Zinc is one of the essential minerals that humans need for health and well-being. It is involved in numerous body processes including metabolism, protein synthesis and immune system health. Unfortunately, not everybody gets sufficient zinc and a deficiency in the mineral is a cause for concern. In the U.S for example, around 12% or more of the population is believed to be at risk of a zinc deficiency.
One way in which you can treat or prevent zinc deficiency is by taking a good quality zinc supplement. Shopping for supplements can be a difficult task. There are so many supplements available in today’s market that many people feel daunted and confused.
This article will try to clear up some of the confusion and help you make a more informed choice.
Why Take Zinc Supplements?
As is the case with all other minerals, the recommended daily intake of zinc will vary according to sex and age. The recommended daily dose for adult males is 11mg while it is 8mg for females.
It is possible to get your recommended daily amount of zinc through dietary sources. Food rich in zinc includes red meat, poultry, oysters as well as beans and legumes. However, not everybody gets enough of these foods and some people are at a much higher risk of zinc deficiency.
Who is at Risk of Zinc Deficiency?
- Pregnant women : Women who are pregnant are at a greater risk of deficiency because the fetus needs a lot of zinc. A pregnant woman needs around 11 mg each day which is the same as the recommended male dose. Women taking contraceptive pills are also at risk of deficiency because extra zinc is needed to metabolize the birth control pill.
- Vegetarians and Vegans : The best sources of zinc are meat products which vegetairians do not consume. Although certain legumes also contain zinc, they possess compounds that inhibit its proper absorption.
- People with gastrointestinal Illness. Those with gastric complaints like Crohn’s disease are at risk because of the problem they have absorbing the mineral.
- Alcoholics : The ethanol content of alcoholic drinks inhibits zinc absorption while alcoholics also tend not to eat the nutritious diet they need.
Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency
People who are at a greater risk of deficiency can benefit significantly from taking a good quality zinc supplement. Many people are also unaware that they have a deficiency. With that in mind there are certain common symptoms that you may be deficient in the mineral. Telltale signs include:
- A weak immune system
- Hair loss
- Lack of appetite
- Cognitive difficulties like problems with focus and memory
The Health Benefits of Taking Zinc Supplements
If you are deficient, then you will probably be experiencing one or more of the symptoms mentioned above. I have also pointed out that zinc is involved in many bodily processes, but what exactly does this essential mineral do for us?
Immune System Health
Our bodies need zinc in order to produce the T-cells that play an essential role in keeping our immune systems strong and protect us against illness. These T-cells are able to recognize and destroy viruses, bacteria and other harmful pathogens. This is one of the reasons that zinc is a popular treatment for cold sores.
Zinc is involved in metabolism throughout the body It is an important component in 300 plus enzymes involved in synthesizing food and breaking down carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the body.
Leaky gut is a problem associated many chronic digestive disorders including Crohn’s disease. It can cause toxins to leak from the intestines into the bloodstream where it can cause inflammation which cause further complications.
Studies have demonstrated that supplementing with zinc helps treat leaky gut by improving the strength and health of the intestinal wall.
Liver Health in Alcoholics
The results of studies suggest that zinc supplements help prevent and possibly treat alcohol related liver disease.
Zinc acts in the body as a natural antioxidant to fight off damaging free radicals.
For a more detailed look at the reasons for taking zinc suppleemets follow this link…. 9 Benefits of Zinc Supplements
What to Look For When Choosing your Supplement
Zinc supplements are found in wither chelated form or non-chelated.Certain forms of zinc are absorbed better than others. The main difference between the two is that chelated forms attach zinc to another compound such as an amino acid which helps with the absorption process.
The best absorbed forms of zinc are zinc citrate, zinc piconilate, zinc acetate and zinc glycerate. Zinc sulfate is cheaper but has been known to cause stomach upset.
Some zinc supplements contain calcium but they are not recommended since zinc and calcium compete for absorption and are better taken separately. Zinc oxide is also not recommended since it does not absorb as well.
