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The immune-boosting mineral every senior needs

If you haven’t been feeling quite right…if you’ve been fighting off an endless line of nagging minor illnesses…you could be among the 40 percent of seniors who are low in zinc.

Zinc has been proven to stop everything from the common cold to pneumonia; but if you’re not getting enough of it, it can seem like you’re wasting away, right before your very eyes.

Now, the latest research shows what happens when you get back on track: In no time, your immune system picks itself up off the floor and gets back in fighting shape, ready to take on any bug that dares to enter your body.

In the study on seniors who were low in zinc, supplements of just 30 mg per day over the course of three months boosted their levels — in most cases, right back up to where they should have been.

The latest research was performed on seniors in nursing homes, but you don’t have to be “elderly” to be susceptible to a zinc deficiency. Our T cell count already declines as we get older…which results in a reduced ability to fight off infection. In the study, zinc supplementation increased the seniors’ number of T cells and got them locked, loaded, and ready to fight off illness.

Now, if you’ve been tempted to go meatless, you should know that it’s almost impossible for you to get all the zinc you need from a diet of lawnmower trimmings. As a result, it can have disastrous effects on your immune system. That’s why people who go vegetarian — or, God forbid, vegan — end up frail, vampire-pale, and weak, with one illness after another.

These are the more extreme effects of low zinc, but you don’t have to choke back steamed tofu and bean sprouts to suffer from some of the much less obvious but still very real effects of a zinc deficiency yourself.

Now, don’t supplement with zinc willy-nilly — because here’s a classic case where it’s possible to have “too much of a good thing.” Get your zinc levels checked by a doc, who can help figure out if you’re among the 40 percent who need supplements or the 60 percent who don’t.

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