Zinc gluconate is a white to almost white solid that is soluble in water, practically insoluble in anhydrous ethanol and methylene chloride. It is a popular form for the delivery of zinc as a dietary supplement providing 14.35% elemental zinc by weight. It is also used to treat the common cold. The structure is shown in fig. 1.
The trace element zinc is critical to many biological processes. Zinc gluconate is a dietary supplement for the purpose of providing zinc. It mainly has the following functions.
Zinc deficiency leads to taste decline, anorexia and partial food. As a dietary supplement, zinc gluconate is beneficial to maintain the normal appetite of the human body.
Zinc deficiency in children and adolescents leads to growth retardation and gut microbiota dysbiosis. When zinc deficiency is severe, it will caused “dwarf” and poor intellectual development. As a dietary supplement, zinc gluconate can promote the growth and development of children and adolescents.
Sufficient zinc can effectively ensure the development of the thymus, and the normal differentiation of T lymphocytes, which promotes cellular immune function. Therefore, zinc gluconate is beneficial to enhance human immunity.
Zinc deficiency affects the metabolism of vitamin A, which protects normal vision. As a dietary supplement, zinc gluconate is beneficial to promote vitamin A absorption.
Zinc gluconate is also used against rhinoviruses, which are considered the main pathogens of the common cold. ICAM-1 is a receptor presents on nasal epithelium and in rhinovirus structure. Rhinoviruses attach to endothelial cells via ICAM-1 to produce inflammation and other common immune responses. The mechanism of action of zinc gluconate is that the dissolved zinc ions compete with the ICAM-1 receptors to prevent rhinovirus attachment and replication in nasal epithelial cells for reducing inflammation in nasal tissues. Studies have demonstrated that zinc gluconate effectively and significantly shortens the duration of the common cold when it was administered within 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.
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