Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential to all forms of life because of its fundamental role in gene expression, cell development and replication. Although severe zinc deficiency is unlikely, being mildly to moderately deficient is not uncommon. In fact the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that globally our deficiency is at 31%.
What is zinc used for in the body?
Zinc stimulates the body to produce antibodies that help to destroy the cold virus, which is why it is commonly found in throat lozenges. Zinc does more than help you with a cold, it plays a critical role in many bodily functions such as:
Gene transcription (the process that allows your cells to read genetic instructions)
Keeps your immune system strong
Stabilizes your metabolic rate
Balances your blood sugar
Maintaining your sense of taste and smell
Protects against oxidative stress
Signs of zinc deficiency
Impaired sense of taste or smell
Lack of appetite
Poor neurological function
Weak immune system
Zinc deficiency is linked to diseases such as
Chronic liver disease
Chronic renal disease
Other chronic illnesses
Sickle cell disease
Food sources of zinc
Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
Learn how to take a zinc tally test at home.