Zinc is an essential trace element involved in most major metabolic pathways. General signs of human zinc deficiency indicate that zinc has important functions in maintaining immune function, healthy skin and growth. Numerous studies support the fundamental role of zinc for normal immune response in humans. Immune cells must be able to rapidly divide in order to respond to daily challenges. Like all rapidly dividing cells, immune cells depend on adequate amounts of dietary zinc. Similarly, zinc is required to maintain healthy skin as a component of matrix metalloproteinases. These enzymes break down matrix proteins, including collagen and elastin, which helps in skin remodeling and repair.