by Al Sears, MD
The best ways to protect your heart's health come from nature, not a pharmacy or medicine cabinet. Here's one example you can use today...
Researchers at the University of Singapore conducted an eight-week study in which they fed two groups of rabbits a high-cholesterol diet, but gave only one group a natural zinc supplement. The rabbits taking the zinc supplement showed a substantially lower instance of hardening of the arteries and plaque build-up, without a change in their blood cholesterol levels.
Zinc works to protect your heart in a number of ways. First, it's a powerful antioxidant. Zinc is also a good immune system booster and wound healer. Healing wounds is critical for the prevention of plaque build-up in your arteries. Here's why: When your blood vessels become inflamed, cracks and tears appear. Your body sends molecules of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) to fill in the damaged areas. Over time, this patchwork of cholesterol starts to block your arteries.
You can get good, natural zinc in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. You need at least 30 mg per day - 60 mg is even better. A 12-ounce steak can give you between 15 mg and 30 mg. Oysters and clams are also a great source of zinc, as well as other minerals. A 3.5-ounce serving of oysters has close to 40 mg of zinc.
You can also take a zinc supplement that contains my minimum recommendation of 30 mg.