Good news for coffee and chocolate lovers, scientists have found a way to supercharge their health benefits and potentially help you live longer. New research from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg suggests that taking zinc supplements alongside your tea or coffee or chocolate can help utilise their antioxidant benefits.
How does it work? Tea, coffee, wine and chocolate are rich in polyphenols, a group of compounds that help your body to fight oxidative stress, which can lead to premature ageing and potentially lower your life expectancy. Polyphenols cannot fend off oxidative damage alone though. The study discovered that pairing these with a zinc supplement helps the polyphenols fight a harmful waste gas released by our body’s cells.
Admittedly most metals, including iron and copper, can have this effect on polyphenols, but zinc is the least toxic and can be taken in higher doses without any side effects. Zinc has plenty of health benefits, including easing acne, supporting the immune system and repairing our genetic material. Shabir has long since referred to zinc as the traffic police of supplements – read more about that here.
Interestingly, while wine also contains these all-important polyphenols, it works better with chocolate or coffee. ‘It is certainly possible that wine, coffee, tea or chocolate may well become be available in future with added zinc. However, any alcohol content whatsoever would destroy the positive effects of this combination,’ says Ivana Ivanovi-Burmazovi, the Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
Until then which zinc supplement is worth investing in? Zinc Caps High Potency by Life Extension uses zinc monomethionine, which is the most easily absorbed form of zinc.