A human body requires various minerals and vitamins for its optimum function. One of those nutrients is zinc. We take it in the form of food. Zinc is responsible for various functions like supporting cell functions, helping in chemical reactions, boosting immune function, helping in cell division, promoting wound healing, maintaining the sense of smell and taste etc. It is also significant for your growth and development. Zinc deficiency is characterised by symptoms like appetite loss, poor immune function, delayed sexual maturity, diarrhoea, hair loss, poor wound healing, unexplained weight loss etc. According to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, around 1.1 billion people world-wide are zinc deficient due to inadequate dietary intakes. As far as its diagnosis is concerned, a simple blood or urine test can tell you if your body is zinc deficient. If you have this nutrient in a very less amount, your doctor would recommend you eating zin-containing foods like baked beans, milk, chickpeas, yogurt etc. And, if you want to prevent this condition, you need to know about the risk factors associated with it. Read on to know about them.