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, 11 (10)

Role of Zinc in Immune System and Anti-Cancer Defense Mechanisms

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Review

Role of Zinc in Immune System and Anti-Cancer Defense Mechanisms

Dorota Skrajnowska et al. Nutrients.

Abstract

The human body cannot store zinc reserves, so a deficiency can arise relatively quickly, e.g., through an improper diet. Severe zinc deficiency is rare, but mild deficiencies are common around the world. Many epidemiological studies have shown a relationship between the zinc content in the diet and the risk of cancer. The anti-cancer effect of zinc is most often associated with its antioxidant properties. However, this is just one of many possibilities, including the influence of zinc on the immune system, transcription factors, cell differentiation and proliferation, DNA and RNA synthesis and repair, enzyme activation or inhibition, the regulation of cellular signaling, and the stabilization of the cell structure and membranes. This study presents selected issues regarding the current knowledge of anti-cancer mechanisms involving this element.

Keywords: cancer; defense mechanisms; immune system; zinc.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Correlation between zinc concentration and cells of adaptive and innate immunity.

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