View Full Version : Zinc's Secret AntiMicrobe Powers Revealed

11-14-13, 05:22 AM
Anna Salleh
November 14 2013

Zinc kills bacteria by starving them of the essential metal manganese, new research has found.

The research, involving Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is the bacteria that causes pneumonia, meningitis and other diseases, and kills more than one million people a year, is reported in a recent issue of Nature Chemical Biology (http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.1382).
"Zinc is nature's antimicrobial and it's probably how our body prevents this organism from causing disease normally," says co-author, microbial biochemist Dr Christopher McDevitt, of the University of Adelaide (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/).

Zinc has long been known to play a role in our immune system and our ability to resist infection by the numerous bacteria that we encounter every day.
During infection by S. pneumoniae, for example, zinc levels in tissues increase and previous studies have shown that zinc actually kills bacteria, but to date no one has been able to work out exactly how this occurs.


11-14-13, 05:28 AM
Zinc has long been recommended for treatment of colds. But this sentence is disappointing:

'Now we understand how the transporter interacts with zinc and manganese, we can use this knowledge to build new chemicals the mimic the jamming action of zinc."

So would it be a good idea to take a manganese supplement when you have recovered? Like taking probiotics after an antibiotic?

11-14-13, 11:41 AM
I fail to understand why we have to "build new chemicals" when we have... zinc!