The metallic element is essential for the functional composition of over 100 enzymes.
A zinc finger is a small protein structural motif stabilized by zinc; this creates a unique three-dimensional shape that allows for protein binding. This motif is commonly used for binding DNA and RNA as transcription factors.
Zinc is essential for several enzymes involved in wound healing. Therefore, a zinc deficiency results in the inability to properly heal, especially from superficial cuts.
Zinc deficiency can result in hypogonadism due to poor sex hormone production.
Zinc deficiency can result in decreased hair growth, especially adult hair growth like hair in the axillary and pubic regions.
One of the first signs of zinc deficiency is the distortion of taste.
Zinc deficiency can result in the inability to smell or a distinct change in olfaction.
Zinc deficiency can also present as a nonspecific perioral rash.
Acrodermatitis enteropathica is a disorder that arises from zinc deficiency. Patients display dermatitis, alopecia, and diarrhea. The skin is primarily affected, manifesting as blistering, dry skin, sometimes with pustule formation. These skin lesions are also at risk for secondary infection by bacterial or fungal pathogens.
Zinc deficiency is associated with patients who have alcoholic cirrhosis due to poor dietary intake as well as poor absorption.
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