Zinc is a very important mineral that our bodies rely on. Our cells use this mineral to fight off bacteria and diseases. Zinc also helps make DNA, helps heal wounds, and contributes to skin health. Zinc has also been used to boost our immune health and fight off things like the common cold, which is why there are many zinc lozenges on the market.
The body uses zinc to facilitate the action of T cells or lymphocytes. These T cells are in charge of regulating proper immune response and attacking any infected cells in the body. Zinc has also been used to heal wounds, especially skin wounds and acne. A lot of topical medications incorporate a form of zinc to help heal acne wounds. Zinc has additionally been studied for its treatment in osteoporosis, ADHD, and diarrhea. So, what are the best Zinc supplements?
What Are The Different Types Of Zinc Supplements?
Zinc supplements come in a few different forms, including zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, zinc acetate, and zinc picolinate. Zinc gluconate is the more affordable and accessible option, whereas zinc picolinate costs more but is proven to be more absorbable. Zinc comes in capsules, tablets, and lozenges.
Nasal sprays containing zinc have been shown to be detrimental to the sense of smell, so it’s suggested to avoid those.
What Are Zinc Supplements Good For? The Benefits
Zinc is a crucial mineral that our body needs to operate, especially when it comes to our immune system and its strength. Below is a list of the many important benefits zinc has within our bodies:
- Helps heal wounds
- Helps heal acne
- Treats diarrhea
- Treats osteoporosis
- Treats ADHD
- Reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases
- Helps to treat the common cold
- Activates T cells and thus boosts the immune system’s ability to fight infection, bacteria, and disease
- Synthesizes genetic material (DNA)
- Plays a role in the expression of genes
- Plays a role in the creation of proteins
- Required for certain digestive and metabolic enzymes to function properly
- Helps us to taste and smell
- Required for certain nerve functioning
Should I Take Zinc Supplements?
Zinc is an essential nutrient as our bodies cannot make it and cannot store it. Thus, we must meet our zinc requirement from dietary and supplementary sources. We do not need a lot of zinc, and it is found in a lot of food sources. Food sources not containing it, like cereals, are often fortified with it.
People at risk of a zinc deficiency should supplement with zinc through lozenges or tablets. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, vegans, and vegetarians, those with anemia, those with digestive issues like Crohn’s disease, individuals with kidney disease, and individuals with anorexia or bulimia should be supplementing with zinc or may require more zinc. These populations may be at risk for zinc deficiency, which although it is not common, it can be dangerous.
Zinc deficiency can cause the following ailments:
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- Loss and thinning of hair
- Weakened immune system
- Decreased appetite
- Dry skin
- Fertility issues
Do Zinc Supplements Work?
Most people can get sufficient zinc through dietary sources as you do not need much of this mineral. However, as stated, some populations more at risk for deficiency require supplementation. You should consult with a doctor before using zinc supplements as too much zinc may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach distress.
Zinc can be effective for at-risk populations as although zinc deficiency is uncommon, it can be detrimental to one’s health and especially the immune system. It has been proven to boost the immune system, aid in wound healing, promote healthy skin/ prevent acne, and reduce the risk of inflammatory disease. So, if advised by a doctor, supplementation can be beneficial and essential for your health.
The Best Zinc Supplements
Garden Of Life Raw Zinc
This product contains 30 mg of raw zinc, which means it was made with no fillers or high heat. It also includes a raw probiotic and enzyme blend for digestive aid. The product also contains 60 mg of raw Vitamin C. Both the zinc and Vitamin C are in whole food form to optimize absorption.
Country Life Zinc Picolinate
This product contains 25 mg of zinc picolinate, the more readily absorbed form of zinc. It is yeast-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
Pure Encapsulations Liquid Zinc
This product contains 15 mg of liquid zinc gluconate. It is hypoallergenic and free from wheat, dairy, and artificial colors. This brand is one of the most trusted practitioner brands for supplements.
Zinc Supplement Alternatives
Zinc levels are usually met through dietary sources, so if you are able to, incorporate more of the following zinc-rich foods into your diet:
- Raw oysters
- Lean beef
- Baked beans
- Wild rice
- Dry roasted peanuts
Meat, shellfish, and many legumes/seeds are the best sources of dietary zinc.
Should I Be Taking Zinc With Anything Else?
Zinc supplements may be less absorbed by the body if you consume them alongside iron, phosphorus, or copper supplements. Bran, fiber, poultry, milk, whole-grain bread, and cereals should be avoided within 2 hours of taking zinc.
Zinc Supplements And Your Health
Zinc is an essential nutrient required for your overall health. Most people are able to get sufficient zinc through dietary sources, but many populations are at risk for zinc deficiency, although it is rather uncommon. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, teens, the elderly, and individuals with diseases like Crohn’s disease and kidney disease are among the at-risk populations as they require more zinc.
There are many dietary sources of zinc, including most meat, shellfish, seeds, and legumes. Zinc supplementation should be used as advised by a doctor as too much zinc can harm your health. Zinc levels overall are crucial for your immune system, proper wound healing, skin health, and warding off inflammatory diseases. Thus, sufficient zinc is crucial and may be supplemented as needed. Use this guide to the best Zinc supplements and find the one that’s right for you!