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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics


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  • Zinc Description
  • Zinc Health Benefits, Uses & Scientific Evidence
  • Zinc Dietary Sources
  • Zinc Dosage Information
  • Zinc Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Zinc Supplement Products

  • Zinc Element - Image Courtesy of



    Zinc is an essential trace mineral. Every cell in the body needs this nutrient and hundreds of body processes rely on it, from the immune system and the enzymes that produce DNA to the senses of taste and smell. Although the body does not produce Zinc on its own, this mineral is readily available in drinking water and certain foods. Even so, a surprising number of adults fail to get enough of this mineral through their diet. Better food choices and a good multivitamin and mineral supplement can help compensate for such mild deficiencies.

    There is now evidence that supplements may also be useful in providing the extra Zinc needed to fight cold and flu symptoms. In addition, Zinc has shown promise for speeding the healing of canker sores and sore throat, promoting recovery from skin injuries, reducing tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and controlling acne and eye problems.

    This essential mineral is important in prostate gland function and the growth of the reproductive organs. Zinc may help prevent acne and regulate the activity of oil glands. It is required for protein synthesis and collagen formation, and promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds. Zinc also enhances acuity of taste and smell. It protects the liver from chemical damage and is vital for bone formation. It is a constituent of insulin and many vital enzymes, including the antioxidant enzyme Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). It also helps to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals in other ways. A form of Zinc called zinc monomethionine (zinc bound with the amino acid methionine), sold under the trademark OptiZinc, has been found to have antioxidant activity comparable to that of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Beta-Carotene. Zinc lozenges have been reported to be effective in relieving symptoms of the common cold and reducing the duration of colds.

    Sufficient intake and absorption of Zinc are needed to maintain the proper concentration of Vitamin E in the blood. In addition, Zinc increases the absorption of Vitamin A. For optimal health, a proper 1-to-10 balance between Copper and Zinclevels should be maintained.


    A deficiency of Zinc may result in the loss of the senses of taste and smell. It can also cause fingernails to become thin, peel, and develop white spots. Other possible signs of Zinc deficiency include acne, delayed sexual maturation, fatigue, growth impairment, hair loss, high cholesterol levels. impaired night vision, impotence, increased susceptibility to infection, infertility, memory impairment, a propensity to diabetes, prostate trouble, recurrent colds and flu, skin lesions, and slow wound healing.

    Zinc levels may be lowered by diarrhea, kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, or the consumption of fiber, which causes zinc to be excreted through the intestinal tract. A significant amount of zinc is lost through perspiration. The consumption of hard water also can upset zinc levels. Compounds called phytates that are found in grains and legumes bind with zinc so that it cannot be absorbed.



    Zinc is believed to promote a strong immune system by, among other things, revitalizing the thymus gland and its production of white blood cells. In addition, autoimmune diseases (chronic ailments linked to the improper functioning of the immune system, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia) may also benefit from zinc supplementation.

    Interestingly, the presence of too little Zinc has been linked to a decreased immune response in older people. Again, supplemental Zinc may be a viable remedy. In a study of 118 relatively healthy but elderly nursing home residents in Italy, researchers found that those given 25 mg of zinc daily for three months developed stronger immune systems.

    By boosting the immune system, Zinc may also protect against fungal infections and various infectious disorders, such as conjunctivitis and pneumonia. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.


  • Fight Colds & Flu: When taken promptly at the first signs of illness, Zinc lozenges can minimize the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms. Research indicates that the zinc may actually destroy the cold virus, cutting the duration of an infection nearly in half. In one study, common colds disappeared about three days earlier in participants who sucked on zinc lozenges every couple of hours instead of on a placebo lozenge.

  • Only Zinc in the form of zinc gluconate, ascorbate, or glycinate will fight a cold, however, so pick your product carefully. Avoid lozenges containing sorbitol, mannitol, or citric acid, as these chemicals, when combined with saliva, make zinc ineffective.

