Lower marker of oxidative stress and greater total antioxidant capacity associated with zinc supplementation


September 22, 2020

A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials published on August 21, 2020 in Pharmacological Research supports a protective effect against oxidative stress in association with supplementing with the mineral zinc. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals and has been linked with aging and age-related diseases.

“To our knowledge, there is no systematic review and meta-analysis summarizing the effects of zinc supplementation on oxidative stress biomarkers,” wrote Seyed Mohammad Mousavi of Tehran University of Medical Sciences and colleagues. “We, therefore, aimed to summarize all published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effects of zinc administration on oxidative stress biomarkers, including malondialdehyde (MDA, a marker of oxidative stress), total antioxidant capacity, glutathione, and nitric oxide.”

Dr Mousavi and his associates selected 10 randomized trials for their meta-analysis. Pooled data from the participants of eight trials that reported information concerning the association of zinc supplementation with serum MDA levels revealed a significant reduction of 0.42 micromoles per liter among participants who received zinc in comparison with those who received a placebo. Among the four trials that reported total antioxidant capacity, levels were significantly higher among zinc-supplemented subjects compared to the placebo group, and among three trials that reported glutathione levels, supplemented participants also had higher levels. Nitric oxide levels did not significantly differ between participants that received zinc and those who received a placebo in the four trials that investigated this association.

The authors list zinc’s role in glutathione peroxidase regulation, its function in the endogenous antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) in cell membranes and its inhibitory effect against lipid peroxidase and NADPH-oxidase enzymes as among factors contributing to its ability to lower oxidative stress. They note that the benefits concluded by their analysis may be due to the inclusion of a large number of high-dose trials. “Thus, future trials should be designed to investigate the effects of different doses of zinc supplements on these biomarkers,” they recommend.


Apply What You've Learned: Zinc

  • Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential to human health.
  • In addition to its antioxidant function, zinc supports a healthy immune response, hormone production, protein and DNA synthesis and the activity of over 300 enzymes in the body.1
  • Because zinc is insufficient in many individuals, periodic blood testing is recommended to determine whether intake of the mineral is adequate.
  • Blood testing can also reveal excessive copper levels that may be normalized by zinc supplementation. In turn, consuming a high amount of zinc for a prolonged period can result in an increased need for copper.


  1. Prasad AS et al.Adv Nutr. 2013 Mar 1;4(2):176-90.


Featured Life Extension Magazine® Article

Retinol Blend Reverses Skin Aging

by Robert Goldfaden and Gary Goldfaden, MD

While the ingredients of most over-the-counter skin treatments can plump up the skin to make it temporarily look better, retinoids, a class of compounds related to vitamin A, are among of the few skin care ingredients that actually improve the skin. Not only do retinoids boost the skin’s moisture content, but they also stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin, promote tissue repair and mitigate some of the adverse effects of sun exposure.

Retinol is a retinoid that has been shown to regenerate the dermis, which is the layer of skin below the epidermis (skin surface). Retinol reduced crow’s feet by 44% and decreased mottled pigmentation by 84% in one study. Another retinoid, hydroxypinacolone retinoate, has been demonstrated to increase epidermal thickness and diminish fine lines and wrinkles.

Heart Health Supplement Guide

By answering a few simple questions, we will help you choose our best heart health supplements that are right for you.

What's Hot

Health Concern

How zinc fights infections

Zinc deficiency affects one-third of the world’s population and is associated with an increased susceptibility to bacterial infection,” authors Bart Eijkelkamp and colleagues noted. “Although zinc supplementation therapies can reduce the impact of disease, the molecular basis for protection remains unclear.

Learn More

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Blood pressure is the measurement of systolic pressure (maximum pressure during one heartbeat) over diastolic pressure (minimum pressure between heartbeats). After the landmark SPRINT trial, published in 2015, found that lower blood pressure significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular outcomes and death, the threshold for high blood pressure (hypertension) was lowered from 140/90 mm Hg to 130/80 mm Hg.

Learn More

Related Life Extension Magazine® Articles

How Low-Cost Zinc Helps Combat Deadly Immunosenescence

Scientists now believe that immunosenescence could be caused in part by a deficiency of zinc, resulting in higher rates of infections and cancers in older adults. The low-cost mineral zinc strengthens the immune system, helps fight colds and flu, and may help avert certain cancers.

Read Article
Number of food stuffs that contain high levels of zinc

Importance of Zinc In Maintaining Prostate Health

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men. While all cells have a requirement for zinc, the prostate accumulates more zinc than any other part of the body. Studies show that the proper amount of zinc maintains prostate health while suppressing tumor growth.

Read Article

Life Extension Magazine® Issue Now Online


October 2020

Beyond CBD: Plant-Derived Endocannabinoid Support

Scientists have identified four plant-derived compounds that support the body’s endocannabinoid system without CBD.

Moving? Need to update your address?

If you currently receive Life Extension Magazine® and your address has changed, please let us know. Simply call 1-800-678-8989, and we'll gladly update your information in our systems. Or login to your account on