6 Best Zinc Supplements for Immune System 2022
Zinc is a powerful immune nutrient known for its benefits for providing immune health support and inflammation reduction as well as for improving cold and respiratory symptoms, wound healing, acne reduction, and lowering the risk of age-related diseases. Research on atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus suggests that zinc deficiency may contribute to low-grade systemic inflammation.
Here are the best zinc supplements to help you meet your nutritional needs. As everyone has their own set of criteria, the best option for you might be different from another person.
Best Zinc Supplement 2022
1. Pure Micronutrients Pure Zinc Chelate
While there are several chelated zinc supplements on the market, one of the best options is NOW Foods’ Zinc Glycinate softgels.
Each softgel contains 30 mg of zinc glycinate — a form of zinc that human and animal studies suggest may be better absorbed than other types of zinc. (PubMed, PubMed).
All NOW Foods supplements are certified by Underwriters Laboratories and follow GMP to ensure the quality and accuracy of their products. Additionally, these supplements tend to be more affordable than many other high quality brands.
While it’s not always obvious, some supplements can contain animal-derived ingredients, making the product unsuitable for vegans.
Some commonly used ingredients that aren’t vegan-friendly include digestive enzymes like lipase, caprylic acid from milk, gelatin, and magnesium stearate, which is often pork-derived.
Garden of Life is a whole-foods-based supplement brand with products that are certified organic and non-GMO verified.
Their Vitamin Code Raw Zinc is a good option for vegans, as it’s third-party tested to ensure the product is vegan, as well as gluten-free.
In addition to providing 30 mg of plant-based zinc, each serving also contains vitamin C, a raw organic fruit and vegetable blend, and live probiotics and enzymes to support healthy digestion.
It’s recommended that adults take one serving of 2 capsules per day with or without meals. For those who have difficulty swallowing pills, the capsules can also be opened to pour the contents into a glass of water or other beverage.
Price: From $5.21
- This product is the #1 best seller under the zinc mineral supplements on Amazon Best Sellers and has more than 50,000 customer reviews on Amazon.
- One vegetarian-friendly caplet a day contributes to carbohydrate, protein, fat and energy metabolism, and helps promote wellness in key areas of reproductive health for men.*
- Plays a key role in the synthesis of testosterone.*
- *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
- During the summer months products may arrive warm but Amazon stores and ships products in accordance with manufacturers' recommendations, when provided.
5. Nature's Bounty Immune 24 Hour + - Best Zinc Supplement for Seniors
Price: From $29.49
What to Look for in a Zinc SupplementType: Like most supplements, you can take zinc in a variety of ways. The most common types are capsule, pill, tablet, gummy, and liquid form. Gummies and liquid are definitely a better option for children or people who have trouble swallowing pills. However, keep in mind that gummies don’t offer the higher concentrated dosage as other types of zinc supplements, and, similarly to liquid formulas, may contain added sugars or sweeteners.
Form: In case you didn’t notice, there are several forms of zinc as well. Zinc picolinate, zinc citrate, zinc acetate, and zinc glycinate are more easily absorbable than zinc sulfate—but generally cost more.
Dosage: Pay attention to how many mg of zinc you need and what each pill, capsule, gummy, tablet, or liquid offers. Keep in mind that more isn’t necessarily better, as we all have different needs. Before taking any type of supplement, you should always check with your healthcare provider to establish what your needs are.
Purpose: Are you looking for a daily zinc supplement or an occasional immune booster? While some zinc offerings are meant to take once or twice a day to ensure you are getting enough zinc, others are meant to take several times a day for a few days.
Groups at High Risk
Young children are at greater risk of zinc deficiency because of increased zinc requirements during growth. Exclusively breast-fed infants of mothers with adequate zinc nutrition obtain sufficient zinc for the 1st 5-6 months of their life [PubMed]. After this age, complementary foods containing absorbable zinc are required to satisfy their requirements. In many low-income countries, complementary feeding is delayed and cereal foods are then used for feeding. These foods have low content of total and absorbable zinc and thus, fail to meet the needs for zinc. Conversely, early introduction of such foods may interfere with the absorption of zinc from breast milk due to their high phytate content [PubMed].Zinc deficiency in Adolescents
The physiological requirements for zinc peak during adolescence at the time of the pubertal growth spurt, which generally occurs in girls between 10 years and 15 years and in boys between 12 years and 15 years. Even after the growth spurt has ceased, adolescents may require additional zinc to replenish depleted tissue zinc pools. [PubMed]
Increased nutritional demands during pregnancy and lactation predispose women to zinc deficiency [PubMed]. These demands are greater during lactation, although, physiological adjustments in zinc absorption help to meet the needs for lactation. A number of studies have demonstrated a negative impact of therapeutic supplemental iron on zinc absorption during pregnancy [PubMed] and lactation [PubMed]. In pregnant women where dietary intakes of zinc were low, supplemental iron, in dosages as low as 60 mg/day prevented them from meeting their needs for zinc [PubMed].
Diet surveys indicate that zinc intakes by elderly persons are often inadequate, even in rich countries [PubMed]. Several factors may contribute to poor zinc nutrition among the elderly, in particular, reduced consumption of zinc-rich foods such as red meat. In addition, there is some evidence that the efficiency of zinc absorption may decrease with age.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to choose zinc supplements
There are several types of zinc supplements. Some, such as zinc picolinate, may be better absorbed, while zinc acetate may be more effective at shortening the duration of the common cold (Trusted Source, Trusted Source).
Before buying any supplement, it’s important to research high quality, trustworthy brands to ensure both safety and accuracy.
Look for supplements that are produced by reputable manufactures and free of large amounts of added ingredients like fillers, additives, and preservatives.
A good way to ensure the quality of a product is to look for ones that have been certified by a third-party company, such as NSF International or Underwriters Labs.
Side Effects: Can You Take Too Much Zinc Supplement?
How much zinc should I take daily? As for dosage, the recommended daily dosage for adults is typically 15–30 mg of elemental zinc per day. Elemental zinc is generally the amount listed on the label of your supplement (Trusted Source, Trusted Source).
Taking too much zinc can cause adverse side effects, such as decreased immune function, low copper levels, and reduced HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Zinc BenefitsZinc is vital for many aspects of health and has been associated with a variety of benefits.
- May Improve Immune Function
- May Promote Blood Sugar Control
- Helps Fight Acne
- May Improve Heart Health
- Slows Macular Degeneration
Interactions between zinc, copper, iron and phosphorus
Do not take zinc supplements and copper, iron, or phosphorus supplements at the same time. It is best to space doses of these products 2 hours apart, to get the full benefit from each dietary supplement.
Copper and zinc compete for absorption sites in the small intestine. If there's a lot of zinc around, copper tends to lose out and a copper deficiency may develop.
The bottom line
Of course, not all supplements are created equal. It’s important to look for high quality products that have been tested to ensure quality and accuracy.
If you’re concerned about your zinc intake, it’s worth speaking with your healthcare provider to see if a zinc supplement is a good option, as well as to determine an optimal dose.