Zinc Strengthens Your Immune Defenses : Terry Talks Nutrition

Study Spotlight

Study Spotlight

Zinc Strengthens Your Immune Defenses

While it is normal to think of cold and flu season when it comes to strengthening the immune system, any compromise or imbalance in that system can lead to a number of illnesses. Deficiencies, even of common nutrients, can make a much bigger difference than we might otherwise think.

Zinc has been considered a critical mineral for immune strength for preventing colds and flus (or at least shortening their duration) for some time. This study found that deficiencies of zinc also put children at risk of atopic dermatitis.

The researchers found that there was in fact a link between this autoimmune condition and a lack of zinc in the diet, especially in cases of severe atopic dermatitis. They recommend that supplemental zinc could help reduce the symptoms of this difficult to treat condition.

One of the best absorbed forms of supplemental zinc is chelated to the amino acid glycine. This amino acid helps shepherd the mineral through the intestinal wall, allowing it to be readily used by the body.


Ehlayel MS, Bener A, Risk factors of zinc deficiency in children with atopic dermatitis. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020;52(1):18-22. doi:10.23822/EurAnnACI.1764-1489.114

Background and objectives. Zinc deficiency increases risk of infections, allergies and autoimmunity. We wished to determine risk factors in severe atopic dermatitis (AD) and identify of hypozincemia rate. Materials and methods. Retrospective study done on AD children (≤ 14 years) with serum zinc test. Data included demographic and laboratory tests (serum zinc level, IgE, food-specific IgE), and skin tests. Results. 168 AD children, aged 38.9 months with concomitant allergies in 47 (28%), family history of allergies in 131 (80%), and parental consanguinity in 134 (79.9%). AD was mild in 12 (7.2%, SCORAD 15.8) children, moderate in 41 (24.5%, SCORAD 30.4), and severe in 115 (68.3%, SCORAD 69.4). Hypozincemia was observed in 42 (25%, zinc 8.6 ± 1.1 µmoI/L) children and associated only with severe AD (p = 0.0418) and elevated IgE (p = 0.001). Conclusions. Hypozincemia is rather prevalent in AD, and severe AD and high IgE increase its risk. An adjunct oral zinc may help reducing severe poorly responsive AD.

Click for the complete article: Risk Factors of Zinc Deficiency in Children with Atopic Dermatitis

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