It is true that minerals are essential for maintaining good health in the body. Yet, a Korean study published in Cell has identified one mineral that might cause arthritis.
If you suffer arthritis, Researchers at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea found it’s essential for you to limit the consumption of this very common mineral – or at least don’t take it as an extra supplement like most people do.
Zinc is necessary for the activity of different enzymes in the body, for wound healing, and is essential for healthy development of the fetus during pregnancy. But this mineral with all its benefits also has a dark side – it could play a major role in triggering arthritis!
Researchers at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea studied the interaction between zinc and a protein called ZIP8. ZIP8 is a transport protein that transfers zinc into the cartilage cells. Inside these cells, zinc activates another protein which results in the production of damaging enzymes that degrade cartilage tissue. It is the cartilage which supports and cushions the joints, so when it is destroyed, it in turn results in swollen and painful joints.
The traditional medical system has no cure, as of now, for arthritis. People who suffer from osteoarthritis depend on anti-inflammatory painkillers and steroids to get relief from the pain, and needless to mention, the medications take a toll on the overall health of the body.
But this new finding sheds light on the involvement of zinc in the development of osteoarthritis in mice. If the link between zinc and its involvement in destroying cartilage is established, it will open up new possibilities for treating this debilitating disease.
Does that mean that you should restrict intake of zinc? No! Zinc is an essential nutrient and while you can probably avoid additional supplements of this mineral, it is a good idea to stick to a healthy diet of vegetables and fruits, which provide all the minerals needed for the functioning of the body.