Zinc is present in every cell in the body, is a component of over 200 enzymes, and is involved in
more enzymatic reactions than any other mineral constituent in mammals. Zinc is essential for normal
skin, vision, smell, taste, reproduction, brain development, protein synthesis and wound healing. It is
also one of the most important factors in a healthy immune system. Zinc is involved in just about every
aspect of immunity, including the immune enhancing “T” cells
that are necessary for immune response.
Zinc levels in the body may be lowered for many reasons
including the following:
- fiber consumption, which causes zinc excretion through the intestinal tract;
- high calcium and iron consumption;
- copper ingestion;
- liver or kidney disease;
Children and adults need between 10 mg and 50 mg daily. Though the recommended daily value is 15
mg, it is generally recognized that 30 to 50% of ingested zinc is not absorbed due to complexing with
phytic acid, perspiration loss, fiber transport through the intestines or because of the competition for
absorption with copper, iron and calcium.