The Alzheimer's Association estimates that one in eight senior citizens in America suffers from Alzheimer's disease – a condition that can threaten aging longevity and overall quality of life. With the Baby Boomer generation now reaching retirement age, researchers and government officials have grown all the more concerned about the number of people who may develop this ailment. As such, scientists have devoted ample resources to better understanding the mechanisms behind Alzheimer's disease and how it may be treated or even prevented.

Recently, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison made one eye-opening discovery that could benefit Alzheimer's patients. According to a university press release, they have found that deficiencies in the mineral zinc may be linked to more severe instances of both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Why? Because zinc plays an important role in maintaining the structural integrity of certain cells.

"If you don't have zinc, and you don't have [the gene] Tsa1 [which is formed by cells lacking in zinc], the proteins will glom together into big aggregations that are either toxic by themselves, or toxic because the proteins are not doing what they are supposed to do," explained David Eide, one of the lead researchers on the project.

Keep in mind though, that zinc can also be toxic for the body in excess, so this finding isn't license to start taking zinc supplements by the handful. Rather, this study sheds light on some of the underlying chemical interactions that can affect brain function and overall health over time.

If you have questions about how your nutrient intake can help you age gracefully, contact the anti-aging doctors at Longevity Centres of America in Houston today.