Zinc is Essential to Human Health
Zinc is an essential micronutrient for human health. It is vital for activating growth and physical and neurological development in infants, children and teenagers. Zinc is found in all parts of the body. It is a component in more than 300 enzymes and influences hormones. Zinc also accelerates cell division and enhances the immune system. Zinc is vital in protecting the body from illnesses and fighting infections, and it can reduce the duration and severity of a common cold or halt diarrhea.
Global Zinc Deficiency in Humans
Zinc deficiency in humans is a widespread and global issue with about one-third of the world’s population receiving insufficient zinc through their diets.
Over 450,000 children die each year due to zinc deficiency. The zinc industry, through IZA, launched the Zinc Saves Kids initiative in support of UNICEF‘s global micronutrient supplementation program to address zinc deficiency for at-risk children.
Two billion people worldwide are not getting enough zinc through their diets. Zinc deficiency is a major health problem in developing countries, especially among young children. Zinc deficiency weakens their immune system and leaves them vulnerable to conditions such as diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria. Zinc deficiency is also accountable for impairing physical and intellectual development, preventing children from reaching their full potential. UNICEF estimates that diarrhea accounts for nearly two million deaths in children every year. Diarrhea is preventable and treatable, but in developing countries, only 35% of children with diarrhea receive the recommended treatment of oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements.
For more information, please visit http://www.zinc.org/health.