Zinc may be a less familiar dietary mineral than iron or calcium or sodium, but it is no less important to our metabolism or our health. Like magnesium, zinc is used as a co-factor by a number of critical enzymes. (This "co-factor" status of zinc means that zinc participates directly in the activity of the enzymes.) In fact, more than 300 zinc-dependent enzymes are currently known.
Recommended Daily Intake
A more severe case of zinc deficiency is characterized by delayed sexual maturation, impotence, hypogonadism in males, eye lesions, skin lesions, weight loss, taste abnormalities, and in some cases mental lethargy.
A deficiency in zinc can lead to stunted growth, diarrhea, impotence, hair loss, eye and skin lesions, impaired appetite, and depressed immunity.
Prone to Deficiency
Consuming too much zinc can lead to nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches in the short term, low blood pressure, convulsions, shortness of breath and can disrupt absorption of copper and iron in the long term. Zinc toxicity may lead to gastrointestinal and urinary complications.