Zinc is a type of silver-gray metal. While zinc is used as
a protective covering for iron and steel to prevent
rusting, is used to make batteries, and is used to make
brass (when combined with copper), it also plays an
important role in human health and is considered as
essential mineral for the body. Most notably, zinc plays
an important role in the functioning of enzymes in the
body. An enzyme is a type of protein that helps produce
chemical reactions in the body. Deficiency of zinc is a
serious public health problem in developing countries
with can impede growth, cause susceptibility to
infection, cause diarrhea, and lead to delayed sexual
Treating arthralgias with ice.
In the worst case scenario, zinc deficiency can cause death. Fortunately, zinc can easily
be found in multivitamins. Too much zinc, though, can cause ataxia (uncoordinated
walking), fatigue/lethargy, and a deficiency in copper.
In the body, most zinc is in the bone, brain, kidney, liver, and muscle, with the highest
levels in the prostate glands and parts of the eye. The prostate is an organ near the
bladder that produces a fluid that is part of semen. Semen is a fluid that is discharged
from a male's penis in order to reproduce with a female. Semen contains high levels of
zinc as well.
Zinc is found in the highest quantities in Australia, Asia, and the United States. Zinciferous means
containing zinc. Zincoid means related to or resembling zinc. Zinc is also known as spelter. Zinc comes
from the German word “zink” which is perhaps related to the word zinke, meaning “prong/point,” a
reference to the pointy appearance of the metal after it is formed. The term appears to have been first
been used by the German-Swiss scientist, Paracelsus, in the 1500s.