Prostate health and Zinc

March 5, 2008

As I am a great believer in pro-active health care, there is another story about prostate health that came up this week that I thought might prove revealing. The risk of prostate cancer is increased if a man is exposed to enough cadmium, a toxic heavy metal that many people are regularly exposed to. It is present in cigarette smoke, so anyone exposed to that – even secondhand – is at risk.

Cadmium is also an environmental pollutant, pumped into the air by various industries and the burning of coal and household wastes. Once airborne, cadmium can travel long distances, eventually falling to ground or into water. We can then ingest it through our diet; particularly from fish and shellfish or vegetables grown in soil that has absorbed cadmium from the air water. According to the Department of Health and Human Resources, “Cadmium stays in the body a very long time and can build up from many years of exposure to low levels. However, it is not all doom and gloom because just adding a little of the mineral zinc to your diet can counteract its effects as US researchers at Rochester have found. Apparently, zinc prompts the production of a protein that binds cadmium to help move the toxin out of the body. Plus, zinc enhances your immune system, helps repair damaged tissues, inhibits the abnormal clotting that contributes to cardiovascular disease, assists in maintaining healthy vision, and is one of the key elements required for DNA reproduction and repair. Sounds like it’s worth increasing in your diet doesn’t it? Good dietary sources of zinc include cabbage, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products.


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