This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Kristen Rohrer.

Are there unexpected benefits from taking zinc supplements?

Yes: Zinc plays a crucial role in growth and development. It also is involved on over 300 different enzymatic reactions within the body! It truly is a wondrous mineral and deficiency can lead to countless symptoms, including slowed growth, lines on your finger nails as well as inflexible nails. Inside the body, zinc function is classified into three main roles: catalytic, structural and regulatory. All of these roles involve cellular activity, from working as a cofactor, to an antioxidant with other vitamins, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system!

Another unexpected benefit is that it fosters neurological development and DNA transcription/translation! These are potent factors that tend to decline with aging, so zinc supplementation can work wonders!

Keep in mind that zinc can interfere with other vitamins and nutrients so be careful not to take mega doses; for example, too much zinc causes calcium excretion and vice versa, and the same phenomenon has been exhibited with supplemental iron.

One of my favorite roles that zinc plays is with vitamin A; Without proper zinc, vitamin A cannot be transported into the blood and zinc also transforms vitamin A into the active form (from retinol to retinal) for proper eye sight! That's why zinc deficiency has been associated with night blindness. Amazing! Check out my website for more great information!

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