A very recent study has demonstrated for the first time that a diet low in zinc can make the intestines more sensitive to inflammation1.
The study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that even a modest deficiency of this micronutrient makes the intestine more fragile against inflammation, while supplementation improves intestinal barrier function.
The presence of zinc feeding is essential for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal epithelium, in particular when the cells are exposed to tumor forms.
Zinc is an essential micronutrient that is found in protein foods of animal origin such as meat and fish, but also in legumes, seeds, nuts and, in lesser amounts, in dairy products.
It is important for the efficiency of the immune system, the development of the nervous system and the integrity of the skin 2-3.
Because of there is no store of zinc in body, in case of inadequate intake its deficiency can manifest itself in a short time, especially for pregnant women, the elderly and for children.
The reduced plasma levels of this trace element is associated with an increased susceptibility to infections and intestinal respiratorie4 and alteration of cognitive development in children 2.
1 Giulia Ranaldi, Simonetta Ferruzza, Raffaella Canali, Guido Leoni, Peter D. Zalewski, Yula Sambuy, Giuditta Perozzi, Chiara Murgia. Intracellular zinc is required for intestinal cell survival signals triggered by the inflammatory cytokine TNFα. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry xx (2012) xxx-xxx.
2 Maria j. Salgueiro, Marcela b. Zubillaga. The role of zinc in the growth and development of children. Nutrition 18: 510 –519, 2002
3 Haase H, Rink R. Functional significance of zinc-related signaling pathways in immune cells. Annu Rev Nutr. 2009;29:133-152.
4 Brown KH, Peerson JM, Baker SK, Hess SY. Preventive zinc supplementation among infants, preschoolers, and older prepubertal children. Food Nutr Bull. 2009;30:S12-S40.