A Definitive Guide to Purchasing Zinc Supplements
It’s no more a mystery to the people that zinc is an essential mineral that you need to have a healthy, functioning body. Sold in different forms, zinc supplements are used to cure an array of health conditions. This is the second most found nutrient in the body after iron. Studies conclude that zinc can help in stabilizing sugar levels, boosting immune functions, supporting wound healing, and promoting a healthy heart, skin, and eyes.
You may be familiar with all its powerful functions and how it strengthens your body. If you’re still wondering should you consuming the best zinc supplement or not, you’re at the right place. This guide will give you all the important pieces of information that are necessary for you to make a wise decision.
What are the best zinc food sources?
Zinc is found in both plant and animal food sources. Oysters, crab, yogurt, beef, and pork are the top-most animal sources. Plant sources include pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, beans, quinoa, sesame seeds, lentils, cashews, and oatmeal.
The amount of zinc required each day can be easily consumed through a balanced diet. In case your diet doesn’t include zinc food sources, you can opt for supplements.
What’re the potential symptoms?
Though zinc deficiency is rare, it doesn’t mean that it can never occur to anyone. People with some genetic mutations can suffer from this deficiency. Or, breastfeeding mothers who don’t have zinc in their bodies can transfer this deficiency to their infants. People taking medicines for suppressing immunity, or anyone with alcohol addictions can suffer from zinc deficiency.
- delay in sexual maturity;
- skin eruptions;
- impaired growth and development;
- severe diarrhea;
- slower wound healing.
Mild symptoms may include loss of appetite, mood swings, hair fall, diarrhea, dry skin, and decreased immunity. Research has shown that almost 2 billion people in the world have been affected by zinc deficiency due to a lack of proper dietary intake. In chronic cases, it affects your immune system and increases the probability of getting infections.
People who are at risks include:
- People suffering from grave gastrointestinal ailments;
- Pregnant and nursing ladies;
- Infants who are breastfed;
- Anyone suffering from sickle cell anemia;
- Anyone with alcohol abuse;
- People who are malnourished, especially bulimia or anorexia;
- Anyone going through terrible kidney problems.
You can go through our reviews to get more insight into it.
What are the types of zinc supplements sold?
Here’re a few that you can buy:
- Zinc gluconate - This is the most common form found as nasal sprays and lozenges. Zinc gluconate is used to treat cold and other forms of influenza.
- Zinc acetate - Just like gluconate, acetate is also used as a remedy for cold. This reduces the symptoms of flu and speeds up recovery.
- Zinc sulfate - It prevents zinc deficiency and reduces acne.
- Zinc orate - This is yet another common zinc supplement sold in the market and a form of orotic acid.
- Zinc citrate - This is well-absorbed by the body with a less bitter and appealing taste.
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Benefits - What’s it good for?
- Zinc deficiency - Zinc deficiency occurs in people who suffer from diarrhea, liver cirrhosis, and alcoholism - basically, the conditions that make it hard for the food to digest. Taking a liquid zinc supplement can help you to restore the mineral balance in your body. However, you don’t need to consume daily.
- Diarrhea - Adding chewable zinc supplements to your diet can reduce the severity and frequency of diarrhea in kids. Zinc deficiency is quite common among children and taking zinc daily can increase its levels.
- Wilson disease - People suffering from Wilson disease have too much copper buildup in their organs. By taking zinc, you can block the excessive amount of copper and increase its release from the body.
- Acne - A lower percentage of zinc in blood and skin can result in acne. Ingesting zinc supplements can make your skin appear clearer. Applying zinc ointment can also help to reduce acne.
- Vision loss - People having more zinc in their diet can lower the risk of getting vision loss. Studies show that zinc can slow the process of low vision and prevent old-age vision loss as well.
- ADHD - Children with ADHD have low zinc amounts in their blood than kids without ADHD. Taking zinc chewable or liquid along with medicines can improve impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and socialization issues in kids. Zinc is an add-on therapy that lowers the doses of medicines needed for this condition.
