Zinc functions as an antioxidant and is important as a component of many enzymes and the catalysts of enzyme systems regulating cell growth, DNA and protein synthesis, energy metabolism, regulation of gene transcription, hormone levels, and growth factor metabolism. For many years, zinc has been used as an atringent, an antiseptic and a skin protectant. Zinc is an important mineral which is essential for protein synthesis and which helps to regulate the production of cells in the body’s immune system. By boosting the immune system, zinc may also protect against fungal infections and various infectious disorders, such as conjunctivitis and pneumonia. Zinc also has some antioxidant properties, which means that it helps protect cells in the body from the potential damage caused by free radicals. Zinc is especially important in the prostate and may protect it from early damage that could lead to cancer. Zinc also plays a role in the regulation of appetite, stress level, taste, and smell. It is essential for normal growth and development, and for most aspects of reproduction in both males and females. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.