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26 Apr: Immune boosters – Zinc

Zinc is a mineral and a busy one, too: about a 100 enzymes in the body need zinc to function properly, it’s needed in DNA and protein synthesis, and – you guessed it – in immunity. (1) In the immune system, zinc’s role is to develop and activate various white blood cells, the warriors of our immune system that rush onto the scene of infection and fight the perpetrators. Both T and B-lymphocytes need zinc for this – the role of these cells is to produce antibodies that help destroy foreign invaders. Antibodies can directly kill the pathogen, or flag it for other types of white blood cells to come take care of it. (2, 9) Additionally, zinc deficiency has been seen to reduce natural killer cell activity (a type of lymphocyte that scans cells in our body and kills the ones that are not “self”), inhibit antibody responses and…