ZINC is one of the essential elements required by man. As one quantitatively ascends the spectrum of ions contained within the human organism, this element is encountered in the transitional zone between micronutrients and macronutrient trace substances. The total body zinc store in the average adult human ranges between 1.2 and 3 gm. This is about one-half the biologic store of iron, 10 to 15 times the store of copper, and 40 times that of iodine. The amount of zinc supplied by an average daily diet is approximately 10 to 15 mg but, as is the case for most orally ingested substances, the fraction actually absorbed from the intestinal tract is influenced by numerous physiologic mechanisms.1-3 Although zinc has been found in essentially all tissues, a preponderant 15% to 20% of the total body stores is concentrated within the skin and its accessory structures.
Quantitative biologic determinations vary according