For decades, scientists have had a hunch that zinc supplements could help prevent esophageal cancer, a particularly lethal malignancy that has been on the rise worldwide.
Now, however, new insights into zinc's role in gastrointestinal disorders - particularly acid-reflux disease - have renewed hopes that the pennies-a-day mineral could be therapeutic.
James Mullin, a professor at Lankenau Institute for Medical Research in Wynnewood, recently was granted a patent for the use of oral zinc to treat Barrett's esophagus, a complication of acid reflux that can progress to cancer. The institute is working with a company, Monk Street Partners, to commercialize a zinc lozenge aimed at preventing that progression. Learn more from Philly.com.