What are the Best Zinc Supplements in 2017.
Once you have decided that you need a zinc supplement, you will be faced with a growing number of products all of which will claim to benefit you in very similar ways. There are so many choices of zinc supplement on the market today that it can be very confusing for a layperson to make the right decision.
We have comiled a list of the best available zinc supplements on the market today and hoe that it helps make your decision slightly easier.
1) Now Foods : Zinc Gluconate
For those of you looking for a reasonably priced, no frills zinc supplement that can be digested easily then you needn’t look further that this supplement from Now Foods.
It is certainly not the flashiest product on the market but it has a good reputation and its reliability and price have made it the best selling zinc supplement on Amazon.
Each cellulose tablet contains a very high amount of zinc in zinc gluconate form. The 50 mgs of zinc is over 300% of the recommended daily zinc intake.
This supplement has done very well in purity tests conducted by independent laboratories.
- Affordable and unfussy.
- Zinc is delivered as easily absorbed zinc gluconate.
- Pills are small and easy to use.
- Reliable with a good reputation
- The 50 mg dose of zinc may be too high for some people.
- Contain magnesium stearate.
2) Nature Made : Zinc Tabs
These inexpensive zinc tablets are a very common sight at major retailers around the country. Each pill contains a 30 mg dose of zinc which is twice the recommended daily zinc intake.
Once again, the zinc gets delivered in zinc gluconate form which absorbs very well although it is not chelated.
These supplements do however contain some stabilizers and binders but none are considered unsafe.
In purity testing, Nature Made supplements did very well containing almost exactly the amount of zinc claimed on their label.
- Zinc delivered as zinc gluconate which is easily absorbed.
- Independently tested for purity.
- Good value for money.
- Gluten free
- They contain stearic acid and magnesium stearate.
3) Nature’s Bounty : Chelated Zinc
A common site in drug stores around the country, the amount of zinc offered by these supplements in chelated form is far less common.
The recommended daily value of zinc is just 15 mg but each of these Nature’s Bounty tablets provides you with a whopping 50 mg.
While these tablets are advertised as being in chelated form, the zinc is actually supplied in the shape of zinc glyconate rather than some type of amino acid.
Independent lab studies have proved that these supplements are pure delivering over 53 mg zinc in each serving.
- Zinc gluconate absorbs well.
- Vegan and vegetarian friendly.
- Excellent value for money.
- These supplements contain magnesium stearate.
- Not easy to swallow and taste somewhat chalky.
- 50 mg of zinc may be overkill.
4) Garden of Life : Vitamin Code Raw Zinc
Garden of Life has made its name by providing mineral and vitamin supplements derived from a real food source.
These zinc supplements are no different delivering 15 mg of zinc along with 30 of vitamin C along with a blend of fruit and veggies.
While this makes the product more expensive you know that you are getting your zinc from 100% natural sources. You are also likely to benefit from the antioxidants and nutritional conferred by the plant extracts.
Even though the zinc gets derived from plants rather than pure zinc salts, these supplements have done very well in purity testing.
- Completely raw and natural.
- Highly nutritious.
- Antioxidant value.
- Vegan friendly.
- Include probiotics.
- Vitamin C for immune health.
- These supplements are expensive.
- They contain a soy derived vitamin E
5) Pure Encapsulation : Hypoallergenic Supplements
These supplements from Pure Encapsulations contain 15 mg of zinc delivered in the form of zinc picolinate – a chelated type of zinc that absorbs very well.
These supplements have done well in independent purity tests and contain no unnecessary filler ingredients.
The capsules do not have any coating but are still easy to get down.
They are slightly cheaper than the Garden of Life supplements but are still relatively expensive compared with the more common zinc gluconate supplements featured on the list.
- Zinc picolinate is easily absorbed by the body.
- Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
- No artificial binders.
- No coating yet not difficult to swallow.
- Slightly more expensive than average.
We hope that this article helps to guide you in the right direction and makes your choice of supplement a little easier. Please let us know how you get along and all the best of luck.