Zinc helps the formation of new white blood cells, which in turns helps strengthen our defences. It is also known to give strength and vitality to hair, skin and nails. Some experts insist that as many as one in three people suffer from having low zinc levels, which then negatively affects their immune system, fertility and overall well-being.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best zinc supplements on the market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about zinc
- 3.1 What is Zinc exactly?
- 3.2 What functions does zinc have in our bodies?
- 3.3 What is the recommended daily dose of zinc?
- 3.4 Which foods have high levels of zinc?
- 3.5 What are the manifesting symptoms of a zinc deficiency?
- 3.6 Who should consider taking a zinc supplement?
- 3.7 How can I benefit from adding a zinc supplement to my diet?
- 3.8 What types of zinc supplements are there?
- 3.9 What is the price range for zinc supplements in the Canadian market?
- 3.10 Is it possible to take too much zinc?
- 3.11 Can I take zinc supplements if I am pregnant?
- 4 Purchase Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Zinc is an essential trace element, only secondary to iron when it comes to maintaining the body in optimal health conditions.
- Zinc deficiency has been linked to a weak immune system that then has a predisposition to disease. These can be simple discomforts “like the common cold,” or much more serious pathologies such as cancer.
- Zinc is abundant in foods of animal origin. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are poor in zinc, so vegetarians and vegans should pay special attention to their diet to avoid deficiencies of this trace element.
Ranking: The best zinc supplements on the market
Here are the top ranked zinc supplements you can find on the market. In this section we will help you discover which product is best for you. In addition, you will also be able to choose your preferred method of intake or opt for a vegan supplement (free of animal components).
No. 1: Webber Naturals, Zinc 50mg (tablets)
Webber Natural’s is a Canadian company with a commitment to creating quality supplements with the best materials. This pack contains 180 tablets with instructions that are simple: take one tablet daily with a meal a few hours before or after taking other medications, or as directed by your physician. One tablet will provide 50 mg of elemental zinc, exceeding 100% of the daily requirements of this trace element.
Consumers give this supplement an excellent score, emphasizing value for money and ease of use. Overall, those who take this supplement notice an improvement in their defences. They not only report feeling stronger and more energized but also noted becoming less ill during winter months.
No. 2: Jamieson, Zinc 50mg (tablets)
This Canadian brand is loved by consumers. The list of ingredients contains elemental zinc (Gluconate) 50 mg, sorbitol, cellulose, modified cellulose gum and vegetable magnesium stearate. It is free of salt (NaCl), sugar, starch, gluten, lactose, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
Buyers rated this product very highly. The benefits vary greatly from consumer to consumer, but in general a decrease in acne was found, an improvement in memory and an increase in testosterone levels. These beneficial effects took from several weeks to a month to emerge for most buyers.
No. 3: Nature’s Bounty, Zinc 50mg (tablets)
One pack of this supplement contains 100 tablets, each containing 50 mg of zinc. One tablet provides approximately twice the daily requirement of this trace element. This product’s non-medical ingredients are: Croscarmellose Sodium, Dibasic Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Stearate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Silicon Dioxide and Stearic Acid.
Criticism, mostly positive, highlights the confidence provided by a brand of supplements that has existed since 1947. The positive effects of this product were especially noted to help maintain healthy skin and immune function. Negative criticisms focus on the form of administration in tablets being difficult for some people to swallow.
No. 4: Trace Minerals Research, Zinc (liquid)
Each bottle of this product contains over 72 different trace minerals. The presentation of this supplement is super easy to take by using a dropper to add the right amount to any liquid or food. This product is non-GMO.
Many consumers switch to this brand when they have not achieved the desired effect with other types of supplements. The unique method of intake and its high efficiency makes it a favourite for many, mainly those who find it difficult to supplement with pills.
No. 5 : Thorne Research, Zinc Citrate (capsules)
This is a well-absorbed zinc supplement. This is because the low molecular weight of organic acids, such as citrate, have a positive effect on zinc absorption. This means it efficiently absorbed Krebs cycle chelate. This product meets Canadian food and supplement standards. Consumers rave about its high capacity for absorption, and its been reported to support immune function and promote reproductive health.
Its list of ingredients is as follows: Zinc (Zinc Citrate) 30 mg. Non-Hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, L-Leucine, Microcrystalline Cellulose, and Silicon Dioxide. Product reviews come back great and they are focussed on this product’s great value for its price.
Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about zinc
A little known fact about this trace mineral is that more than a hundred metabolic reactions require it to be present in order for them to take place. Broadly speaking, it is possible to divide these processes into three groups:
- Regulation of enzymatic (chemical) reactions at a cellular level
- Connective tissue formation (wound healing)
- Protection (shielding DNA from oxidation damage and promoting the formation of new white blood cells)
What is Zinc exactly?
