Zinc inhibits cAMP-induced, chloride-dependent fluid secretion by inhibiting basolateral potassium (K) channels, in in-vitro studies with rat ileum. This study has also shown the specificity of Zn to cAMP-activated K channels, because zinc did not block the calcium (Ca)-mediated K channels. As this study was not performed in Zn-deficient animals, it provides evidence that Zn is probably effective in the absence of Zn deficiency. Zinc also improves the absorption of water and electrolytes, improves regeneration of the intestinal epithelium, increases the levels of brush border enzymes, and enhances the immune response, allowing for a better clearance of the pathogens.
Zinc has been identified as a cofactor for over 70 different enzymes, including alkaline phosphatase, lactic dehydrogenase and both RNA and DNA polymerase. Zinc facilitates wound healing, helps maintain normal growth rates, normal skin hydration and the senses of taste and smell.