Eli5 how zinc fights sicknesses


How does zinc work against different illnesses like colds and flu and maybe even bacterial infections?

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In truth, there is little conclusive evidence to support that zinc does much of anything to fight the classic cold or flu, virus, bacteria, or otherwise. Your immune system may be compromised if you have a zinc *deficiency* but beyond that…

Zinc deficiency can cause problems in multiple body systems – immune system, skin, digestion and others.

If you have adequate zinc, then supplementing is not useful.

However, a few people do have zinc deficiency – vegans or people with restricted diets, people with inflammatory bowel disease or matlab sorption, people with malnutrition, people with diseases or taking medication which affects absorption of minerals (eg. Hiv)