Home   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z 

What Does Zinc Do?

Zinc is a trace mineral that is commonly found in the environment. It is also distributed in the body’s organs, tissues and fluids.

Zinc has a number of important functions. For example, zinc:

  • helps make new cells,
  • plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of many enzymes,
  • is essential for a healthy immune system and for the healing of wounds,
  • is crucial to the development of healthy sperm and male hormones,
  • helps to rid the body of harmful metals such as lead and cadmium,
  • is vital for the release of insulin,
  • helps keep the senses of taste, sight and smell in good working order,
  • helps us process the carbohydrate, fat and protein in the food we eat.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency include loss of appetite, slow growth and development, impaired immune function, poor wound healing, frequent infections, loss of hair, diarrhea, impotence, skin lesions, weight loss and mental lethargy.


There is quite a variety of foods that contains zinc: oysters, sardines, crab and lobster, as well as red meat such as liver, beef, lamb and pork. Other sources include beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products. Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables are not good sources of zinc. Vegetarians should make sure their diet consists of enough peanuts, peanut butter, legumes and dairy products.

Too much zinc can deplete the body of iron and copper, which can lead to anemia and weakening of the bones.

If you have a sore throat, get some zinc lozenges from your health food store. It will help with the healing process and will soothe the irritation.

Privacy Policy