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Zinc is important to the body in so many ways. By functioning as an antioxidant, zinc can help reduce the damage caused by free radicals.

However, zinc may have attributes that the typical antioxidant lacks. Researchers have found that supplemental doses of zinc have had the effect of revitalizing the functioning of the thymus gland, which is crucial to T-cell production and a strong immune system.

Zinc is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain the immune, reproductive, and digestive systems. It is needed for healthy skin, bones, hair, nails, and eyes, and is essential for making growth hormones and the important male hormone, testosterone.

Zinc may also speed your recovery from cold and flu, canker sores, sore throat, and skin injuries, and reduce the symptoms of tinnitus, acne, and eye problems.

Additionally, because zinc promotes a strong immune system, it may be effective in battling autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Zinc is especially important to the maintenance of healthy skin. It helps the body process the essential fatty acids needed to heal burns (including sunburns), wounds, hemorrhoids, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and acne.

If you are being treated for acne, ask your doctor about the best way to add zinc supplements to your regimen. Zinc can help all skin wounds heal more quickly, and may therefore be especially useful to people with diabetes that are experiencing slow wound healing, and for people who are recovering from surgery.

Zinc is more concentrated in certain parts of the body, such as the inner ear, eyes (especially the retina), and thymus and prostate glands. Getting enough zinc in your diet is crucial to the health of these organs.

Studies have shown that zinc supplements lessened the effects of both tinnitis (ringing in the ears), and macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in individuals over age 50. Zinc also protects the eyes by enhancing the effects of vitamin A, a vitamin known to promote good vision, and may speed recovery from conjunctivitis (pink-eye) and other inflammatory eye diseases.

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