In terms of quantity, zinc (Zn) is the second largest micronutrient in the human body after iron. Humans need zinc daily, because it does not store sufficiently in the body. Good sources of zinc include meat products, shellfish, dairy products, wholegrains, nuts and green vegetables.
Zinc affects your physical health in many ways. It is involved in cell division, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis and the function of your body’s defence mechanisms. Zinc influences the activity of more than 300 enzymes.
Zinc deficiency is rare in developed countries, but the elderly have been discovered to have low levels of it. Low zinc levels are linked to susceptibility to infections and decelerated recovery from inflammatory diseases. Zinc deficiency also causes disorders in gastrointestinal function.
Zinc plays a significant role in the operation of the body’s defence mechanisms. It affects both innate and adaptive immunity. Zinc deficiency reduces the function of lymph cells and all parts of the body’s immunity. A zinc supplement, on the other hand, may reduce the inflammatory response and activate the immune response. Zinc supplements have been found to increase the number of elderly people’s T lymphocytes, which are important for the body’s defence mechanisms.