What is Zinc and is it important?
Zinc was identified as a “trace metal” essential for human life in 1869. It is the second most abundant trace metal in the body and is found in all living cells and body secretions. Recently, zinc has become a popular supplement as it’s been shown to aid in immune system function. One study also found compelling evidence that zinc actually inhibits reproduction of the cold virus, likely shortening the length of the common cold.
How is it that zinc is important in the body? Well, zinc is a known part of over 70 enzymes (known as “metalloenzymes” because they require a trace metal to work). Enzymes are proteins in the body that perform vital functions in the body. One example is the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which acts as an antioxidant. This enzyme requires zinc to function.
Studies have found that zinc levels are very high in healing wounds. Since many of the enzymes that use zinc are enzymes that help in healing, it makes sense that zinc is present in healing wounds. Zinc has long been used to enhance wound healing.
Zinc is found in foods like beans and nuts. Supplementing can help ensure you maintain adequate levels of zinc in the body.