  • Healing Canker Sores & Sore Throat: Zinc lozenges appear not only to boost your resistance to canker sores but also make them heal more quickly should they appear. The lozenges may even stave off a sore throat that's threatening to develop as a result of a cold.

  • Promote Healing of Skin Problems: Zinc promotes healing of skin wounds, eczema, rosacea, burns, and other irritations. Zinc repairs the skin's top layer in part by helping to process the essential fatty acids that encourage healing. Adding zinc supplements to your diet may therefore lead to more efficient recovery from burns, psoriasis, rosacea, hemorrhoids, and eczema, especially if the affected area is not healing well. The body requires extra nutrients such as zinc to help repair burned skin and reinforce the immune response.

  • Control Acne: In some studies, Zinc has been linked to skin health because it enhances the immune system, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthy hormone levels. Acne may improve as a result. In one study, zinc when taken in conjunction with topical prescription antibiotic solutions, such as erythromycin and clindamycin, considerably increased the capacity of these medications to clear up the acne.

  • Because long-term use of Zinc inhibits copper absorption, it should be taken along with that mineral. One study reported that participants taking 30 mg of zinc daily had a clearer complexion after two months than participants taking a placebo, at least according to the evaluating physicians. In a separate study, zinc performed as well as the standard acne antibiotic, tetracycline. Not all studies have found zinc to be beneficial for acne, however.

  • Reduce Tinnitus: High concentrations of zinc are found in the inner ear. A Japanese study tested the theory that insufficient levels of zinc may therefore contribute to tinnitus. Researchers found that tinnitus sufferers with low zinc levels in their blood experienced an improvement in their symptoms when, after two weeks of Zinc supplementation, their zinc levels rose significantly.

  • Treat Eye Problems: Zinc appears to boost the effectiveness of vitamin A, a nutrient well known for its role in keeping the eyes healthy. In addition, zinc plays a critical role in the functioning of the retina and the light-sensitive area known as the macula found within it. Supplements have been shown to slow vision loss in individuals with macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in individuals over age 50.

  • Symptoms of the inflammatory eye condition known as conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, may lessen with Zinc as well. In a French study of people with symptoms of conjunctivitis from seasonal allergies, zinc combined with antihistamines led to considerable improvement in 78 percent of the study participants. In the case of infection in the eye, keep in mind that even mild cases that fail to clear rapidly should be seen by a health care provider.

  • Control Diabetes: By improving levels of insulin (the hormone so important to regulating the body's energy supply) Zinc supplements may help people with type 1 or 2 diabetes manage their disease more effectively. In addition, some people with diabetes have wounds that fail to heal well; this problem relates in part to the presence of high blood sugar levels and zinc may help to control problems.

  • Minimize Digestive Complaints: Zinc's ability to foster healing may make it valuable in treating ulcers and other digestive tract problems. Interestingly, individuals with inflammatory bowel disease often suffer from a zinc deficiency. Zinc supplements can help to normalize zinc levels.

  • Protect Against Osteoporosis: By promoting mineral absorption and keeping bones healthy, Zinc may help to prevent this progressive bone disorder and its associated disabling complications, such as fractures. Zinc is often taken with copper, which plays a critical role in keeping collagen - a protein that strengthens the bones and connective tissue - in good shape. At least six months of treatment with zinc/copper combinations are needed before bone-strengthening effects occur.

  • Treat hormone-related Infertility Problems: Zinc's effect on sex hormones may make it valuable in treating infertility in both women and men. Zinc plays a positive role in female fertility by promoting proper cell division, a process critical to the earliest stages of conception and fetal development. Similarly, in male reproduction zinc may well be necessary for adequate testosterone levels and sperm counts.

  • Reduce the Size of an Enlarged Prostate: Zinc ranks among the key nutrients for the health of the prostate gland in men. Some evidence indicates that it may not only reduce an enlarged prostate but actually relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a common but bothersome condition that can result in problems such as difficulty urinating and weak urine flow.

