One of the important components in the process of the hardening of the arteries is chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.  They are considered common risk factors for its development.  Zinc is an essential micronutrient that can function as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and the researchers theorized may protect arteries against its development. Several studies have shown that zinc can reduce oxidative damage and the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Wayne State University researchers, in Detroit, Michigan suggest zinc may slow down the creation of the proteins that contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.


Forty healthy adults 56-83 years were involved in the double-blinded, randomized zinc supplementation trial. They were randomly assigned them to 2 groups. One group was given an oral dose of 45 mg zinc/d as a gluconate for 6 months. The other group was given a placebo


Six months after the supplementation ended, the zinc supplement receiving participants were evaluated and compared to the placebo (an inert substance).  They were found to have significantly lower levels of key inflammatory proteins.


These findings suggest that zinc may have a protective effect in atherosclerosis because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functions.