Zinc is a trace mineral that the body only needs in small amounts to maintain the functions which it supports.
And it’s necessary for bodily functions such as over 200 enzymatic functions, immune health, DNA division, protein synthesis, growth and development, heart health, and more.
Now, there are many different forms of zinc found in the abundance of products available but ‘elemental’ zinc (actual amount of zinc in a supplement) varies between each form.
However, each has its potential benefits and we’re going to break our best picks down for you so that you may have a better understanding of this essential mineral.
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Pure Encapsulations Zinc 30
Each serving of Pure Encapsulations contains 30mg of zinc picolinate which research shows to be better-absorbing than citrate and gluconate. (1)
Picolinic acid is a mineral chelator which attaches to minerals after being secreted into the small intestine by the pancreas for superior absorption.
The brand definitely pumps out quality products and you’re getting the active ingredient without the stuff you don’t want.
Potential Zinc Benefits/Uses
Studies support zinc for many uses although we can’t say for sure that there are any guaranteed effects from supplementation.
Research shows that zinc has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties staving off disease-causing free-radical formation. Inflammation often results in health issues related to the heart, blood sugar, and it causes the perfect environment for all types of cancers. But there are actually many ways to combat this and consuming sufficient zinc can offer therapeutic benefits. (2, 3)
A total of 24 studies combined in one review found that zinc supplementation not only has favorable effects on plasma lipid parameters but it has also been shown to significantly reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Well, from these same studies, it was concluded that zinc supplementation may have the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality related to atherosclerosis. (4)
Immune System Health
Zinc is popular in its use for maintaining a healthy immune system. And according to a study, supplementing with zinc can reduce the duration of common cold symptoms in healthy people when administered within 24 hours of noticing the symptoms. (5)
Zinc definitely plays a role in blood sugar health, and scientific literature supports its potential benefits for improving one’s sensitivity to insulin; which is the hormone that plays a big role in the distribution of glucose to cells for energy. (6, 7)
There are also many other potential benefits and uses of zinc.
WellnessOneWorld Liquid Zinc
A serving of this liquid zinc concentrate supplies 15mg of the essential mineral with what the company claims to be at a 99% absorption rate.
So, you get 100% of the daily value for zinc with each serving and the ingredients are ultra-pure water and zinc from ionized zinc sulfate.
A serving size is 10 drops and there are 100 servings per bottle which comes with a glass dropper for easy administration.
Jarrow Formulas is a top-notch brand among supplement users.
Their zinc balance formula contains 15mg of zinc L-methionine sulfate in addition to 1mg copper (15:1 ratio of zinc to copper) which is an ideal combination for immune system health and antioxidant support.
This form of Zinc L-Methionine prevents absorption interference from fiber and phytic acid to effectively reach the bloodstream.
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc
A dose of this quality product contains 30mg of zinc in addition to 60mg of vitamin C. But there’s also a raw organic fruit and vegetable blend for its many health benefits, in addition to 150mg of a trace mineral blend plus 60% of the Raw probiotic and enzyme blend to support digestive health.
Probiotics are live microorganisms which make up gut bacteria and supplements are a great way to restore and maintain healthy gut flora.
So, you not only get your daily zinc but some other potentially beneficial ingredients as well.
Pure Premium Supplements Zinc Oxide/Citrate
A dose of this premium quality zinc supplement supplies 50mg of zinc oxide/citrate. Citrate is as absorbable as zinc gluconate without food and is a viable option for preventing zinc deficiency and even diarrhea. Although, oxide is less soluble without food.
But the product is formulated in the U.S. and claims to be a highly bioavailable form.
Thorne Research Zinc Picolinate
Thorne is another top brand that churns out amazing products and their zinc supplement is certainly no different supplying 15mg of zinc picolinate per serving; which again is a highly absorbable form of zinc as explained previously; that’ll support optimal health and a great option for active individuals due to the high absorption rate.
Peak Performance Raw Whole Food Zinc
We can really appreciate that this product contains raw whole food zinc (30mg) and vitamin C (60mg) as well in addition to an organic fruit and vegetable blend (60mg) for enzyme retention to aid in the digestion process.
And this product is also third-party tested for purity and potency so you really can’t go wrong with the quality and user satisfaction.
