Known as an essential mineral, our body does not naturally produce or store it. Yet when we understand its importance in maintaining health, we will realize just how “essential” it is!
That’s why we also call this mineral “The Real Multi-Talent”.
Zinc plays a very large role in many body functions, stimulating the working of at least 300 enzymes. It is found in every cell of the body, and next to iron, zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral found in the body. Zinc is an essential mineral that is present in many types of food.
A deficiency of this mineral can cause a number of health effects, such as decreased immune function, diarrhea, and more. The symptoms of a zinc deficiency do not start until zinc levels have been low for several months. Diagnosis of zinc deficiency can be complicated because it is not a standard blood test. The levels, along with the symptoms and diet history, may help identify a lack of in zinc as the cause of the symptoms.
Eating foods that are rich in zinc may be the solution for your zinc deficiency, and sometimes supplements are necessary.
Zinc plays an important role in the growth of cells and cell division, and as a result, zinc is important for body growth. Let’s not forget children and the youth when we talk about zinc.
A zinc deficiency in early childhood can result in short stature, cognitive and motor delays, and significant behavioral problems (including irritability, lethargy, and depression). Globally, over half a million deaths in children under five are directly attributed to zinc deficiency, according to research from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.*
Even a mild deficiency in children can lead to growth delays and an increased vulnerability to infection.
*Source: Krebs NF, Miller LV, Hambidge KM. Zinc deficiency in infants and children: a review of its complex and synergistic interactions. Paediatr Int Child Health (2014)
Following beneficial effects are claimed by the “European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)”:
Zinc contributes to:
- normal acid-base metabolism
- normal carbohydrate metabolism
- normal cognitive function
- normal DNA synthesis
- normal fertility and normal reproduction
- normal normal macronutrient metabolism
- normal metabolism of fatty acids
- normal metabolism of vitamin A
- normal protein synthesis
- the maintenance of normal bones
- the maintenance of normal hair
- the maintenance of normal nails
- the maintenance of normal skin
- the maintenance of normal testosterone levels in the blood
- the maintenance of normal vision
- the normal function of the immune system
- the protection of cells from oxidative stress
- has a role in the process of cell division