider.
Increases T-Cell Production
Zinc picolinate is a powerful immune system booster that boosts the production of T cells, NK cells, and other vital cells in your body. It also helps balance your TH1 and TH2 cell responses so your body can respond effectively to infections, cancer, and other toxins.
A deficiency of zinc has been linked to the aging process as well as to chronic illness. In addition, it can affect various aspects of the immune system, including cytokine production, phagocytosis, and intracellular killing.
Researchers have found that the thymuses of mice deprived of zinc shrink and produce fewer mature T cells than when consuming dietary zinc. Moreover, in human patients, blood stem cell transplant recipients whose pre-transplant chemotherapy regimens and bone marrow transplants led to a low level of zinc in the body can take months or even years for their thymuses to recover from damage.
A low zinc level can cause diarrhea, inflammation, and mental lethargy in these cases. This condition can lead to infections, autoimmune diseases, and even death.
According to a new study, zinc aids in infection prevention by gently slamming the brakes on the immune response to avoid out-of-control inflammation. This finding explains why taking a zinc tablet at the start of a common cold makes the sickness less severe and potentially saves lives.
Zinc is a mineral that your body requires to maintain a healthy immune system. It is also needed to support growth, build proteins, and heal damaged tissue. In addition, it is a trace mineral, meaning it only takes small amounts to ensure that your body functions properly.
Zinc plays a vital role in almost 100 chemical reactions, including the creation of DNA and building proteins. It is also essential to the functioning of your thyroid gland and a host of other cellular functions.
But zinc deficiency can cause problems for the immune system because it causes excessive inflammation, harming cells and organs. Inflammation can damage tissue and increase a person’s risk of serious infections, such as coronavirus.
Increases Natural Killer Cells
Natural killer cells are the body’s first line of defense against viruses and bacteria. They produce cytokines that help activate macrophages, another immune cell that destroys harmful invaders.
Zinc picolinate has been shown to increase NK cell production in humans. It has also been shown to promote IFN-g production from PBMC in vitro.
The effect of zinc on NK cells is a result of its ability to prevent oxidative stress from causing inflammation and other health problems. Oxidative stress is common in many diseases, including cancer and aging.
In addition, zinc inhibits a class of enzymes that convert O2. to H2O2. Together, these oxidants are called reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS can damage the body by increasing levels of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to various health conditions such as atherosclerosis and cancer.
A recent study shows that zinc helps protect against infection by gently tapping the brakes on immune responses in a way that can prevent out-of-control inflammation from happening. The researchers discovered that a protein lures zinc into critical cells in the fight against infection. Then it interacts with a process vital to balancing the immune response.
This process will likely play an essential role in preventing and treating infection, particularly for those at high risk of developing infections caused by COVID-19, the severe form of the coronavirus SARS-CoV2. The study was conducted on mice deficient in zinc, but it could be applied to people with other health issues affecting zinc status.