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Success S alud VITAL VITAMINS The World Health Organization has declared that the global prevalence of zinc deficiency is at 31%. Zinc plays an important role in cell growth, brain function and our immune system. Could you be depriving your body of zinc and not even know it? TEXT BY FRANCESCA CRUZ Second only to iron, zinc is a vital trace mineral that human beings require to stay healthy. It’s needed for the body’s defense system to properly function. It plays a role in cell division and cell growth and assists the body with the breakdown of carbohydrates. During pregnancy, infancy and childhood, the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly. It helps stimulate 100 different enzymes in the body. It affects learning and memory and helps treat the common cold. Zinc is found in high-protein foods like beef, pork and lamb — much more so than in fish. Other good sources of zinc are nuts, whole grains, legumes and yeast. The average recommended dose per day (although you should always check with your primary doctor) is 11mg for adult males and 9 mg for adult females; Zinc.org. 32