Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Do you suspect you have a zinc deficiency? Are you looking for information about suitable products and do you also want to find out about the effects of zinc? You've come to the right place.

In order to write the zinc capsules test 2021 without errors, we have carried out research on various medical databases. First of all, we will give you helpful tips so that you can find the right zinc capsules. You will also learn about the benefits and possible risks of zinc.




Summary

  • The effectiveness of zinc for colds has not yet been scientifically confirmed. However, some studies suggest that zinc may be helpful in certain circumstances.
  • You should allow a few hours between taking zinc and other medicines or preparations. Otherwise, there will be interactions with sometimes serious results.
  • Common symptoms of zinc deficiency are dry skin, loss of appetite, fatigue and mood disorders. If you suspect you have this condition, take a zinc capsule on a trial basis. If the symptoms improve, it is a zinc deficiency.

The Best Zinc Capsules: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for zinc capsules

Before you decide on a specific product, zinc capsules, you should keep these criteria in mind:

Don't be afraid to set high standards. After all, it's about your health. Inform yourself comprehensively about a product before you buy it.

Quality is the most important factor in such products, so that you do not harm your body.

Dosage

Depending on the product, the dosage can vary considerably. Find out in advance how much zinc you should take daily. To avoid over- or under-dosing, it is important that you pay attention to the correct dosage of the individual zinc capsules. If they are low-dosed, you will obviously need to take a larger number.

Before you take high-dose zinc capsules, you should be examined by a doctor.

On the other hand, high-dose zinc capsules cost more, but you need a smaller amount. It is best to calculate the price of one gram of zinc for different products.

Bioavailability

This term describes how quickly a certain amount of an active ingredient enters the bloodstream(1). Logically, it would be a waste of money to buy zinc capsules with a low bioavailability. Because even a high dose of zinc will have no effect if almost none of it gets into your bloodstream.

But how do you know the bioavailability of zinc capsules? A French study has shown that zinc bisglycinate has the highest bioavailability(2). But zinc citrate and zinc gluconate have also been shown to have moderate to high bioavailability(3).

Additives

Additives such as the amino acid histidine are often added to increase the bioavailability of zinc capsules. However, zinc capsules also contain fillers. High-dose zinc capsules contain a smaller amount of fillers.

Caution is advised for allergy sufferers and vegans, as some products may contain gluten or lactose.

The capsule shells in particular may consist of gelatine. However, valuable additives are often added, such as vitamin C, L-histidine, vitamin B and vitamin A.

Interactions

You should be aware of the interactions of zinc with other supplements and medications. For example, the amino acids histidine and methionine support zinc absorption, while iron and cadmium inhibit this process. (4) .

A high zinc dose can also cause a copper deficiency. This then leads to anaemia and neutropenia, among other things. (5) .

Certain antibiotics (e.g. tetracyclines) should only be taken a few hours before or after zinc so that their effects do not weaken each other(6, 7).

And for the drug penicillamine to have its full effect, at least 2 hours must have passed between taking it and zinc(6).

Pack size

The sizes of zinc capsules can vary considerably. As a rule, the price per zinc capsule is lower for packs of 180 capsules. However, you are wasting your money if you have leftover capsules.

Especially if you have just started taking zinc capsules, we advise you to buy a smaller pack. Even though zinc capsules have a shelf life of up to 2 years, no one wants to leave a half-full pack lying around.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about zinc capsules answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of zinc capsules and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What are zinc capsules and how do they work?

Zinc is one of the most abundant trace elements in the human body(8). As a result, it is involved in a significant number of processes in the human body, including protein synthesis, cell division and DNA synthesis(9). Common symptoms of zinc deficiency are:

  • decreased immunity
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhoea
  • dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • delayed wound healing
  • poor appetite
  • Fertility problems
  • Mood disorders(8)

In zinc capsules, the mineral is contained in a small capsule made of cellulose or gelatine. Additives such as vitamins, magnesium or gluten are often added. These capsules are swallowed with water. One advantage of zinc capsules is that they have a shelf life of up to 2 years.

Effect on colds

It is common advice to supplement zinc when you have a cold. Some people also use zinc capsules as a preventive measure during the winter.

But what results has science come to? Studies have already been conducted on this topic. However, most of them claim that not enough research has been done to support the use of zinc as a cold remedy.

