Among all trace elements required by the body no mineral is more involved in every Biological function than Zinc. Zinc is very vital for digestion, wound healing, reproduction and spermatogenesis, taste and smell, physical growth to name a few. Zinc is also vital for enzyme production and functions, carbohydrate metabolism and protein synthesis. Zinc is an integral part in more than 300 enzymes and 100,000 amino acids. Insulin invariably contains zinc and it is very vital in the proper functioning of the Pancreas. Zinc is also vital in maintaining the Immune system in prime condition.Salivary glands also secrete Zinc along with saliva.
Zinc is stored in the muscles, and the eyes, the bones, kidneys, skin and pancreas contains a high percentage of Zinc.Dairy products like cheese, butter and milk have a high concentration of Zinc. Nuts, seeds cereals, yeast and lentils have varying concentration of Zinc. Pumpkin seeds have the highest percentage of Zinc among plants and Oysters have the highest proportion of Zinc among animal food. Supplements of Zinc include zinc acetate, zinc gluconate, zinc picolinate, and zinc sulfate, the latter being used most as a supplement.
Zinc is very important for various body functions. Reproduction can be hampered if there is a shortage of Zinc. Zinc deficiency causes formation of abnormal sperms and the sperms are immotile or sluggish in movements. There is a story that Casanova the well known lover ate always oysters which contains a rich percentage of Zinc which is responsible for his enormous sexual appetite.
Zinc is also important for taste functions. Zinc deficiency can be ascertained by taste tests by asking the person to taste a dil solution of Zinc Sulphate. If the subject is unable to taste then he or she is suffering from Zinc deficiency. Zinc supplementation also reduces the symptoms of first trimester dysgeusia. Zinc deficiency also has a role to play in nausea during first trimester.
Zinc is also important for the health of the skin. An example is lacto calamine which contains Zinc and is known as a very effective skin care ointment or lotion. Threads and Gauze impregnated with Zinc powder were used as dressing for wounds in ancient times. The procedure leads to dramatic reduction in healing time. Zinc sulpha-diazine is used increasingly in place of silver in burn dressing to hasten healing.
Zinc also boosts the immune system and helps the prevention of many seasonal virus infections. Zinc is also vital in the proper working of the Prostate gland and is a component of Prostatic fluid. Thus Zinc can be described as a mineral as vital as other minerals for normal functioning of the body.