Zinc in health and chronic disease

J Nutr Health Aging. 2005;9(1):45-51.


Zinc is a trace element essential for the optimal function of a variety of biochemical and physiological processes. Its role in healthy aging is particularly important as it prevents neo plastic cell growth, is involved in mitotic cell division, DNA and RNA repair. Although zinc is widely available in food, the daily intake in many persons may be suboptimal. Other causes of low zinc concentrations may be due to small bowel conditions that cause mucosal damage and thus decrease absorption. Chronic diseases associated with alterations in zinc status are bronchial asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer disease. At present it is uncertain if therapy with zinc would assist in the management of these chronic diseases. In view of the important cellular functions of zinc in the human body, a diet with an adequate zinc content is beneficial in promoting healthy aging and maintaining good health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Zinc / deficiency*
  • Zinc / pharmacokinetics
  • Zinc / physiology*
  • Zinc / therapeutic use


  • Zinc