Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in almost every cell of the body. It is necessary for proper growth and immune function. Since zinc is not stored in or manufactured by the body, it must be ingested in proper amounts each day.
Oysters are well known for their zinc content. But, other animal foods are also excellent sources of zinc. Although you can get zinc from plant-based foods, it is not as well absorbed.
Zinc's functions include:
- Supporting normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence
- Playing a role in tissue repair, including promoting wound healing
- Helping the body use carbohydrate, protein, and fat
- Helping to maintain proper immune function
- Maintaining a sense of taste and smell
Last reviewedJanuary 2015by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.