Zinc is recognized as an essential trace element for the well-being of our bodies. This mineral is found in small concentrations in all cells: an adult usually has a total of 2-4 g of zinc in their body.
In 1961, a population of malnourished children suffering from stunted growth was treated with zinc supplements. The experiment was a success and a clear improvement of the children’s symptoms as observed. Since then, we make sure to take into account the importance of zinc for the proper development and maintenance of tissues in the body.
Although a healthy person only needs to ingest a tiny amount of zinc to meet their daily requirements, it is increasingly common to find people who suffer from a zinc deficiency. Growing children, the elderly, pregnant or breast feeding women who don’t eat enough animal products or foods rich in seeds and fibre are at risk of developing a zinc deficiency.
What functions does zinc have in our bodies?
Zinc intervenes in the processes of cell replication, DNA protection and hormonal regulation throughout the body. Here are the features that have been discovered to date:
|Immune||Creation of new white blood cells, reinforcement of the immune system.|
|Brain||Fuels neural connections and aids in the management of stress.|
|Skin, hair and nails||Defence of the epithelial barrier. Tissue regeneration (scarring). Antioxidant and it supports hair and nail growth.|
|Cellular metabolism||Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Shield for DNA.|
|Reproductive||Increases fertility, libido and sexual function.|
|Sensory (taste, sight, smell)||Preserves vision, improves night vision. Sensitizes the taste buds and smell. Increases appetite.|
|Cardiorespiratory||Improves respiratory and cardiac function. Regulates blood pressure. Supports the creation of white blood cells.|
What is the recommended daily dose of zinc?
The recommended dose of zinc varies according to gender, age, and extenuating circumstances:
|Population group||Recommended daily dose|
|Infants 0-6 months||2 mg|
|Infants 7-12 months||3 mg|
|Toddlers 1-3 years||3 mg|
|Children 4-8 years||5 mg|
|Kids 9-13 years||8 mg|
|Teenage Boys 14-18 years||11 mg|
|Teenage Women 14-18 years||9 mg|
|Adult men||11 mg|
|Adult women||8 mg|
|Pregnant or breast-feeding||11 mg|
|Men over 61 years||10 mg|
|Women over 61 years||10 mg|
People over the age of 61 do not consume enough zinc, which interferes with proper wound healing, weakens their immune systems and predisposes them to respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections.
Which foods have high levels of zinc?
Zinc is most commonly available in animal protein and it’s more abundant in meat over fish. Nonetheless, shellfish, especially oysters and clams, contain high amounts of zinc. Within meats, beef and pork contain higher levels of this mineral in comparison to poultry.
Pumpkin seeds, chocolate, yeast, nuts and even wine and beer are also great sources of this trace element. Sadly, cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables don’t contain any zinc, and what’s worse, they do contain phytates or phytic acid, compounds that actually block zinc absorption by the body. It is for this reason that vegetarians and vegans should pay special attention to incorporating zinc into their diet to avoid developing a deficiency of this important mineral.
What are the manifesting symptoms of a zinc deficiency?
A small amount of zinc is lost daily through urine, sweat, stool, and other bodily fluids. In addition, during menstruation and lactation the loss of this trace element increases considerably. The elderly, vegans, vegetarians, alcoholics and people with liver or kidney diseases lose more zinc daily than the average person does.
Keep in mind this mineral regulates a large number of processes at a cellular level, including cell replication and the preservation of genetic material. A lack of zinc will affect the structure and stability of tissues and lead to a deterioration of the immune system. The symptoms that manifest will be more or less serious depending on the severity of the deficit:
- Increased occurrence of colds and/or seasonal flues
- Decreased levels of testosterone (lowered sexual desire and virility)
- Slowing of the metabolism or weight loss
- Decreased night vision
- Hearing difficulties
- Dulled sense of taste; lack of appetite
- Delayed wound healing
- Difficulty concentrating, tiredness and apathy
- Skin problems: acne, wrinkles, dry skin
- Mouth sores
- Hair loss
- White nail marks (leukonychia)
- Stunted and delayed growth in children and adolescents
- Decreased libido in men and women, in men it is also manifests as impotence
- Severe alterations of the senses: taste, smell and sight
- Severe metabolic disorders (insulin and thyroid hormones imbalances)
- Accelerated ageing
- Possible risk of increasing the incidence of cancer
Who should consider taking a zinc supplement?
