Zinc is involved in so many of the body's systems that it has other various functions too. It stimulates the healing of wounds and skin irritations, which makes it a useful treatment for acne, burns, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, and it promotes the healthy hair. Research has shown that zinc can down vision loss in people with macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in those aged over 50. Recent studies in Japan, indicated that a zinc supplementation helped to improve tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Zinc may also be useful for alleviating haemorrhoids, osteoporosis, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcers.
Zinc exerts beneficial effects on the production of various hormones, including the sex and thyroid hormones, It could be helpful for enhancing the fertility of both men and women, and is also important for the health of the prostate gland. In addition, it may be effective for individuals with underactive thryroids and, because it improves insulin levels, it may be a positive influence on those with diabetes.
One fifth of zinc in the body is found to be in skin. It helps with the renewal of tissue and is involved in some of the enzymatic reactions necessary for skin's normal oil gland function. The maintenance of the health of several body systems such as the nervous, immune and reproductive systems are influenced by zinc, as are the senses of taste and smell.
When looking for foods rich in zinc, think protein. It is abundant in beef, pork, liver, poultry (especially dark meat), eggs and seafood (especially oysters). Cheese, beans, nuts and wheat germ are other good sources, but the zinc in these foods is less easily absorbed than the zinc in meat. Brazil nuts are excellent sources of zinc: for example, 100 grams of Brazil nuts yield 3-4mg of zinc, about half the daily target for women.