  • Zinc supplements are most appropriate for prostate problems (BPH, specifically) categorized as mild to moderate; check with your health care provider to see if your case qualifies as such. In fact, a health care provider should check your condition regularly every six months to track your progress.

  • Nourish Hair: Zinc, along with other vitamins and minerals, promotes hair growth. It may even help slow the loss of hair and counter brittleness, particularly if the problems are due to an underactive thyroid gland. Extra benefits are derived from combining zinc with copper, as this mineral is an essential ingredient in melanin, a natural pigment in hair.

  • Zinc Foods



    Zinc is found in the following food sources: Brewer's Yeast, Dulse, Egg Yolks, Fish, Kelp, lamb, legumes, lima beans, liver, meats, Mushrooms, Pecans, Oysters, Poultry, Pumpkin Seeds, Sardines, Seafood, Soy Lecithin, Soybeans, Sunflower Seeds, Torula Yeast, and Whole Grains.


    Herbs that contain zinc include Alfalfa, Burdock Root, Cayenne, Chamomile, Chickweed, Dandelion, Eyebright, Fennel Seed, Hops, Kelp, Milk Thistle, Mullein, Nettle, Parsley, Rose Hips, Sage, Sarsaparilla, Skullcap, and Wild Yam.



    Zinc is available in a variety of supplemental forms:
    • Tablet.
    • Lozenge.
    • Liquid.
    • Capsule.

    While the RDA for Zinc is 15 mg for adult men and 12 mg for adult women, higher doses are typically used for specific complaints.

  • When treating the majority of ailments mentioned: Take 30 mg once a day.
  • For colds or flu: Suck on one zinc gluconate lozenge every two hours for as long as cold or flu symptoms persist.
  • For sore throat: Suck on one zinc gluconate lozenge every two hours as needed.
  • For canker sores: Suck on one lozenge every two hours for three or four days.
  • For eye infections: Take 30 mg a day for one month.

  • If You Get Too Little: Severe zinc deficiency is rare in developed countries. But even a mild deficiency in this mineral can result in a host of ills, from increased risk for colds and flu to impaired wound healing and a diminished sense of smell. Skin ailments such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis may develop. Low sperm counts may occur. Blood sugar (glucose) tolerance may be compromised, with an associated increased risk for diabetes. In addition, over time, impaired immunity may develop.

    If You Get Too Much: Zinc in amounts greater than 200 mg a day can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Taking even 100 mg a day in supplement form over long periods can result in problems, including lowered levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol and diminished immune-system function. An association between excessive zinc and Alzheimer's disease has been made but requires further investigation.


    High-quality multivitamin and mineral supplements typically contain the RDA for zinc. Zinc pills or liquids in the following forms are well absorbed and generally gentle on the stomach: zinc picolinate, zinc acetate, zinc citrate, zinc monomethionine, and zinc glycerate.

  • Zinc lozenges taken for a sore throat can safely be combined with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

  • When treating osteoporosis, zinc may safely be added to a regimen of prescription drugs or estrogen therapy. Many "bone-building" supplement combinations contain zinc along with calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and other nutrients vital to bone health.

  • When treating rosacea or psoriasis, it may take about a month of zinc supplementation before you see any improvements.

  • When treating acne, zinc may safely be combined with conventional acne medications, but may interact with certain antibiotics. Caution is warranted. It may take three weeks or more to see results.

  • Zinc supplements can safely be combined with many prescription drugs for diabetes, but consult your health care provider to ensure that your need for insulin does not change.

  • If you are a coffee drinker, be sure to take zinc supplements at least one hour before or two hours after drinking the coffee; the absorption of zinc is reduced by 50 percent when taken with coffee.

  • Ailments


    30 to 80 mg a day.


    30 to 90 mg a day.

    Canker Sores

    One lozenge every 2 to 3 hours until sores start healing.


    One zinc gluconate lozenge every 1 to 2 hours as needed.