Zinc supplements are generally recommended to:
- People who lose a lot of fluids through sweat (sportsmen, outdoor and labor workers)
- People who often suffer from colds
- Strict vegans or vegetarians
- Seniors, especially those with vision problems or a loss of appetite
- People with aphthous ulcers, mouth ulcers or halitosis
Zinc supplements are also recommended for:
- People with acne or acne-related scars
- People with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)
- People who have suffered deep burns
- People suffering from muscle cramps and spasms
- People with bone and joint pain
- Hypertensive people taking diuretics (under medical supervision)
How can I benefit from adding a zinc supplement to my diet?
An adequate supply of zinc will have a positive influence on your overall and complete state of health. It protects DNA from oxidation, promotes cell division, strengthens our defences and stimulates hormone production. Therefore, adding a zinc supplement to your diet may offer the following benefits:
- Decreased occurrence of seasonal flues, colds and gastrointestinal diseases
- Healthier nails and hair that not only fall out and break less, but they also grow at a faster rate
- Wounds heal faster
- It has an antioxidant effect on the skin that prevents the formation of wrinkles and expression lines
- Improves acne, ulcers and cold sores
- Increases testosterone levels in men and women (heightened sexual desire and virility)
- Helps prevent sport related injuries and promotes faster healing of wounds
What types of zinc supplements are there?
In order to be able to package zinc for ingestion, the manufacturer needs to combine this mineral with other elements. Electrical charges are generally used to bond zinc to other organic elements. This is known as the chelation process. Once the supplement has been ingested, the organism degrades this compound to obtain zinc in pure form.
You should keep in mind that these compounds can alter the absorption of zinc and influence our experience with the supplement. Therefore, it is necessary for you to know the main formulas and combinations in order to be able to choose a product suitable for your needs:
- Zinc orotate: This compound combines two molecules from orotic acid. Bacteria in the intestinal tract is able to synthesize this acid under normal conditions. It is associated with a greater absorption and assimilation of zinc.
- Zinc picolinate : Picolinate is an organic acid capable of passing through the cell membrane. It is therefore very effective in improving the absorption and transport of zinc.
- Zinc bisglycinate : To create this supplement zinc is combined with two small amino acids of glycine. Its absorption is similar to that of zinc picolinate.
- Zinc gluconate : This is the most common form of zinc supplementation. In it, zinc is associated with an acid that comes from glucose to allow its absorption. Those who object its use claim that this is the compound with the least absorption.
- Zinc citrate: Citrate is a salt derived from citric acid. Its absorption capacity is similar to that of zinc gluconate.
What is the price range for zinc supplements in the Canadian market?
Zinc supplements are generally quite inexpensive. This is due to the small amount of mineral needed for adequate supplementation. Please note that most manufacturers offer packages with 365 capsules. This is convenient since a single purchase assures a sufficient supply of zinc to last a whole year.
The following table outlines the main compounds and its price on average:
|Zinc orotate||17 to 20 CAD$|
|Zinc picolinate||10 to 30 CAD$|
|Zinc bisglycinate||15 to 20 CAD$|
|Zinc gluconate||7 to 20 CAD$|
|Zinc citrate||5 to 15 CAD$|
Is it possible to take too much zinc?
Yes. Experts have a slogan for zinc: “no deficiencies, no excesses”. It is crucial that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and do not take more zinc than recommended.
An excess of zinc will cause immediate negative effects: vomiting, headache, muscle cramps and general malaise.
In addition, excessive zinc ingestion for a prolonged period of time (sometimes months or just weeks) will lead to developing chronic metabolic malfunctions. These include anaemia, immune function failures and cholesterol alterations. Talk to your doctor if you intend to use zinc supplements on an ongoing basis.
Consumers have developed “strategies” to avoid excessive zinc accumulation. Some take this supplement only during the coldest months of the year (protecting themselves from seasonal flus). Other buyers prefer to take half a dose rather than a full tablet.
Can I take zinc supplements if I am pregnant?
The relationship between zinc and female fertility is controversial. Women seeking pregnancy, pregnant women and breastfeeding women need healthy levels of zinc. On the other hand, excessive zinc intake by the mother can adversely affect the fetus and nursing baby.
In principle, zinc supplementation is not recommended for healthy pregnant women. If you suspect that you may have a zinc deficiency and you are pregnant or looking for get pregnant, consult your doctor or midwife. They will accurately determine, by means of blood analysis, whether or not you need to supplement while in this state.
The following are the most important criteria to consider when choosing a zinc supplement. Before selecting a new product, we recommend you take the time to consider the following characteristics:
- Allergens and interactions
- Desired effect
- Absorption capacity
- Method of intake
- Value for your money
Allergens and interactions
Zinc supplements approved by Canadian health standards have been manufactured with all health guarantees. Most are suitable for vegans and do not contain gluten, sugar or transgenic elements. Always check the labelling and make sure that the supplement you choose meets your requirements; ask your supplier if necessary.
