Zinc is arguably one of the most important minerals on the planet. Our brains, our hormones, our immune systems and our skin are just some of the vital organs which need zinc to execute their daily functions. We obtain zinc mostly from red meat and oysters and less so from nuts and seeds with grains and alcohol diminishing our access to this critical substance. This would explain why almost 20% of us are not getting enough of this life-preserving and disease-preventing nutrient. A reduced sense of taste and smell, wounds that are slow to heal, an immune system that fails to protect us against invading microbes like the coronavirus, white spots under the surface of our nails and hair that is losing its vitality and shedding easily, although there are many other causes of this distressing phenomenon, can all be attributed to a lack of zinc.
Aside from these symptoms, a blood test, not often routinely requested by doctors, can highlight a zinc deficiency. When it comes to preventing cancer having sufficient supplies of zinc, often a problem for men who like their alcohol, might help to protect and even treat prostate cancer. The story is a bit more complicated for women. While zinc is essential for the maintenance and function of healthy breast tissue and for the possible prevention of breast cancer, research indicates that breast cancer cell growth might be enhanced by the presence of this nutrient illustrating the complex nature of our relationship with this mineral.