Our immune system is designed in way that can fight off foreign cells to protect us against various allergies and illnesses. As COVID-19 continues its grip the world, it is emphasized time and again to boost immunity through either diets or supplements.
Apart from Vitamin C and D, Zinc is another nutrient that has been identified as an essential mineral for our immune systems. Zinc is associated with many biological functions in a human body and is involved in multiple cellular processes. Zinc is vital for more than 300 enzymes in the body, plays a key role in protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis and cell division. It is also required for proper sense of taste and smell. Besides, zinc makes a key component of WBC that fights infections.
Ironically, despite being an essential nutrient, human body cannot produce or store zinc on its own. Therefore, it needs to be supplemented through diet. To add to it, a large percentage of Indians have a lower intake of zinc than the required levels for optimal immune function. Zinc deficiency dampens innate and adaptive immune responses. Zinc deficiencies are evident by oxidant stress, increased inflammatory process, and life-threatening situations, as well as premature cell death at the cellular and sub-cellular levels.