ZINC-“The story of Mega-functions of a Micro-nutrient”


The complexity of Human brain resembles to that of a dense Ash tree.The cross-linkage between the neurons with a main trunk -the Axon,collectively forms the nervous system.This network of neurons is involved in the synaptic transmission,as a result of neural activity,new pathways are developed.The Facilitated and Inhibited pathways,develops a neural circuitry.These new pathways are known as,’Memory Traces’.

From this Complicated Process,the situations,conditions,time,place and ideas are stored in the form of “Memories”. Human brain has many parts,in which,The cortical region and Hippocampus are involved in the Spatial learning and behaviors.But for the proper functioning of all parts of Brain,better Diet is prerequisite.The word ‘Better-Diet’ involves the utilization of both Macro as well as Micro-nutrients in equivalent proportions.Macro-nutrients are involved in building up the Mega-structures of human body and micro-nutrients play a major role in providing Balance to human life. The well-known eight essential trace elements,are like the eight notes,in an octave of music.Where music sounds incomplete without them,The human Body is also Incomplete without having these eight essentials.As Iodine is necessary for better thyroid functions,Copper helps in Collagen Synthesis,Chromium is needed for Glucose-metabolism.Selenium is a part of Glutathione peroxidase chain,working as an Anti-oxidant(free radical Scavenger) acts as Anti-aging agent.Iron is involved in heme synthesis,Fluoride is required for strengthening the Teeth,Manganese is an essential element for cartilage synthesis.

As for the Zinc ,it is a newly recognized micro-nutrient,which plays an incredible role in human physiology and has a very interesting background story.

  • Early in 1869,A chemist from the university of Lyon (France),Professor Jules Raulin,observed that zinc was utilized by the fungus “Aspergillus Niger” for its growth.Prior to that zinc was not considered as a ‘growth-element’. In 1926,Zinc was reported to be essential for the growth of large Vascular plants.
  • Then in 1934,Conrad Elvehjem,Wilbert Todd,and Edwin Hart Reported that, Zinc is required for the growth an development in Rats,after a research on rats with Zinc utilization in Wisconsin.
  • 1955,was the year in which Zinc was reported for its therapeutic effect,when Tucker and Salmon reported for the first time,that zinc is useful in curing the skin lesions which occurred in ‘Parakeratosis disease’,which affected a large number of Swines.
  • While,Savage and O’dell  observed a better growth of Poultry when Zinc was provided in a proper proportions(1958).
  • A clear evidence of Human Zinc Deficiency began to Emerge During the early 1960’s,when Dr.Anada Prasad,first reported cases of dwarfism and delayed sexual maturity(Hypogonadism),among the middle Eastern Adolescents.

Recently a study was carried out on Rodents,in a University of Germany,in order to determine the Effects of Zinc Deficiency in the mental-Growth and Spatial learning behaviors.Apart from the Teratogenic Effects,when Zinc deprived rats were subjected to Morris water Maze test,they showed a poor memory,whereas the rats with proper zinc-Diet were able to locate the platform rapidly and efficiently,proved to have a better spatial Learning abilities. Zinc-Deficiency also induces Depression,Observed from FST(Forced Swim Test),where the immobility of animal is taken as a sign of Depression.Besides Depression Zinc-deficiency also contributes to an increased aggressiveness and irritability in both Animals and Humans alike.In one such study,when Zinc-Deficit Rats were subjected to an Elevated plus-maze,the time spent in the open arm decreased,showing that the rats were suffering from aggression and anxiety. According to a Recent research,Zinc helps in gaining body weight,and stimulated bone mineralization and it may be involved in changing the radiographic bone density of mandible. All the Above tests proved that zinc Deficiency results in Emotional alterations,depression,Growth-retardation and a poor memory and learning practices. There are a number of effects that signals zinc-deficiency starting from,the growth of nails,hairs,sense of taste and Smell,High blood Cholesterol,Low blood sugar levels,stunted growth in children,and problems related to male and Female Reproductive system.

463px-ARS_-_Foods_high_in_zincNevertheless,As every lock is produced along with a Key to open it,the Presence of Diseases indicates the presence of Cure along with them.There are a number of Zinc-containing dietary products which replenishes the zinc-deficiencies,including the Seafood,beef,wheat germ(toasted),Spinach,Pumpkins,Squash Seeds,Cashew-nuts,Cocoa,chicken,beans,cooked-white mushrooms,and Almonds respectively.


The Effects of Zinc as an Anxiolytic,has opened a new window in the field of Bio-medical Sciences ,to introduce a new Class-anxiolytics,which will be beneficial for those suffering from Anxiety-disorders.And to bring their lives back to a balanced Anxiety-free life style.


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