Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
Let’s face it — no one likes to get older.
Even if you’re in good shape, you can’t help but focus on the outward signs of aging, like wrinkles, sagging skin and thinning or graying hair.
But these are just the things we can see.
What you can’t see are the dangerous inward signs of aging.
Over the years, our cellular DNA suffers wear-and-tear damage that can make us sitting ducks for serious diseases like cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have found a cheap, easy way to help protect your DNA and ward off the effects of aging.
So what is this anti-aging golden ticket? Zinc.
In the past, zinc has proven itself as a powerful immune booster and has been shown to fight inflammation and oxidative stress — two of the key drivers of aging and disease.
In a recent randomized, controlled study, scientists found zinc to be a powerful anti-aging compound, too.
They measured zinc’s impact on human metabolism for six weeks by counting breaks in DNA strands. At the end of the study, scientists were shocked to find that just a modest amount of zinc, 4 mg, significantly reduced DNA damage.
These results aren’t shocking when you consider zinc is a vital part of almost 3,000 proteins and also an essential component of every single cell in your body. This means the more zinc you have, the better your cells can function and help to ward off diseases and infections.
The recommended daily dose of zinc is 15 mg, but as this study shows, just a fraction of that can have a major positive impact on your health.
Unfortunately, many of us aren’t getting enough zinc in our diets.
You can increase your zinc by eating foods like beef, shrimp, oysters, spinach and beans. But be warned: This may not do the trick — your body absorbs only 20–40 percent of the zinc in your diet.
This means taking a supplement may be the best way to ensure you’re getting the zinc you need to protect your DNA and fight off the effects of aging. You can pick up a zinc supplement from your local pharmacy.
Additionally, zinc has a complicated relationship with copper. If you’re going to take a zinc supplement, you should check with your health care provider to see if a copper supplement is right for you too.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily