Zinc

What is it?Zinc is a mineral found in the body in small amounts, only about 2.5 grams total. Zinc is stored in a variety of tissues and is most concentrated in the prostate and semen. The next most concentrated tissues are in the heart, spleen, lungs, brain, and in the retina of the eye. The skin contains a high amount of zinc, but is less concentrated than in the organ tissues. Although zinc is the twenty-fifth most abundant element in the earth's crust, it is water soluble both in the soil and in food. Rain can wash zinc from the farming soils and much of the zinc content is lost in the water in which food is cooked.
Where is it from?The best sources of dietary zinc are oysters, which contains ten times as much as any other source. Most animal foods contain adequate amounts of zinc, especially beef, lamb, and pork because zinc is added to animal feeds to increase growth rates. Whole grains such as whole wheat, rye, and oats are also a good source of zinc, especially for the vegetarian.
What is it used for?Zinc plays a critical role in the synthesis of RNA and DNA, which is crucial to cell division, repair and growth. It is involved in a multitude of body functions, and is also part of many enzyme systems. Zinc also promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds.

Information provided is intended to provide an electronic reference library about nutrition and health. The views expressed in this or other sections of this site, have not been independently researched or confirmed.
Updated on : 2/19/2012 6:18:52 PM
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