    One zinc gluconate lozenge every 2 to 4 hours as needed if you are in the throes of a head cold; total daily intake of zinc (from supplements, foods, and other sources combined) should not surpass 100 to 150 mg in 24 hours.


    One zinc gluconate lozenge every 2 hours as needed.

    Sore Throat

    One lozenge every 3 or 4 hours as needed.


    30 to 80 mg a day for one month.



  • Total daily intake of zinc (from supplements, foods, and other sources combined) should not surpass 150 mg a day. It is most highly recommended that your zinc consumption should not exceed 100 mg daily. While doses under 100 mg enhance the immune response, doses of more than 100 mg can depress the immune system.

  • Absorption of copper may be compromised by long-term (a month or more) ingestion of zinc. So, as a precaution, supplement every 30 mg of zinc with 2 mg of Copper.

  • If you take both zinc and iron supplements, take them at different times. If these two minerals are taken together, the interfere with each other's activity.If you also take iron supplements, avoid absorption problems by taking the zinc two hours after the iron.

  • Because zinc may decrease the absorption of the antibiotics tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline, making them less effective, take zinc at least two hours after the antibiotic.


  • Doxycycline: Zinc may make doxycycline less effective. Take zinc at least 2 hours after ingesting doxycycline.
  • Minocycline: Zinc may make minocycline less effective. Take zinc at least 2 hours after ingesting minocycline.
  • Tetracycline Hydrochloride: Zinc may make tetracycline less effective. Take zinc at least 2 hours after ingesting tetracycline.

  • zinc supplement tablets and lozenges


  • Brewer's Yeast Supplement Products
  • Kelp Herbal Products

  • Zinc Supplement Products
  • Zinc Oxide Products


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    Zinc aids in healing of tissue and helps to prevent scars. A necessary element in the oil producing glands of the skin. Zinc is a powerful immune system stimulant necessary for T lymphocyte function, which is needed to fight infections. Zinc is necessary to increase immunity by boosting the immune system, cell division, enzyme activity, and needed for growth and healing of tissues. Promotes the proper utilization of Vitamin A. Needed for wound healing and healthy skin. It enhances immune function. Increases antibodies. Need due to malabsorption. Take 30 to 50 mg daily. Do not exceed a total of 100 mg daily from all supplements.


    HerbsPro: Zinc Liquid Concentrate, Eidon Ionic Minerals, 2 fl. oz. (81095)
    HerbsPro: Ionic Zinc, Trace Minerals, 2 fl. oz. (85030)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Sublingual, Sublingual Products, 2 oz. (51465)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Balance, Jarrow Formulas, 15 mg, 100 Caps (1197)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Picolinate, Solgar, 22 mg, 100 Tabs (36918)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Citrate, Nutricology Allergy Research Group, 25 mg, 60 Caps (18316)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Picolinate, Thompson Nutritional Products, 25 mg, 60 Tabs (35771)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Picolinate, Country Life, 25 mg, 100 Tabs (79072)
    HerbsPro: Albion Chelated Zinc, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 30 mg, 90 VCaps (100642)
    HerbsPro: Zinc, Nature Made, 30 mg, 100 Tabs (103696)
    HerbsPro: Opti L-Zinc, Now Foods, 30 mg, 100 Caps (68537)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Glycinate, Now Foods, 30 mg, 120 Softgels (79313)
    HerbsPro: OptiZinc (Zinc Monomethionine), Source Naturals, 30 mg, 240 Tabs (7264)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Picolinate, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 50 mg, 50 VCaps (100688)
    HerbsPro: Zinc High Potency, Thompson Nutritional Products, 50 mg, 60 Tabs (35769)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Citrate, Nutricology Allergy Research Group, 50 mg, 60 Caps (18317)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Citrate, Natural Factors, 50 mg, 90 Tabs (84286)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Gluconate, NOW Foods, 50 mg, 100 Tabs (68906)
    HerbsPro: Chelated Zinc, Natures Bounty, 50 mg, 100 Tabs (97488)
    HerbsPro: Zinc, Solgar, 50 mg, 100 Tabs (36916)
    HerbsPro: Zinc (Amino Acid Chelate), Country Life, 50 mg, 100 Tabs (37603)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Picolinate, Bluebonnet Nutrition, 50 mg, 100 VCaps (100690)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Picolinate, NOW Foods, 50 mg, 120 Caps (68908)
    HerbsPro: Lemon Zinc Lozenges, Zand Herbalozenge, 15 Lozenges (20372)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Menthol Honey Lemon Zinkers Lozenges, Natures Life, 14 mg, 18 Lozenges (105984)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Menthol Honey Lemon Lozenges, Sugarless, Natures Life, 14 mg, 18 Loz. (Case of 12)(106071)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Plus Lozenges, Vita Plus, 30 Tab Lozenges (73840)
    HerbsPro: Flavo-Zinc Lozenges, Solgar, 50 Lozenges (36409)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Lozenges Plus Vitamin C, Cherry Flavor, Country Life, 23 mg, 60 Lozenges (37604)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Lozenges, FoodScience of Vermont, 23 mg, 60 Lozenges (15175)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Lozenges, Cherry Flavor, Basic Organics, 100 Lozenges (102425)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Lozenges Plus Vitamin C, Lemon Flavor, Country Life, 23 mg, 120 Lozenges (37605)
    HerbsPro: Zinc Cream, Margarite Cosmetics, 1 oz. (27279)