Magwell by Livewell Zinc and Vitamin D3
Sure, you’ll get 7.5mg of zinc picolinate but this formula also includes vitamin D3 for bone, immune system, and heart health. Not to mention, there’s 53% daily value of magnesium in three forms (citrate, glycinate, and malate) to support nerve and muscle health plus much more (it’s what minerals do).
Pure Micronutrients Pure Zinc (Zinc Chelate)
Pure Micronutrients Pure Zinc contains 25mg of zinc bisglycinate chelate TRAACS (registered trademark of Albion Laboratories Int’l) which is a highly absorbable form of zinc.
It’s just another form which is very useful for getting your daily zinc intake to prevent deficiency.
Vimergy Organic Liquid Zinc
Vimergy liquid zinc contains 7.5mg of zinc sulfate per serving in with a high absorption rate to ensure quick delivery of the quality trace mineral.
There’s 52-56 drops per serving with about 57 servings.
Bulk Supplements Zinc Gluconate Powder
Bulk Supplements is known for having totally simple, yet quality products. Well, each serving of this powder contains 64mg of zinc gluconate powder and nothing else.
Gluconate is one of the more common zinc forms and it definitely does the job of supplying your body with quality zinc.
KAL Zinc 30 Orotate
And for the last on our list, the zinc contained in this supplement is bound to orotic acid and is a very common, yet effective form of zinc due to the better bioavailability. So, KAL zinc 30 is a viable option for supplementing your daily zinc intake. (10)
How Much Zinc Should I Take?
Considering different supplements contain varying amounts of elemental zinc, this really depends, and supplement labels should disclose this amount.
But the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults is 11mg for men and 8mg for women (11mg for pregnant and 12mg for lactation). However, the tolerable upper intake levels (UL’s) are 40mg for both men and women (same for pregnant and lactating). (11)
As for children to teens, the recommended dose ranges from 5-8mg for ages 4-13 and then it’s even less for toddlers and infants.
Possible Side Effects
It’s always recommended to stick within the recommended dose ranges to ensure you get the potential benefits without having any adverse reactions. But, sometimes side effects are inevitable although usually related to the stomach like nausea, diarrhea, etc.
But excessive intake can cause much worse symptoms like flu-like, anemia, neuropathy, and CNS symptoms which is typical with trace minerals. (12)
And high doses of zinc can also cause a copper deficiency which is another mineral important for overall health. (13)
So, the takeaway here is to never exceed recommended doses which is really the case with any supplement.
What About Zinc Deficiency?
Zinc deficiency is linked with impaired immune function, retardation, and loss of appetite. But in general, the more severe instances of deficiency can result in delayed sexual maturation, impotence, eye and skin lesions, hair loss, mental lethargy, weight loss, and more. (11)
Which Foods Contain Zinc?
Many foods contain a decent amount of zinc.
But oysters, in particular, contain more zinc per serving than any other food (74mg for 3 oz). However, most people don’t consume oysters regularly so red meats and poultry are typically the main source.
But Alaskan king crab, fortified breakfast cereals, baked beans, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and other foods contain zinc respectively.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is zinc?
It’s an essential mineral involved in several aspects of cellular metabolism. We need this nutrient for protein metabolism, immune function, DNA synthesis, growth and development, cell division, and the catalytic activity of roughly 100 enzymes.
How much zinc should I take?
This varies due to their being different forms. But the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is as follows.
Adults: 11mg for men and 8mg for women (11mg for pregnant and 12mg for lactation). The tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) are 40mg for both men and women (same for pregnant and lactating).
Children and teens ages 4-13: 5-8mg
Toddlers and infants: 4mg
What are the benefits of zinc?
Zinc has been shown to be anti-inflammatory in addition to potentially having positive effects for immune health, heart health, macular degeneration, wound healing and more.
Can zinc supplementation cause side effects?
Typical side effects of zinc include nausea, dizziness, headache, indigestion, and vomiting.
But when taken in high doses long term, this can cause copper deficiency leading to neurological issues such as weakness and numbness in the arms and legs.
What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?
Although uncommon, zinc deficiency can result in compromised immune function, loss of appetite, impotence, hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, eye, and skin lesions, mental lethargy, weight loss, etc.
There you have it… 12 quality zinc supplements and little information about this essential trace mineral. There are many beneficial uses of zinc and it’s obviously very important for overall health.
And our top picks can help you to fill in your daily needs by supplying your body with proven forms of zinc.