Based on strong scientific evidence, the trace mineral zinc may be beneficial for zinc deficiency, diarrhea and stomach ulcers, as noted by Mayo Clinic. Other scientific evidence seems to indicate that zinc may possibly be useful for Wilson's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, immune problems and herpes simplex virus, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The essential trace mineral zinc is needed for many different bodily functions, including wound healing, blood clotting, growth and the senses of taste and smell. It also is important for the body's immune system and its antioxidant properties. A main benefit or use of zinc is for patients with zinc deficiency. There are many different causes of zinc deficiency, such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease, alcoholism, anorexia and diets that do not contain enough of the daily requirement for this mineral. For adults, the recommended daily allowance for this trace mineral is between 8 and 11 milligrams, states the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Symptoms of a zinc deficiency are loss of appetite, growth problems, hair loss, decreased levels of insulin, being irritable and diarrhea, states WebMD. Elderly people may also have a zinc deficiency if they are not getting it though the foods they eat or supplementation. Patients with a zinc deficiency can be treated through supplementation effectively. Additionally, zinc may be beneficial for the healing of stomach ulcers, acne, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sickle cell anemia, but further studies are necessary to determine its true efficacy for these conditions.
Although zinc is an important supplement to get through either food or supplementation, taking high doses of zinc can lead to toxic effects.