Zinc Supplement Use and Risks of Prostate Cancer
There is a high concentration of zinc in the prostate compared to other soft tissues in the body. Several research studies claim that zinc can help in the suppression of prostate cancer cell growth. It is also known to inhibit prostate tumor cell invasion. However, some studies contend that high intraprostatic zinc levels may adversely affect the risk of prostate cancer, claiming that zinc enhances the activity of telomerase that causes proliferation of tumor cells. Some also claim that zinc supplement affects the inhibitory effect of bisphosphonates on the invasion of prostate tumor cells.
Some people may need 70-100 mg/day. However, consumption of more than the recommended dosage of zinc may have undesirable metabolic effects related to prostate cancer, including impaired antioxidant defense and immune dysfunction. However, there is no established evidence in this regard, and more research is needed to establish the zinc and prostate cancer connection.
Zinc and Health
Zinc is an essential mineral for reproductive health, normal repair of your DNA, immunity, thyroid function, sensory function, sex hormone transport, among other key enzyme systems that require zinc for optimal health. Studies reveal that even 10% deficiency in zinc can adversely affect your immune response. Zinc deficiency poses a cancer risk, as inadequate levels of zinc cause DNA damage and chromosome breaks.
Scientists believe that the level of zinc within cells affects their ability to repair DNA damage. Restoration of zinc to cancerous prostate tissues can inhibit the proliferation of prostate cancer cells. A 2009 study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington found that the men who took 15 mg of zinc per day for 10 years reported 66 percent reduction in advanced prostate cancer.
Zinc Deficiency and Prostate Health
Several large epidemiological studies have established the link between zinc deficiency and cancer. These studies found that people deficient in zinc were at a high risk of cancer, as lack of zinc impairs DNA integrity, making the cell more vulnerable to abnormal growth.
Deficiency of micronutrients, such as zinc, iron, vitamin C and E, may damage DNA. Accumulation of DNA mutations may contribute to cancer progression. During the progression stage, there is a rapid growth of cancer cells, resulting in small tumors.
Several in vitro studies show that zinc depletion in cells raises the risk of DNA damage. Zinc deficiency may impair DNA repair functions and impede activities of repair proteins.
As an antioxidant, zinc plays a crucial role in maintaining prostate health and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Zinc supplementation strategies may help prevent cancer and limit its malignancy. As an antioxidant and a component of many DNA repair proteins, zinc plays an important role in protecting DNA from damage.