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Overview of Minerals | Calcium | Chromium | Copper | Iodine | Iron | Magnesium | Zinc | Manganese | Molybdenum | Phosphorus | Potassium | Selenium | Other Trace Elements



Functions of Zinc

  • Is an antioxidant nutrient.
  • Is necessary for protein synthesis and wound healing.
  • Is vital for the development of the reproductive organs, prostate functions and male hormone activity.
  • Controls the contractility of muscles.
  • Is important for blood stability.
  • Maintains the body's alkaline balance.
  • Helps in normal tissue function.
  • Aids in the digestion and metabolism of phosphorus.

Deficiency of Zinc

Delayed sexual maturity, prolonged healing wounds, white spots on finger nails, retarded growth, stretch marks, fatigue, decreased alertness, susceptibility to infections.

Clinical uses of Zinc

  • Oral zinc may be used to treat idiopathic skin lesions, some inflammatory conditions and depressed immunity.
  • Zinc is usually indicated in rehabilitation therapy from malnutrition and/or malabsorption in children and adults.
  • It is used in feeding programs for premature infants and neonates and is also a component of TPN solutions.
  • Supplemental zinc reduces acute diarrhea and depressed immunity.

Recommended dietary allowance for Zinc

See Recommended dietary allowances for minerals.

Food sources of Zinc

Shellfish, herring, wheatgerm, lean beef/lamb, free range eggs, lentils, Brazil nuts, almonds, chicken.

Toxicity of Zinc

  • Acute zinc toxicity is characterized by gastric distress, dizziness and nausea.
  • Chronic zinc toxicity causes gastric problems, decreased serum ceruloplasmin activity and hypocupremia, decreased lymphocyte stimulation to PHA and reduced HDL cholesterol.