Zinc is an essential nutrient for a variety of cellular functions. As a primary activator of the immune system higher levels of Zinc result in a 1000% elevation in alpha interferon levels the primary antiviral immunomodulatory factor. In addition, higher tissue Zinc levels can directly inhibit the proliferation and sustainability of viral pathogens. This effect may be considered to universal to all viruses. Zinc is also a potent antioxidant, potential antidepressant, an essential macronutrient for hair follicle growth and finally may have a role in preventing macular degeneration. Side effects of zinc include nausea so it should be taken with food. At doses over 50 mgs there is a rare chance of Copper depletion which requires eating Copper rich foods including nuts, hummus, shellfish, or salmon.