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- Helps with immune function
- Maintains healthy bones
- Maintains hair, nail, and skin
Why is Zinc Important?
Zinc is an essential trace mineral for human health. It plays an important role in various body functions, such as:
- Immune function
- The metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats
- The digestion of nutrients
- Connective tissue formation
- Wound healing
For the immune system in particular, zinc is vital - a lack of zinc can affect the normal functioning of immune cells. The immune system is complex and encompasses various different types of cells that work together to eliminate pathogens. Zinc is necessary for cell differentiation, allowing stem cells to become specialized immune cells.
While zinc is found in food sources, like meat and seafood, zinc deficiency can be a concern to certain groups, including those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, individuals with chronic diseases and the elderly. Signs of deficiency to watch out for include:
- Impaired taste
- Loss of appetite
- Hair loss
- Impaired wound healing
- Immune disfunction
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