Zinc is a mineral that is critical to the work of more than three hundred enzymes in the body. These enzymes assist in cell reproduction, maintain vision, enhance the immune system, maintain fertility, repair wounds, synthesize protein, and perform many other functions.
Good Food Sources: Oysters, pumpkin seeds, spinach, beef, pecans, cashews, lamb, almonds, turkey, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ.
Signs of Deficiency: Signs of deficiency include slow wound healing, loss of appetite, white spots on fingernails, joint pain, recurrent infection, and acne. Signs of overdose include nausea, vomiting, impaired immunity, high cholesterol, and abdominal pain. Most Americans consume less than the recommended amount of zinc, but those who are most likely to be significantly deficient are alcoholics and people with chronic kidney disease, malabsorption conditions, or sickle cell anemia.
Uses of Zinc: Zinc is used to treat acne, Alzheimer's disease, athlete's foot, bronchitis, bursitis, cataracts, colds and flu, dandruff, ear infection, eczema, gout, herpes, impotence, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, macular degeneration, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, prostate enlargement, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, urinary tract infections, and varicose veins.