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Although zinc is the best-known cold remedy, this essential mineral is also essential for cell growth and development. According to the NIH, the average adult needs eight to 11 milligrams of zinc per day, most of which is absorbed from food sources such as beans, meat, cheese, seeds, and oysters. Some people have trouble getting enough zinc in their diet, most of the time due to excessive alcohol consumption, a vegetarian diet, indigestion, gastrointestinal surgery, sickle cell disease , or older babies who are breastfed …
Supplements can be helpful if you are zinc deficient or feel you need to boost your immunity, especially if you feel like you are approaching a cold. In fact, research has shown that the combination of zinc and vitamin C found in some of our foods can help reduce symptoms of the common cold.
Here are the best zinc supplements:
While there are many high-quality zinc supplements on the market, we endorse Thorne Research's Zinc Picolinate (see on Amazon ) as the gold standard. Because the company is so committed to science and research, you can't go wrong with any of their products. We love this zinc because it is free of gluten, GMOs, artificial preservatives, and other major allergens. The picolinate form of zinc is also more easily absorbed than other types.
What to look for for zinc supplementation
Like most dietary supplements, you can take zinc in a number of ways. The most common are capsules, pills, tablets, gummies, and in liquid form. Gummies and liquid are definitely the best option for children or people who have a hard time swallowing tablets. Keep in mind, however, that gummies do not offer a more concentrated dosage than other types of zinc supplements and, like liquid formulas, may contain added sugars or sweeteners.
There are several forms of zinc. Zinc picolinate, zinc citrate, zinc acetate, and zinc glycinate are more easily absorbed than zinc sulfate, but are usually more expensive.
Pay attention to how many mg of zinc you need and what each tablet, capsule, gum, lozenge, or liquid offers. Keep in mind that more is not necessarily better, as we all have different needs. And you may experience nausea as a side effect of taking zinc supplements. Before taking any supplement, you should always check with your doctor to find out what your needs are.
Looking for a daily zinc supplement or intermittent immunostimulation? Some zinc supplements can be taken once or twice a day, others several times a day for several days.
Frequently asked questions
The recommended dose of zinc is 11 milligrams per day for men 19 years of age and older and 8 milligrams for women 19 years of age and older. The RDA increases with pregnancy and lactation (for women 19 years of age and older) to 11 and 12 milligrams, respectively.
Zinc supplements can interact with certain diuretics and antibiotics, as well as specific medications for rheumatoid arthritis. Always talk to your doctor before taking supplements, including zinc, to make sure they are safe.
Yes, zinc poisoning can occur with high doses. Side effects can include vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches. Long-term excessive zinc intake can affect copper status, lower immune function, and cause changes in iron function.
What the experts say
'Zinc is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in the body. It is essential for a healthy immune system and plays a key role in cell growth, protein formation, and wound healing. Meat, poultry, and seafood are excellent sources of zinc. It is also found in plants such as whole grains and vegetables; however, as a general rule, we absorb less incubation from plant sources than from animal sources. "- Merrill Brady , MS, RD
Why trust Get Drug Information?
A personal note on my recommendations written above . As a nutritionist, I am wary of recommending supplements, including zinc. I took the time to research the latest zinc supplement recommendations and looked at various brands and products. I believe the supplements in the review come from trusted brands that are committed to product purity and are made with high-quality ingredients. – Eliza Savage , MS, RD, CDN
Leah Groth , a freelance health writer, also contributed to this article.