Too much zinc can cause gastrointestinal irritation (upset stomach), interfere with copper absorption and cause copper deficiency, and (like too little zinc) cause immune deficiency. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the Recommended Dietary Allowance of zinc is 8 milligrams per day for women age 19+ years and 11 milligrams per day for men age 19+ years.
- Zinc finger
A finger-shaped fold in a protein that permits it to interact with DNA and RNA. The fold is created by the binding of specific amino acids in the protein to a zinc atom. Zinc-finger proteins regulate the expression of genes as well as nucleic acid recognition, reverse transcription and virus assembly.
- Zinc ointment
A topical preparation that contains zinc and is applied to protect the skin from irritation or sunburn. Zinc ointment is also often the basis for commercial preparations for preventing diaper rash. It should not be used on skin that is already broken or irritated, however.
- Zinc oxide
An ingredient found in creams and ointments used to prevent or treat minor skin burns and irritation including sun burns and diaper rash.
- Zinc sulfate
A form of zinc that can be administered in eyedrops. Zinc sulfate is used in some types of eye tests.
- Zinsser disease
Also called Brill-Zinsser disease, recrudescence of epidemic typhus years after the initial attack. The agent that causes epidemic typhus (Rickettsia prowazekii) remains viable for many years and then when host defenses are down, it is reactivated causing recurrent typhus. The disease is named for the physician Nathan Brill and the great bacteriologist Hans Zinsser.