Although some study results suggest the effectiveness of zinc in treating symptoms, the evidence is insufficient(10).

zink-kapseln-test

As yet, it is not certain how effective zinc is in treating or preventing the common cold. (Image source: myriams-fotos/ pixabay.com)

In any case, it is not recommended to use zinc nasal spray. This is because in some cases this led to anosmia, the loss of the sense of smell(11). Other studies suggest that cold symptoms can be successfully treated if zinc is started within the first 24 hours(10).

Effect on wound healing

Medical experts have long agreed that zinc deficiency slows down the healing of wounds. However, there is much disagreement about whether zinc supplements (such as zinc capsules) speed up the healing process. In only a small portion of the studies were conducted on humans.

Nevertheless, the results of the animal and human studies so far suggest that taking additional zinc has positive effects. However, it is essential that more research be done on this topic. Especially because zinc and zinc products like zinc capsules are relatively inexpensive and can offer good benefits to patients(12).

Effects on depression

Among other things, it is believed that zinc can help with depression. Various studies have shown that depression is associated with low zinc levels in the blood. But more studies need to be done to be fully sure(13). It should be added, however, that this is a controversial issue.

When and for whom is it useful to take zinc capsules?

In any case, zinc capsules are useful for people who are at risk of becoming zinc deficient. These include:

  • People who have Crohn's disease or similar conditions
  • People with sickle cell anaemia
  • Vegans and vegetarians
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • Older babies who do not receive supplementary food
  • malnourished people
  • Alcoholics
  • People with chronic kidney disease
  • People with genetic mutations(14)

If you suspect you have a zinc deficiency, take a (low-dose) zinc capsule as a trial. If the symptoms are relieved, this proves that you have a zinc deficiency. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, talk to a doctor before treating yourself with zinc capsules.

zink-kapseln-test

Vegans and vegetarians should look carefully at the ingredients, because some zinc capsules contain gelatine. (Image source: Karolina Grabowska/ pexels.com)

Regarding the time of intake, you should take the zinc capsules on an empty stomach. You can take the zinc capsules either half an hour before or a few hours after a meal. This will help prevent the zinc from mixing with other substances and not being absorbed into the blood. Most manufacturers recommend a daily dose of 1 zinc capsule.

What types of zinc capsules are there?

Besides the different ways of administering zinc, there are also different types of zinc capsules. In the following table we have explained the most important types of zinc capsules and their respective advantages and disadvantages.

type advantage disadvantage
high-dose zinc capsules no fillers, take fewer capsules higher price, risk of overdose
low-dose zinc capsules useful additives, inexpensive fillers

A clear advantage of high-dose zinc capsules is that you have to swallow a smaller number of capsules. They also contain fewer fillers. On the other hand, there is a higher risk of overdose and the zinc capsules are more expensive.

Low-dose zinc capsules can score with a lower price. In addition, they may contain valuable vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, such zinc capsules often contain useless fillers such as pumpkin seed powder or gluten.

How much do zinc capsules cost?

In general, the unit price of individual zinc capsules is lower if the package contents are larger. For a better understanding, we have compiled a table with the approximate price ranges.

Quantity Cost
60 - 100 pieces 5 - 10 €
100 - 200 pieces 9 - 18 €

However, before buying, think about how many zinc capsules you are likely to take. Because unused supplements are always a waste of money.

Can zinc capsules be harmful?

High doses of zinc often lead to anaemia by first causing a copper deficiency and consequently less iron is absorbed into the bloodstream(15).

Although rare, zinc capsules can cause an overdose of zinc. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea(16).

How should zinc capsules be dosed?

The advantage of zinc capsules is that the amounts are already dosed. Most zinc capsules are either 20 mg or 25 mg. Most manufacturers recommend taking 1 zinc capsule per day. The timing is relatively unimportant, as long as it is on an empty stomach.

If you want to take more than 1 zinc capsule, you should discuss it with a doctor beforehand to avoid an overdose. To enjoy the full benefits, you should never split the zinc capsules.

What are the alternatives to zinc capsules?

As you already know, there are other types of zinc supplements besides zinc capsules. We will first summarise their advantages and disadvantages in a table and explain them in more detail below.

Type Advantage Disadvantage
Zinc tablets Discrete intake Swallowing, dose
Zinc drops more convenient, individual dosing overdose, taste
Zinc powder dosable, more convenient to swallow overdose, preparation

Zinc tablets have the advantage that you can take them discreetly or have to measure out a quantity beforehand. A significant disadvantage, however, is that the dose cannot be adjusted. Swallowing is also a problem for many people. Fortunately, there are also lozenges.