Keep in mind that certain zinc supplements can have negative interactions with the following drugs:
- Zinc is capable of interacting with the most common antibiotics and rendering them inactive. For this reason, it’s important that you take your antibiotic treatment at least two hours before or six hours after ingesting zinc.
- Penicillamine: is a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Zinc prevents the correct absorption of the drug, so before supplementing consult your family doctor. As a general rule, take your medication two hours before or 6 hours after taking the supplement.
Zinc generally has diverse effects throughout the whole body. However, zinc gluconate showed greater effectiveness in preventing infections. Keep details like these in mind when choosing your supplement.
View this post on Instagram
Zinc is a micronutrient that is essential for the development and functioning of the human skin. ⠀ Zinc has a million functions in the human body (maybe a topic for a blog post), but some important ones for skin are: * assists in proper folding of proteins and cell membranes * Improves wound healing * Suppresses inflammation by influencing the production of numerous inflammatory cytokines (signaling molecules) * Protects against UV radiation ⠀ Zinc is best absorbed from animal sources. In plants it's bound to phytates and thus is not bioavailable. Best sources of zinc include organ meats, red meat and seafood such as oysters and scallops. ⠀ Studies have confirmed that patients with acne are often deficient in zinc and oral supplementation has been shown to be as effective as antibiotic tetracycline in treatment of acne. However, supplementation at effective doses has unpleasant side effects. So I'd suggest getting more zinc rich foods in your diet first before considering supplementation. ⠀ Important note: Zinc reduces absorption of copper, so it's important to make sure copper levels do not drop too low when supplementing with zinc. Another reason to go with food sources first due to synergistic effect of nutrients. * * * #beautyinsideandout #selenium #glutathionecapsules #detoxification #noacne #acnetreatment #acneproneskin #acneproblems #functionalmedicine #skinhealth #gettheglow #beautifulskin #nutrientdense #antioxidantrich #cleaneatingtips #beautytipsandtricks #healacne #zinc #holistichealth #skinhealing #realfoodheals #antiagingmedicine #functionalnutrition #cosmeticdermatology
Method of intake
Oral ingestion of zinc supplements is recognized as the most “safe” method of intake by international agencies. For some time now, intranasal supplementation has been attempted, but with dubious results (some users suffered side effects such as loss of their sense of smell).
Most commonly, oral supplements will be presented in these forms:
- Tablets: The powder form of zinc supplementation is subjected to high pressures to give it a defined, usually round shape. If you leave this tablet in your mouth for a long time it will disintegrate and you will notice the taste of the supplement (usually bitter). Some tablets have a notch that allows you to divide them in half.
- Coated Tablets: This form of supplementation has a manufacturing process similar to the one of the tablet. However, these also have a coating that prevents it from melting in the mouth which gives it a better taste and makes it easier to swallow.
- Capsules: Unlike tablets, capsules contain free supplement powder inside. The capsule, usually made of gelatine (or a vegan alternative) facilitates ingestion and promotes fast-absorption. Capsules can be hard or soft (easier to swallow).
Value for your money
Most zinc supplements are generally of good value for your money. Remember that many manufacturers offer packages with enough of the supplement to last you a whole year. If you’re looking to supplement long term, we suggest opting for these packages. Although other products may offer a solution that may seem cheaper at first, they contain less product, and therefore end up costing you more in the long run.
There’s a simple way to make sure you make a smart purchase. Simply divide the price of the container by the number of tablets to get the “price-per-capsule” and use this number for comparison between two brands of supplements. For example:
|Product||Total price||Price per capsule|
|No. 1: 360 tablets||17 CAD$||17/360 = 0.04 CAD$|
|No. 2: 60 tablets||10 CAD$||10/60 = 0.15 CAD$|
As you can see, although at first glance product number two is cheaper, the price per capsule of product number one is much lower.
Zinc is an essential mineral needed for our overall well-being. It provides us with lasting health, beautiful skin, strong nails and increased energy, desire and fertility. However, “less is more” when it comes to this trace element. We should not exceed the recommended daily dose if we want to avoid negative side effects.
We hope the contents of this article will help you make the right choice regarding zinc supplementation. Making an informed decision is the key to enjoying all the advantages this trace mineral has to offer with no negative impact to your health or wallet.
If you liked our guide to zinc, please leave us a comment with your thoughts and don’t forget to share this article so others can benefit from this valuable information.
(Featured image source: Yemelyanov: 48592451/123rf.com)