Food Sources of Zinc:

  • Black-eyed peas, cooked
  • Brazil nuts
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Cashews
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Chicken
  • Chick-peas, cooked
  • Dulse
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Kelp
  • Lamb
  • Legumes
  • Lentils, cooked
  • Lima beans
  • Liver
  • Meats
  • Mushrooms
  • Oats, rolled
  • Organ meats
  • Oysters
  • Peanuts, roasted
  • Pecans
  • Peas, cooked
  • Poultry
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sardines
  • Seafood
  • Soy lecithin
  • Soybeans, cooked
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Swiss cheese
  • Tofu
  • Torula yeast
  • Turkey
  • Wheat germ & bran
  • Whole grains  

Herb Sources of Zinc:

  • Alfalfa
  • Burdock root
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Chickweed
  • Dandelion
  • Eyebright
  • Fennel seed
  • Hops
  • Milk thistle
  • Mullein
  • Nettle
  • Parsley
  • Rose hips
  • Sage
  • Sarsaparilla
  • Skullcap
  • Wild yam  

Other Sources of Zinc–Brand Names:

  • Chezyn by Standard Process Labs
  • Zinc Liver Chelate (I sell lots of this–it’s very good)
  • Trace Minerals-B12
  • Immuplex by Standard Process Labs
  • Zypan by Standard Process Labs
  • Amino acid chelates of zinc may be a little better than others
    but can be expensive. I use whole food, ionic and homeopathic forms.
  • Zinc acetate is easily absorbed and is used in throat lozenges.
  • Zinc chloride is in styptic pencils, deodorants and in wood preservatives.
  • Zinc gluconate is absorbed well. Zinc gluconate is the type most commonly used in lozenge form to kill upper respiratory viruses. One should select brands that do not use citric acid or tartaric acid for flavoring, as these appear to impair the effectiveness.
  • Zinc oxide is used in topical formulations are used for acne and skin injuries. Zinc oxide is an amorphous white or yellowish powder, ZnO, used as a pigment, in compounding rubber, in the manufacture of plastics. . .or you can put it on your face as it is in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Also called Chinese white, zinc white.
  • Zinc picolinate is the most easily absorbed form of zinc. Next are the citrate, gluconate and acetate forms.
  • Zinc sulfate may cause stomach irritation. Zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) is a clear, crystalline, water soluble man-made synthetic chemical compound. The hydrated form, ZnSO4·7H2O, is historically known as “white vitriol“. Zinc sulfate occurs naturally as the mineral goslarite, and can be prepared by reacting zinc with sulfuric acid. For more on Zinc Sulphate, go to:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc_Sulphate
  • The types of zinc used in many multi-supplements are often absorbed poorly, if at all.  

Signs of Zinc Deficiency:

  • Acne
  • Can cause fingernails to become thin, peel, and develop white spots
  • Delayed sexual maturation
  • Fatigue
  • Growth impairment
  • Hair loss
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Impaired night vision
  • Impotence
  • Increased susceptibility to infection
  • Infertility
  • Loss of the senses of taste and smell
  • Memory impairment
  • Propensity to diabetes
  • Recurrent colds and flu
  • Skin lesion
  • Slow wound healing  

Health Concerns – What Zinc is used for:

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Athletic performance
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
  • Celiac disease
  • Cold sores
  • Common cold/sore throat
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Ear infections
  • Gastritis
  • HIV support
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Infection
  • Macular degeneration
  • Minor injuries
  • Night blindness
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Wilson’s disease  

What Zinc Does

  • Aids in carbohydrate digestion
  • Aids in phosphorus metabolism
  • Aids in the absorption of vitamin a
  • Allows acuity of taste and smell
  • Assists in the normal absorption and action of vitamins, especially the B complex
  • Component of insulin
  • Constituent of at least 25 enzymes involved in digestion and metabolism
  • Essential for general growth
  • Helps to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals
  • Important in healing wounds and burns
  • May also be required in the synthesis of DNA
  • May help prevent acne and regulate the activity of oil glands
  • Needed for normal functioning of the prostate gland
  • Needed for proper development of the reproductive organs
  • Needed for proper maintenance of vitamin e levels in the blood
  • Needed to break down alcohol
  • Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Promotion of glandular and reproductive health
  • Protects the liver from chemical damage
  • Required for collagen formation
  • Required for protein synthesis
  • Vital for bone formation  

Cautions & Comments about Zinc: 

  • A significant amount of zinc is lost through perspiration
  • Compounds called phytates that are found in grains and legumes bind with zinc so that it cannot be absorbed.
  • Oral zinc should not be taken with foods that will reduce its absorption, such as coffee, bran, protein, phytates (see above), calcium, or phosphorus.
  • Supplements should be stored in a cool, dry location, away from direct light, and out of the reach of children.
  • Do not take a total of more than 100 milligrams of zinc daily.  While daily doses under 100 milligrams enhance the immune response, doses of more than 100 milligrams can depress the immune system.
  • If you take both zinc and iron supplements, take them at different times.  If these two minerals are taken together, they interfere with each other’s activity.
  • The consumption of hard water also can upset zinc levels.
  • Diseases affecting zinc absorption include: Diarrhea, kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, or the consumption of fiber, which causes zinc to be excreted through the intestinal tract, may lower zinc levels. 
  • People who have hemochromatosis, are allergic to zinc, or are infected with HIV should not take supplemental zinc.
  • Ulcers in the stomach or duodenum may be aggravated by supplements as well. Those with glaucoma should use caution if using eye drops containing zinc.
  • Overuse of supplemental zinc during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth and stillbirth, particularly if the supplement is taken in the third trimester.  

Helpful Handouts and Links: