MEANING OF ZINC
zinc n. a *trace element that is a cofactor of many enzymes: it is important in the immune response and has structural properties in some proteins. Deficiency is rare with a balanced diet but may occur in alcoholics and those with kidney disease; symptoms include lesions of the skin, oesophagus, and cornea, alopecia, and (in children) retarded growth. The adult RNI (see DIETARY REFERENCE VALUES) is 9.5 μg/day for men and 7.0 μg/day for women (an additional 6 μg is needed during lactation). Symbol: Zn.