Zinc Both for Man & Machine

Zinc – found somewhere on the right hand side of the periodic table of elements listed as Zn, number 30, apparently hands benefits both to humans and autobots alike. Okay, maybe not on Autobots as they’re from Cybertron and we’re not sure if their metal is the same as ours.

Anyway, we have often heard of this chemical element when it comes to strengthening our immune systems, while also having interesting industrial applications – but what are they and how are they used?

Let’s start with the industrial and mechanical applications:

In ancient times, zinc was used by the Greeks and Romans to make brass that would eventually be forged and hammered into weaponry and coins. Such was common practice in an era of our time that would be known as the Bronze Age. Brass still plays a role in infrastructure and manufacturing, so the use of zinc still applies here to this day through musical instruments, water valves, and furniture.

Galvanization is another major role this wonderful chemical element takes part in. Ever wonder how pipes, posts, and other giant bits of iron and steel tend to last so long without rusting? Galvanization protects them by applying a hot-dip coat of zinc. The coating will be the one to corrode first before anything happens to iron / steel it protects.

Aside from brass, zinc is also used along with other metals like aluminum and magnesium to make other alloys that do well in die casting & spin casting. These two types of casting are extensively used in manufacturing vehicles and hardware equipment.

Now let’s list what zinc does for the human body:

The ancient Romans once used zinc pills as a treatment for sore eyes.

Zinc is sold as a dietary supplement that can work as an anti-oxidant which slows down the ageing of skin and muscles. It can work as a “healing factor” to speed up the recovery from wounds – doesn’t give you an adamantium skeleton or claws though. Too bad. It is also used to treat people suffering from Major Depressive Disorder. It works as a cheap alternative in curing diarrhea. Zinc acetate is said to be the fastest way to deal with the common cold. Still no Wolverine claws though.

Aside from being a supplement / medicine that’s taken orally, Zinc is also applied on the skin and scalp. Zinc pyrithione also kills dandruff, hence this being the primary ingredient for most anti-dandruff shampoos. Zinc protects against sunburn in hot areas and windburn in snowy, windy areas. It can event prevent diaper rash.

Zinc plays a vital role in keeping the hormones in check. It boosts testosterone naturally – which is why athletes take the aforementioned supplement as a means of getting a strength boost. It is needed in female reproductive health to produce estrogen and progesterone. Since this balances hormones, it also balances insulin – what we need to regulate blood sugar and prevent diabetes.

With all that’s said about what zinc can do for you – it’s best you start munching on lots of meat, particularly lamb, beef, turkey and chicken. For the vegans, chickpeas, cashews, mushrooms, and pumpkin seeds are your best bet for stocking up on this wonderful element. Zinc away!