Zinc (Zn) is found in nearly 100 different enzymes and as such is an essential building block for all life. Zinc is the second most common trace mineral in the body after iron and is present in every living cell.

The human body contains approximately three grams of zinc, the highest concentrations of which are located in the prostate gland and the eye.
Particularly in developing countries, zinc deficiency is regarded as an important public health issue by scientists (1).


Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed by Giorgio La Fata on 29.09.2017

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Things to know about Zinc

  • Supply Situation

    National dietary surveys in Europe and the U.S. estimated that the average dietary zinc intake was 9 mg/day for adult women and 13 mg/day for adult men (62, 3). Read More

  • Deficiency

    Mild zinc deficiency symptoms include impaired physical and neuropsychological development and susceptibility to life-threatening infections in children. Read More

  • Sources

    Foods high in zinc include shellfish, beef, and other red meats. Cashews, almonds, and beans are relatively good plant sources of zinc. Read More

  • Safety

    Isolated outbreaks of acute zinc toxicity have occurred as a result of the consumption of food or beverages contaminated with zinc released from galvanized containers. Read More