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Solid zinc is shown in the picture above.


Zinc is a cofactor for many enzymes, and is also involved in some hormones, genetic material and proteins. Zinc is required for transport of vitamin A, taste, wound healing, sperm production and fetal development. Zinc deficiency results in decreased appetite, growth failure in children, delayed development of sex organs, reduced immune function and poor wound healing. The RDA for men is 11mg and for women it is 8mg, although this may need increasing if lots of vegetables are consumed, as phylate (a chemical in plants) restricts zinc absorption, as does copper. A UL of 40mg of zinc is set as above this level it adversely affects copper absorption. Excess zinc results in fever, vomiting, diarrhea, gastric distress and dizziness.


Zinc is available in red meats, seafood and whole grains.