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Atomic symbol Zn
Atomic number 30
Atomic mass 65.4 amu
Other Information
Date of discovery 1746
Name of discoverer Andreas Marggraf
Name origin From the German word zinke (meaning jagged or tooth-like)
Uses Metal coating, rust protection (galvanization), brass
Obtained from Zinc blende, calamine

Zinc is one of the oldest metals known to mankind,[1] and a vitamin that is reportedly helpful to build immunity and protect against COVID-19. It is a chemical element with the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. In some historical and sculptural contexts, it is (or was) known as spelter. It is a transition metal.

As reported in a study published in September 2020, "Zinc is a trace element with potent immunoregulatory, antiviral properties and is utilized in the treatment of COVID-19. ... Amongst COVID-19 positive patients, 27 (57.4%) were found Zinc deficient. These patients were found to have higher complications (P = 0.009), ARDS (18.5% vs 0%, P = 0.06), received corticosteroid therapy (P = 0.02), prolonged hospital stay (P = 0.05) and increased mortality (18.5% vs 0%, P = 0.06). The Odds ratio (OR) of developing complications in Zinc deficient COVID-19 patients was 5.54. More patients in the Zinc deficient group ... required ICU care (7 vs 2, P=0.266) and recorded deaths (5 (18.5%) vs 0 (0%), P=0.06) in comparison to patients with normal Zinc levels."[2]

Zinc is most commonly used to galvanize other metals or alloys to make them corrosion resistant. It is also a main constituent of many coins. Zinc is a constituent of the alloy, Brass.

Additionally, Zinc is a trace element essential to life. Deficiency can result in a number of problems, including impaired senses (at least taste, smell, and vision), slowed healing, and reduced immunity to infection. Extreme and prolonged deficiency can lead to kidney, liver, pancreas, or sickle cell diseases, or a host of other issues. Those with a deficiency will usually notice improvement in one or more of these areas if the increase their intake of this mineral.[3] (For example, viral infections can be more easily eradicated, food will taste better, vision will improve, and so on.)

Small pieces of zinc can burn with a blue flame.

Zinc burning


  1. [Zinc, Wide Usage of a Modest Metal: One of the Earliest Metals to have Appeared in Human History]
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S120197122030730X
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/zinc-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/description/DRG-20070269 Retrieved November 20, 2016