Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 21, Issue 3–4, pp 291–295 | Cite as

Zinc in Cancer Prevention

  • Ananda S. Prasad
  • Omer Kucuk


Epidemiologic studies suggest that zinc deficiency may be associated with increased risk of cancer. However, few studies have been conducted with zinc supplementation in animals and humans. Most previous intervention studies have used zinc in combination with several other micronutrients, which make them difficult to interpret. Zinc supplementation is associated with decreased oxidative stress and improved immune function, which may be among the possible mechanisms for its cancer preventive activity. Preclinical and clinical studies need to investigate modulation of genetic and epigenetic pathways of carcinogenesis by zinc.

zinc cancer prevention immune function nutrition head and neck cancer 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Prasad AS, Halsted JA, Nadimi M: Syndrome of iron deficiency anemia, hepatosplenomegaly, hypogonadism, dwarfism, and geophagia. Am J Med 31: 532–546, 1961Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Prasad AS, Miale A, Farid Z, Schulert A, Sandstead HH: Zinc metabolism in patients with the syndrome of iron deficiency anemia, hypogonadism and dwarfism. J Lab Clin Med 61: 537–549, 1963Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Prasad AS: Zinc in human health: An update. J Trace Elem Exp Med 11: 63–87, 1998Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Prasad AS: Biochemistry of Zinc. Plenum, New York, 1993Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Prasad AS: Effects of zinc deficiency on Th1 and Th2 cytokine shifts. J Infec Dis 182: S62–S68, 2000Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Prasad AS, Beck FWJ, Doerr TD, Shamsa FH, Penny HS, Marks SC, Kaplan J, Kucuk O, Mathog RH: Nutritional and zinc status of head and neck cancer patients: An interpretive review. J Am Coll Nutr 17: 409–418, 1998Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Castro L, Freeman BA: Reactive oxygen species in human health and disease. Nutrition 17: 161–165, 2001Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    AREDS Report No. 8: A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss. Arch Opthalmol 119: 1417–1436, 2001Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zowczak M, Iskra M, Torlinski L, Cofta S: Analysis of serum copper and zinc concentrations in cancer patients. Biol Trace Elem Res 82(1–3): 1–8, 2001Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fong LY, Nguyen VT, Farber JL. Esophageal cancer prevention in zinc-deficient rats: Rapid induction of apoptosis by replenishing zinc. J Natl Cancer Inst 93(20): 1525–1533, 2001Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Boehm T, O'Reilly MS, Keough K, Shiloach J, Shapiro R, Folkman J: Zinc-binding of endostatin is essential for its antiangiogenic activity. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 252(1): 190–194, 1998Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ananda S. Prasad
    • 1
  • Omer Kucuk
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medicine (Division of Hematology–Oncology); Department of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer InstituteWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine (Division of Hematology–Oncology), Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer InstituteWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA

Personalised recommendations