In the 1960s zinc was identified as an essential trace metal for humans. Zinc has a lot of jobs in the body, namely as a catalyst component of over 300 different enzymes including growth, immune defense, cognitive function, and bone health. Advances in technology and measuring capabilities have advanced us from a single zinc enzyme found in 1939, to a prediction that the human genome project would find 3% of genes encode gene proteins, to a total of 3207 known zinc proteins. Deficiencies of zinc can happen due to low intake, inadequate zine absorption, increased zic excretion or an increased need of zinc, as in children and pregnant women. The purpose of this paper is to briefly discuss a few of the roles zinc plays in the human body. These include zinc deficiency and impaired calcium entry into cells and its effects (decreased appetite and immune dysfunction), zinc and male infertility, as well as zinc and diabetes.
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