Discovered a surprising new beneficial effect of zinc for our health

A new study has found that zinc has a beneficial effect on blood pressure and may be helpful in lowering it

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A study has discovered a new effect of taking zinc: this ion, in the right doses, can help keep blood pressure in check. 

Zinc is a mineral that is generally considered to be useful for strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of catching a cold or flu, for example. However, new research has now shown another important beneficial effect of zinc. 

If it has been known for some time that calcium and potassium are involved in the regulation of blood pressure, now the study we are talking about, published in Nature Comunications, is convinced that zinc can also be useful for the same purpose.

A surprising finding, even considering it was fortuitous, given that the researchers were actually studying the brain in relation to the onset of Alzheimer's and not blood pressure.

But how would zinc act to regulate pressure? Researchers found that this chemical affects muscles, endothelial cells and sensory nerves together, reducing the amount of calcium in the muscles and causing them to relax. This, in turn, results in increased blood flow and lowered blood pressure.

It is in particular the zinc ionophores (chemical vehicles that transport ions, such as zinc) that cause vasodilation and reduce blood pressure.

@Nature Communications

@Nature Communications

As the study's senior author Dr. Scott Ayton stated:

Zinc is an important metal ion in biology, and given that calcium and potassium are famous for controlling blood flow and pressure, it is surprising that zinc's role has not previously been appreciated. 

The study authors say more research is needed to investigate how zinc affects different cell types and diseases. Researchers note that blood vessels in the heart and brain have been shown to be more sensitive to zinc than blood vessels elsewhere in the body.

Fonte: Nature Communications / Medical News Today

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