- Flu and cold - Consuming zinc acetate or zinc gluconate in the form of lozenges can shorten the suffering and speed up the recovery time. Besides lozenges, cough drops with zinc are also equally effective in kids and adults. However, the side effects one can face are nausea and bad taste.
- Immune functions - Zinc can fight inflammation and improves immune functions. It also acts as an antioxidant that protects against health conditions like, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Ingesting the best zinc supplement for the immune system can lower the frequency of infection.
- Depression - If you take zinc along with antidepressants, it can reduce the symptoms of depression. Even if you don’t take medications, zinc can still improve depression signs.
- Blood sugar - Insulin transports sugar from your blood to the tissues. Some studies reveal that zinc helps in keeping the level of blood sugar steady for both the long and short-term. It also enhances the body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps your body to use the hormone effectively. Taking zinc also helps pregnant women to keep their diabetes in check.
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Zinc and testosterone- What’s the connection?
Testosterone plays a crucial role in men’s health. It promotes skeletal and muscle strength as well as strong sexual drive. If the level of testosterone drops below the normal level, men may suffer from hypogonadism, which may happen due to zinc deficiency.
Since zinc is an essential micronutrient, you need it to make your immune system function properly and promote cell division. Zinc assists enzymes in breaking down nutrients and a low amount of it can impact your testosterone level. Though the effectiveness of this mineral for hypogonadism is limited, taking the best zinc supplement for testosterone can help to raise the levels.
You can know more about this in our review section.
Erectile dysfunction - Understanding the link
As zinc and testosterone levels have a clear connection, research shows that young men with a low-zinc diet show decreased level of testosterone. Studies have also stated that zinc supplement has a positive effect on erection during sexual performances.
Men suffering from erectile dysfunction don’t necessarily mean that is caused by abnormal testosterone levels; it can happen due to nervous conditions, diabetes, stress, heart ailments, and more. Taking this micronutrient supplement can be an effective treatment to cure ED. Zinc treatment is slightly different as it increases testosterone levels naturally, helping to cope up with the sexual actions eventually.
What’re the risks of taking too much zinc into the body?
Excessive intake of zinc can trigger negative effects like:
- nausea and vomiting;
- decreased appetite;
- abdominal cramps;
- decrease good cholesterol levels.
Too much zinc interferes with the body’s iron and copper levels. The maximum level of zinc to be taken combining both food and supplement should be 40 mg per day for all adults. In other words, adding more zinc to your diet isn’t better; it can cause more harm than doing good for your body.
The zinc supplement dosage must be prescribed by a physician. The recommended dosage is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. However, if you’re taking zinc gluconate or citrate, stay away from zinc oxide. Go through our review section to know more.
What precautions and warnings to be maintained?
For infants and kids, zinc is safe when consumed by mouth in the appropriate dosage. Similarly, for pregnant and breastfeeding women, zinc is recommended daily. However, if taken in high dosages, it can cause adverse results. Pregnant or nursing women more than 18 shouldn’t go above 40 mg per day. Women aged between 14 to 18 should stick to 34 mg.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to poor zinc absorption in the body. Plus, people with acute kidney conditions are more at risk of suffering from zinc deficiency and may need alternatives. Moreover, vegan and vegetarian diets are associated with lower zinc absorption, but, not to worry as vegan zinc supplements are available over-the-top counters.
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How zinc can interact with other medicines?
Taking zinc along with other antibiotics decreases the latter’s effectiveness. To avoid this, you should take zinc supplements after an hour of taking an antibiotic. Enoxacin, grepafloxacin, sparfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, trovafloxacin, and norfloxacin are some of the antibiotics that react with zinc.
Additionally, it can get attached to tetracyclines, decreasing its effectiveness and time for its absorption. If you’re taking tetracyclines, take zinc lozenges or any other form after 4 hours or before 2 hours.
Undoubtedly, zinc is a vital nutrient needed for multipurpose. It plays a key role in promoting growth, cell division, and strengthening the immune system of the body. Though it's best to obtain zinc from animal and plant-based food sources, it may not provide you with the appropriate amount. This is when you need to opt for supplements to stop your body from developing a zinc deficiency. Consult a doctor before buying one.
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