The Role Of Zinc In The Body – Zinc (Zn) is an essential trace mineral and the second most abundant micronutrient in the human body after iron. It is essential for many physiological functions and is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism. Zinc is found in abundance in the brain, muscles, bones, kidneys and liver, with the highest concentrations in the prostate and eye area. It is required for the catalytic activity of nearly 100 enzymes, as well as for immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA and RNA synthesis, signal transduction, cell division, hair growth, and skin health. In addition, zinc is essential for normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence, and is essential for the proper sense of taste and smell. To perform this versatile function, zinc must be properly distributed throughout the body. An adult human body contains about 2-4 grams of zinc. To maintain a steady state, the body needs daily intake of zinc because it cannot synthesize or store zinc. The best sources of zinc include oysters, red meat, poultry and seafood. Beans, nuts, and whole grains can also provide some zinc, but they may contain compounds that prevent zinc from being fully absorbed. The daily zinc requirement depends on age and varies between 8 mg and 13 mg for adults. Zinc is primarily absorbed through the small intestine and excreted primarily through the gastrointestinal tract with some excretion through urine and sweat.

Major causes of zinc deficiency in humans include decreased dietary intake, inadequate absorption, chronic illness, increased use of body systems (such as during pregnancy and lactation), or increased loss of zinc (burns, hemodialysis, hemolysis, diarrhea, etc.). Also, those who undergo gastrointestinal surgery such as weight loss surgery and those who suffer from digestive disorders have decreased zinc absorption and increased urinary zinc loss. Vegetarians and vegans are also at higher risk of zinc deficiency because they do not eat meat, which is a good source of zinc. Also, alcoholics are low in zinc because alcoholic beverages reduce the amount of zinc the body absorbs and increase the amount lost in the urine.

The Role Of Zinc In The Body

The Role Of Zinc In The Body

Zinc deficiency can affect up to two billion people worldwide and is most common in developing countries. At-risk populations include children and older adults. Globally, 17.3% of the population is at risk of zinc deficiency due to dietary insufficiency; In some regions of the world this number is as high as 30%. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized zinc deficiency as a major disease risk factor. Zinc deficiency is characterized by increased lethargy, loss of appetite, impaired immunity and infections. In more severe cases, zinc deficiency causes hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturity, impotence, male hypogonadism, and eye and skin lesions. Weight loss, delayed wound healing, taste abnormalities, cognitive impairment, and mental lethargy may also occur. Some psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression are also associated with low zinc levels. Zinc deficiency during pregnancy adversely affects both mother and fetus. Inadequate zinc in the mother can interfere with both the sequencing and efficiency of the birth process. Mothers suffering from zinc deficiency may also have difficult labor, hemorrhage, uterine dystocia, placental abruption, miscarriage, and fetal malformations. Furthermore, zinc deficiency is believed to be a major cause of infant mortality. During infancy and childhood, during periods of rapid growth and development, zinc deficiency can affect many metabolic processes. Low maternal zinc status is associated with poor attention and poor motor function.

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Some people need to take zinc supplements to meet their daily needs. The amount of zinc absorbed by the body is highly dependent on its bioavailability. Certain dietary components, such as phytate, calcium and phosphate, can reduce the bioavailability of zinc and inhibit its absorption. Also, zinc can interact with some medications, including some antibiotics and diuretics, which can lower zinc levels in the body. Even when zinc supplements are well absorbed, some people may experience stomach upset after taking them. Liposomal delivery systems have been developed to address these issues. Liposomes can encapsulate zinc and protect it from interactions with food compounds that negatively affect its absorption. Liposomes absorb from a different route than other drugs. This will prevent the interaction of zinc with other drugs and medicines that can reduce its bioavailability. Furthermore, liposomes do not allow zinc to directly interact with the gastric mucosa, thus reducing gastrointestinal upset and other side effects. In addition to all these benefits, liposomes are more efficiently taken up by cells and remain in the bloodstream for longer. To be more effective, liposomes must have a small size in the nanoscale range. Nanoliposomal zinc is the best zinc supplement due to its high bioavailability, long circulation time, high stability and no side effects.

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The Role Of Zinc In The Body

Institute of Food Safety and Risk Management, College of Life Sciences, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan

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Received: 1 November 2022 / Revised: 17 November 2022 / Accepted: 17 November 2022 / Published: 20 November 2022

Zinc is an essential trace element, and anemia is the most common blood disorder. The association of zinc with anemia can be divided into three main forms: (1) zinc deficiency contributing to anemia, (2) excess zinc intake leading to anemia, and (3) anemia leading to abnormal blood-zinc levels in the body. In most cases, zinc deficiency coexists with iron deficiency, especially in pregnant women and children of preschool age. In small amounts, zinc deficiency may cooperate with other factors to lead to anemia. It appears that zinc deficiency alone does not cause anemia and that it may require cooperation with other factors to lead to anemia. Zinc overdose is rare. However, excess intake of zinc interferes with copper uptake and copper deficiency occurs leading to anemia. Animal model studies indicate that in anemia, zinc is redistributed from plasma and bone to bone marrow to generate new red blood cells. Inadequate zinc status (zinc deficiency or excess) can influence anemia; At the same time, anemia can render abnormal zinc status in the body. In dealing with anemia, zinc status needs to be carefully monitored, and zinc supplementation may have preventive and curative effects.

Zinc is one of the most important trace elements in organisms and has three main biological roles: catalyst, structural element and regulatory ion. In living organisms, zinc is the second most abundant trace element after iron. The average amount of zinc in the adult human body is about 1.4-2.3 grams. Zinc appears to be a versatile element essential for biological processes and public health. Its biochemistry, physiology, pathology and important role in biology have been reviewed [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. The association of zinc and zinc deficiency with various diseases has also been reviewed [11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19], but the association of zinc and anemia has not been widely reported. Zinc deficiency and excess can contribute to anemia, and abnormal blood zinc levels (low plasma zinc and elevated erythrocyte zinc) can result in anemia. In this review, the effects of zinc deficiency and excess on anemia will be discussed, followed by a description of how anemia can lead to abnormal blood-zinc status in the body, as recently discovered.

Anemia is a decrease in total number

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