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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Zinc is a component of several enzymes in your body that aid metabolism and reside primarily in your bones. It's also part of the hormone insulin, and it helps transport Vitamin A. In men, it's a very important substance for protecting the prostate (PROS-tate) gland from enlargement. It also helps in healing wounds (WOONDS) and fighting infections. Zinc's the substance in calamine (CAL-uh-mine) lotion that soothes rashes and insect bites. Many people these days also have started taking zinc tablets or lozenges for colds. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include stunted growth, reduced taste perception, poor healing of wounds, sterility, poor alcohol tolerance, low sperm count, and delayed sexual maturity. Some food sources that are rich in zinc include oysters, lima (LYE-muh) beans, whole wheat products, pumpkin seeds, Swiss cheese, oatmeal, soybeans, and yogurt.

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