BARRIER FUNCTION The skin creates a physical barrier that acts as the body’s first line of defense. Zinc is an essential nutrient that supports the health and integrity of the skin. It is a necessary part of the enzyme collagenase which is involved in the remodeling of collagen, the structural framework of the skin. Zinc is also important for the structure of skin and mucosal cells, supporting the integrity of the body’s outermost barrier the skin as well as the barrier within created by the GI tract.
IMMUNE RESPONSE As we move past the physical barriers of the body, we see zinc has many important roles to play inside the body. Zinc is essential for cell division, which is important for daily maintenance and repair but becomes especially important for rapidly dividing immune cells multiplying to meet the demands of the immune system. Zinc is also involved in the formation of immune proteins such as those involved in the adaptive immune response. The adaptive immune system is highly specific and forms immune memories for future use.
ANTIOXIDANT HEALTH Antioxidants fight free radicals to help promote overall health. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress and damage to cells. Smoking, pollution, the sun and regular body functions like metabolism can all cause free radicals. More importantly, your body can produce heightened amounts of free radicals during stages of the innate immune response. Antioxidants like zinc help to protect your cells from free radicals.