zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Which Form of Zinc Is Best?

by
author image Jessica Bruso
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.
Which Form of Zinc Is Best?
Oysters are a good food source of zinc. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Your body needs zinc to fight bacteria and viruses. An essential mineral, zinc also heals wounds, makes DNA and proteins, clots blood and is needed for growth. Without zinc, you can't see, smell or taste properly; your thyroid won't work well; and insulin will prove ineffective. However, some forms of zinc are better than others.

Food vs. Supplements

Getting your essential nutrients through food is better than getting them through supplements. Food also provides fiber and energy in the form of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, and is a balanced source of numerous vitamins and minerals. Foods containing zinc include oysters, red meat, poultry, fish, cheese, shellfish, beans, peanuts, whole grains, sunflower seeds, cooked greens, pumpkin, green beans, mushrooms, fortified cereals and tofu.

Supplement Types

Zinc supplements come in zinc acetate, zinc sulfate, zinc picolinate, zinc glycerate, zinc monomethionine and zinc gluconate forms. Although zinc sulfate is the most affordable, it is also the most difficult to absorb and may cause side effects, such as an upset stomach, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Zinc picolinate may be the easiest for your body to absorb. Zinc supplements also come in combination with other minerals, such as magnesium or calcium.

Other Forms

You can also use zinc lozenges, zinc nasal sprays and zinc nasal gels to help with cold symptoms. Of these three choices, zinc lozenges are the safest option, as using the nasal sprays and gels may cause you to lose your sense of smell, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.

Warnings and Considerations

Do not take extra zinc without first talking with your doctor, as these supplements may not be suitable for you if you take certain medications or have certain health conditions. Zinc intake at levels higher than 40 milligrams per day may cause adverse effects, including lower immune function, and increased LDL and decreased HDL levels.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.