Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation have been implicated in many chronic diseases including atherosclerosis and related vascular diseases, mutagenesis and cancer, neurodegeneration, immunologic disorders and the aging process. We investigated the role of zinc as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent in human volunteers. Zinc decreases generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by several mechanisms.
In vivo zinc supplementation showed decreased generation of TNF-α and IL-Iβ from LPS stimulated mononuclear cells in comparison to placebo treated subjects. In paralled studies by using HL-60, a human promyelocytic leukemia cell line (HL-60) we showed that zinc enhanced the upregulation of MRNA and DNA- specific binding of A20 a transactivating factor which inhibits NF-kB activities and downregulated generation of inflammatory cytokines. These studies suggest that zinc supplement action may have an important role in preventing chronic diseases in humans.
Prasad, A.S., Beck, F.W.J., Bao, B., Fitzgerald, J.T., Snell, D.C., Steinberg, J.D., Cardozo, L.J. Zinc supplementation decreases incidence of infections in the elderly: Effect of zinc on generation of cytokines and oxidative stress. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 85(3)837-844, 2007.