Zinc is believed to promote a strong immune system by, among other things, revitalizing the thymus gland and its production of white blood cells. In addition, autoimmune diseases (chronic ailments linked to the improper functioning of the immune system, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia) may also benefit from zinc supplementation. By boosting the immune system, zinc may also protect against fungal infections and various infectious disorders, such as conjunctivitis and pneumonia. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Specifically, zinc may fight colds and flu when taken promptly at the first signs of illness. Zinc lozenges can minimize the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms, accelerate healing of cold and canker sores and sore throat.
Zinc promotes healing of skin wounds, eczema, rosacea, bums, and other irritations and helps control acne. High concentrations of zinc are found in the inner ear. Tinnitus responds favorably when levels are restored to normal.
Zinc appears to boost the effectiveness of Vitamin A, a nutrient well known for its role in keeping the eyes healthy. Zinc also helps to control diabetes, minimize digestive complaints, protect against osteoporosis by promoting mineral absorption and treat hormone-related infertility problems.
Zinc ranks highly among the key nutrients for the health of the prostate gland in men. Some evidence indicates that it may actually reduce an enlarged prostate.