    Kalyx: Zinc, TwinLab, 30 mg, 100 Caps: K
    Kalyx: Zinc, TwinLab, 50 mg, 180 Caps: K
    Kalyx: Zinc & Echinacea, Quantum, 48 Cherry Flavored Lozenges: K


    Amazon: Zinc Supplement Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Zinc Mineral Supplement Information


    Zinc aids in healing of tissue and helps to prevent scars. A necessary element in the oil producing glands of the skin. Zinc is a powerful immune system stimulant necessary for T lymphocyte function, which is needed to fight infections. Zinc is necessary to increase immunity by boosting the immune system, cell division, enzyme activity, and needed for growth and healing of tissues. Promotes the proper utilization of Vitamin A. Needed for wound healing and healthy skin. Zinc Oxide helps treat and prevent diaper rash. Protects chafed skin or minor skin irritation associated with diaper rash and helps seal out wetness. For external use only.


    HerbsPro: Zinc Oxide Rash Cream, A&D, 1.5 oz. Tube (99403)
    Apply cream liberally to irritated skin area. Ingredients include zinc oxide, aloe baradensis extract, coconut oil, cod liver oil, vitamins A & D, dimethicone, benzyle alcohol, glyceryl oleate, light mineral oil, ozokerite, paraffin, propylene glycol, sorbitol, synthetic beeswax and water.
    HerbsPro: Zinc Oxide Rash Cream, A&D, 4 oz. Tube (99405)
    Apply cream liberally to irritated skin area. Ingredients include zinc oxide, aloe baradensis extract, coconut oil, cod liver oil, vitamins A & D, dimethicone, benzyle alcohol, glyceryl oleate, light mineral oil, ozokerite, paraffin, propylene glycol, sorbitol, synthetic beeswax and water.
    HerbsPro: Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Cream, Balmex, 4 oz. Tube (96721)
    Apply cream liberally to irritated skin area. Helps treat and prevent diaper rash. Protects chafed skin due to diaper rash and helps seal out wetness. This diaper rash cream, with patented ActivGuard, neutralizes irritants in dirty diapers and reduces redness in 1 diaper change. Gentle on, easy off. Soothing vitamins B-5 and E. Pediatrician recommended.
    HerbsPro: Protecting Fresh Scent Powder With Zinc Oxide Talc, Caldesene, 5 oz. (97388)
    Treats and prevents diaper rash. Protects minor skin irritation. With zinc oxide and talc. For babies and adults.


    Amazon: Zinc Oxide Skin Care Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Zinc Supplement Information

  • MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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    Health & Wellness Index


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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


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