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Thread: Dietary Zinc Acts as a Sleep Modulator

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    Achaean,not Patrian Faklon's Avatar
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    Default Dietary Zinc Acts as a Sleep Modulator

    Dietary Zinc Acts as a Sleep Modulator

    The trace metal zinc is an essential cofactor for more than 300 enzymes and 1000 transcription factors [16]. A moderate deficiency of zinc is sometimes observed in humans, and is responsible for growth retardation, male hypogonadism, taste alteration, inefficient wound healing and immune system, as well as mental retardation. In the central nervous system, zinc is the second most abundant trace metal and is involved in many processes. In addition to its role in enzymatic activity, it also plays a major role in cell signaling and modulation of neuronal activity. Zinc finger proteins, a huge family of zinc-containing proteins, play key roles in the mechanisms of DNA replication and transcription regulation [17,18,19,20]. Zinc has also been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. Some Alzheimer’s disease patients exhibit a systemic deficiency in zinc [21], however, it has also been proven that amyloid plaques are highly enriched in zinc. It is possible that the amyloid plaques immobilize the pool of zinc in the brain and therefore reduce the bioavailability into the neurons.
    Dietary zinc improves sleep quality in humans and increases NREM sleep in mice. (A) Two groups of 30 volunteers absorbed daily 15 mg of zinc (in 40 g of Pacific oysters) or placebo (40 g of scallops). After 12 weeks of supplementation, sleep efficiency and sleep onset latency improved in the group treated with zinc compared to the control group. (B) Oral administration of zinc-containing yeast extract (80 mg/kg) in mice at the onset of dark time increased the amount of NREM sleep for 6 h compared to mice receiving vehicle. * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001 compared with vehicle treatment.

    The role of zinc in the CNS has become increasingly important, since we first recognized its central role in the regulation of essential functions such as memory and, now, sleep. However, much work remains to comprehend properly the key functions of zinc in glutamatergic transmission and other types of neurotransmission. Although zinc ion was of little interest to the scientific community for a long time, accumulating evidence proves that endogenous zinc as well as available dietary zinc is of high importance, not only as an enzyme cofactor but also as a signaling molecule. One of the most unexpected functions of zinc to date may be in the regulation of sleep, an essential physiological function shared by the entire animal kingdom. While the mechanisms by which zinc regulates sleep remain unclear, rapid progress towards their elucidation is to be anticipated.

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    Senior Member Thorns's Avatar
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    Zinc does a lot of things, it's also important to keep the zinc/copper ratio in good order.

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