Zinc is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system. This essential trace element is required for the activity of over 300 enzymes and is involved in most major metabolic pathways. The immune system depends on zinc in almost every aspect. Zinc bolsters the immune system and makes wounds heal faster. It is integral to the growth and maintenance of body tissues. It also plays a major role in the development of fetuses and the growth of children.
General signs of zinc deficiency are sleep disturbances, diarrhea, poor appetite, unhealthy skin, behavioral problems, inability to heal wounds, and chronic infections. Some individuals who have consistently low zinc values may have a genetic condition called pyroluria. This condition causes abnormally high kryptopyrroles in the urine which binds to zinc making it unavailable to the body.
Zinc has an inverse relationship with copper in the body. This means that as zinc goes down, copper goes up and vice versa. The evaluation of these metals are more relevant when they are observed in tandem with each other.
Biotinase deficiency, an inborn error of metabolism in autism and Rett's syndrome, is dependent on Zinc. Biotinase helps to break down peptides, including those with opiate-type reactivity.
Combining zinc supplementation with cimetidine (Tagamet) has proven to be very successful in the treatment of recurrent infections in patients with immune deficiency (Int J Clin Lab Research 27: 79-80, 1997).
Serum: 2 mL of serum drawn into a royal blue-topped no additive tube is the absolute minimum. The serum must be removed from the specimen within 4 hours of collection.
THIS TEST IS ALSO KNOWN AS:
- PRUEBA DE ZINC
- TEST DE ZINC
- TESTE DE ZINCO