The Zinc and Cancer Connection

For the first time a solid connection has been discovered linking zinc with cancer prevention. The news out of the University of Texas last month is that they have discovered that Zinc inhibits overactive calcium signals in cancer cells thus stopping their growth. Normal cells are not affected. Sixteen thousand people died of esophageal cancer last year making it the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths. Previous studies have shown a preponderance of zinc deficiency in esophageal cancer, but no smoking gun. Now real evidence is pointing to zinc as a possible preventative and treatment for esophageal cancer.

In a previous article, I vilified a MSN article for pointing to zinc along with other supplements including Vitamin C as a waste of money and potentially dangerous. I wonder how many people who are at risk or perhaps already unknowingly are developing esophageal cancer that read that article have stopped taking zinc supplements. People go through chemotherapy and radiation to stop cancer cell growth. If you could simply eat zinc rich foods and take a supplement on days when you do not, would that be worth doing? Would it be worth doing a blood test regularly to determine your zinc levels and work to keep them in the high normal range? A zinc test at a walk in lab is about $38.

Zinc can play an important role in shortening the duration of colds, fetal and childhood development, immune support and cell functioning. Even a mild zinc deficiency lowers testosterone levels in men and women. Zinc helps block an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. There was already ample evidence that zinc is good for you, now the evidence is overwhelming.

I am glad that I take zinc, but am careful about taking too much. From now on, I will be taking a little extra during the week while making sure that I do not deplete my copper, which zinc is prone to do. Everything in nutrition and medicine is a juggling act and you always need to study the side effects and monitor what you are doing. Given the large population of Acid Reflux sufferers, I believe it makes sense for them to investigate this news thoroughly and work with their healthcare professional(s) to decide the best course of action to take.

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