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Zinc reduces DNA damage
It is difficult to measure circulating levels of zinc, but doctors said they could measure zinc status by detecting breaks in DNA. In this study, researchers gave 40 Ethiopian women 20 mg of zinc as zinc sulfate per day or a placebo. Meat, a rich source of zinc, was only a small part of the diet for these women. After 17 days, circulating zinc levels had not changed significantly, but a test of breaks in DNA strands showed women who had taken the zinc supplements had 25 percent fewer breaks in DNA. Discussing their findings, doctors said that the test to measure breaks in DNA, called a comet assay, could be used to determine zinc status. Even though there were no measurable changes in circulating zinc levels, the DNA test was sensitive enough to detect changes in zinc status after the women took zinc supplements.

Reference: Nutrition Research; 2015, Vol. 35, No. 1, 49-55.
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