Taking Zinc Supplements – Types, Dosages, Side Effects, Interactions


Taking Zinc Supplements – Types, Dosages, Side Effects, Interactions

If you are thinking of taking a zinc supplement, there are some things you should know, including the types of zinc, possible dosages, potential side effects and adverse reactions, and interactions with other nutrients and foods.

The dosage suggestions mentioned here may vary based on the amounts used in different research studies and the writings of different authors.

The uses and benefits of zinc supplements are discussed here.

Types of zinc supplements

There are various forms of zinc which can be taken. Most clinical studies have used zinc sulfate. Zinc bound to picolinate, acetate, citrate, glycerate, and monomethionine were all described by Michael T Murray, ND, as “excellent”. According to him, although different supplement makers may claim their forms of zinc are superior, data suggest that all these forms are well absorbed by the body.

Elsewhere, Murray also wrote that zinc picolinate, zinc acetate, zinc citrate and zinc monomethionine are better-absorbed forms of zinc, better than zinc sulfate.

When a supplement is labeled as “zinc 30 mg as gluconate”, this means it should provide 30 mg of elemental zinc.

Zinc dosage for health maintenance

In the United States, it is estimated that 75% of people get less than 15 mg of zinc per day, while half get less than 8 mg each day. [Haas, Elson M, MD]

For the purpose of general health maintenance, the dosage for zinc supplementation could range from 15 to 20 mg. [Murray, Michael T, ND]

It has also been mentioned that 15 mg to 30 mg of elemental zinc is probably needed each day for health maintenance. [Haas, Elson M, MD]

Information on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for zinc is available here.

Zinc dosage for specific health needs

When used for specific health needs, men could take between 30 mg to 60 mg per day, while women could take 30 mg to 45 mg per day. [Murray, Michael T, ND]

It has also been stated that 30 mg to 60 mg is probably needed for treatment of specific health conditions, although more could be used at times. [Haas, Elson M, MD]

In particular, in cases of zinc deficiency, dosages above 60 mg may be needed. [Haas, MD]

In studies, dosages of 100 mg to 150 mg of zinc for absorption are often used, and this dosage is usually tolerated quite well by people. [Haas, Elson M, MD]

Here are some possible zinc dosages for specific health conditions:

* Acne – the dosage mentioned in some studies on acne ranged from 30 mg to 45 mg daily.

* Alzheimer‘s disease – one study on zinc’s benefits for Alzheimer’s disease involved taking 27 mg of zinc every day.

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