Zinc is also critical for immune function. Deficiency in animals causes shrinkage of the thymus gland (a major immune gland), a progressive loss of T-cells and macrophages, impaired B and T-cell function, reduced antibody recall, and other immune deficiencies.
Zinc is not stored in the body, so must be regularly replaced through diet or supplementation.
NHANES, a very large, long-term study, found that the greatest risk for zinc deficiency was in children ages 1 to 3, adolescent girls ages 12 to 19, and the elderly over age 71.
Zinc can reduce the duration and severity of colds and cough, but only if the ionized form of zinc is used. Zinc gluconate had no beneficial effect when combined with chelating substances such as citrate, tartrate, amino acids, aspirin, or EDTA.
Pure zinc acetate was very effective, as it releases the ions — especially when it is dissolved in water Other manufacturers offer pure ionic zinc.
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