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Newly Designed Instrument Helps Measure Zinc Levels In Cells

October 23, 2009 by  

Newly designed instrument helps measure zinc levels in cells Zinc is among the most important elements that ensure optimal health in humans, and a new sensor may help health practitioners better determine the supplementation needs of those at risk of a deficit.

The sensor — which is the first of its kind — was developed by scientists from Imperial College London and Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands. It responds to the need to more accurately measure the level of the microelement that plays an important biological function, including maintenance of muscle and brain health and insulin storage in pancreas cells, a process which is often defective in people with type 2 diabetes.

Professor Guy Rutter, one of the authors of the study from the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London, says the information obtained through the instrument will help doctors see what is going on inside tissues.

He adds, "We hope this new sensor will help researchers learn more about diseases [that may be related to the amount of zinc in the body] and potentially identify new ways of treating them."

For those at risk of a deficit, nutritional supplements may be a good option.

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  • Thurman Marcum


    what about the zinc levels that are too high?

    • s c

      I’m curious, Thurman M. What do you mean when you say ‘if the zinc levels are too high’? In most cases, people have to go out of their way to get ‘too much’ zinc in them. Most people do not get enough zinc, and that can have a negative impact on basic metabolic processes.
      I’d subscribe to a quality health newsletter, or spend some time in a customer-friendly library. Chances are that you won’t get what you need from an MD (sad, but true).

  • Ed Ellis

    Cancel my participation with this web site.Thanks, EE

  • Ed Ellis

    Just do it.

  • PatM

    There are other reasons to monitor zinc levels. Mishandling of zinc and copper can be an indicator of neurological disorders and can lead to misfolded proteins. The diseases are devastating – ALS, Parkinson’s, MS and so forth.

  • s c

    This development may have much potential. For those who still remain ‘on the fence’ about vitamins, minerals and herbs, make friends with an experienced nutritionist. Get to know a competent research librarian. READ.
    A typical MD knows squat about basic nutrition (one course in nutrition makes an MD an expert?). MDs still have doubts about supplements in general in human health. They don’t know because they’re NOT TAUGHT in medical school. In effect, American MDs are willingly ignorant [imagine that. MDs make serious money, and yet they're collectively ignorant].
    How soon can we see this sensor being used in American health care?

    • john

      It most likely wont be in our life time if this country lets congress pass a mandatory health bill.

  • Dan

    More can be said about zinc deficiency.

    Many years ago I read in the Prevention magazine that, “Zinc don’t stink.” It was said that a supplement of zinc can overcome body oder. That was my problem. It was so bad that I had body oder right out of a shower. Taking zinc cured this problem as well as foot oder.

    My mother was in a nursing home when it was reported to me that she was not eating enough. When I questioned her about it and listening carefully to her I realized that her olfactory nerves were not working and so she could not smell what she was eating. Because she had a diminished sense of smell the taste of food was lost.

    When I approached the house doctor and said that my mother certainly needed a supplement of zinc. He scoffed and blew me off. But somehow the nurses on staff managed to provide the zinc and she recovered her sense of smell and her appetite in short order.


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