Zn has a number of key roles relating to cell signalling, cell activation, gene expression, protein synthesis and apoptosis. Zn is crucial for the normal development of immune cells. Zn plays an important role in maintaining the activity of a range of immune cells, including neutrophils, monocytes, NK cells, B-cells and T-cells, and Zn-deficient individuals have increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens. Providing Zn for deficient individuals improves immune function and host defence. Studies in at-risk groups indicate significant decreases in the incidence and severity of infectious disease when Zn is provided.

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