Oxidative stress is responsible for aging. If we have too much of it, our life expectancy decreases. A research team at the Friedrich-Alexander Erlangen-Nuremberg University has now discovered, together with US scientists, that zinc can protect against this stress.
Body needs zinc to stay healthy
Zinc is one of the trace elements our body needs to stay healthy. But it takes only one component of food like wine, coffee, tea and chocolate to protect against the so-called superoxide, which makes us grow old.
This component is a hydroquinone group found in polyphenols – the phytochemicals responsible for odor and taste. Zinc activates the hydroquinone groups and thus forms a natural protection against superoxide, which damages the body's own biomolecules, for example proteins or fats, as well as the genetic material.
Superoxide can lead to cancer or inflammation
This superoxide is therefore associated with the aging process and many diseases, such as inflammation, cancer or neurodegenerative diseases.
"It is quite possible that there will eventually be wine, coffee, tea or chocolate dipped in zinc. However, any alcohol content negates the positive effects of this combination," says one of the researchers, however. (Mz)