The individual dosage speaks for zinc drops. They are also easier to transport and much more pleasant to take. Otherwise, an overdose can occur more quickly with zinc drops, so you have to be very attentive. But the taste is also unpopular with many people.

zink-kapseln-test

One disadvantage of zinc drops is that they are often only available on the internet. (Image source: Karolina Grabowska/ pexels.com)

Like the drops, the zinc powder is easier to dose and also more pleasant to swallow. If the zinc powder is dissolved in water, it can also enter the bloodstream more quickly. However, the disadvantage of zinc powder is that you have to dissolve it in water beforehand. It is also easier to spill and thus inhale. Another danger is that the zinc powder becomes moist and clumps together.

Conclusion

A zinc deficiency can be recognised by various symptoms such as fatigue and dry skin. Pregnant women and alcoholics are particularly susceptible. Zinc capsules are a suitable option for remedying zinc deficiency. These are already dosed, so there is less danger of an overdose.

Although the intake of zinc is said to have some positive effects, no study has yet been able to clearly prove this. The reason for this is that not enough research has been done.

Source of the cover picture: 134404847/123rf.com

References (16)

1. PharmaWiki; Erklärung des Begriffes Bioverfügbarkeit
Source

2. Gandia P, Bour D, Maurette JM, Donazzolo Y, Duchène P, Béjot M, Houin G. A bioavailability study comparing two oral formulations containing zinc (Zn bis-glycinate vs. Zn gluconate) after a single administration to twelve healthy female volunteers. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 Jul;77(4):243-8. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.77.4.243. PMID: 18271278.
Source

3. Rita Wegmüller, Fabian Tay, Christophe Zeder, Marica Brnić, Richard F. Hurrell, Zinc Absorption by Young Adults from Supplemental Zinc Citrate Is Comparable with That from Zinc Gluconate and Higher than from Zinc Oxide, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 144, Issue 2, February 2014, Pages 132–136, https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.113.181487
Source

4. Ackland ML, Michalczyk AA. Zinc and infant nutrition. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2016 Dec 1;611:51-57. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2016.06.011. Epub 2016 Jun 15. PMID: 27317042.
Source

5. Duncan A, Yacoubian C, Watson N, Morrison I. The risk of copper deficiency in patients prescribed zinc supplements. J Clin Pathol. 2015 Sep;68(9):723-5. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2014-202837. Epub 2015 Jun 17. PMID: 26085547.
Source

6. Penttilä O, Hurme H, Neuvonen PJ. Effect of zinc sulphate on the absorption of tetracycline and doxycycline in man. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1975 Dec 19;9(2-3):131-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00614009. PMID: 786686.
Source

7. Lomaestro BM, Bailie GR. Absorption interactions with fluoroquinolones. 1995 update. Drug Saf. 1995 May;12(5):314-33. doi: 10.2165/00002018-199512050-00004. PMID: 7669261.
Source

8. Saper RB, Rash R. Zinc: an essential micronutrient. Am Fam Physician. 2009 May 1;79(9):768-72. PMID: 20141096; PMCID: PMC2820120.
Source

9. Prasad AS. Zinc: an overview. Nutrition. 1995 Jan-Feb;11(1 Suppl):93-9. PMID: 7749260.
Source

10. Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Feb 16;(2):CD001364. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub3. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;6:CD001364. PMID: 21328251.
Source

11. Jafek BW, Linschoten MR, Murrow BW. Anosmia after intranasal zinc gluconate use. Am J Rhinol. 2004 May-Jun;18(3):137-41. PMID: 15283486.
Source

12. Kogan S, Sood A, Garnick MS. Zinc and Wound Healing: A Review of Zinc Physiology and Clinical Applications. Wounds. 2017 Apr;29(4):102-106. PMID: 28448263.
Source

13. Swardfager W, Herrmann N, Mazereeuw G, Goldberger K, Harimoto T, Lanctôt KL. Zinc in depression: a meta-analysis. Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Dec 15;74(12):872-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.008. Epub 2013 Jun 24. PMID: 23806573.
Source

14. Kumssa DB, Joy EJ, Ander EL, Watts MJ, Young SD, Walker S, Broadley MR. Dietary calcium and zinc deficiency risks are decreasing but remain prevalent. Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 22;5:10974. doi: 10.1038/srep10974. PMID: 26098577; PMCID: PMC4476434.
Source

15. Nishito Y, Kambe T. Absorption Mechanisms of Iron, Copper, and Zinc: An Overview. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2018;64(1):1-7. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.64.1. PMID: 29491267.
Source

16. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. PMID: 25057538.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Begriffserklärung
PharmaWiki; Erklärung des Begriffes Bioverfügbarkeit
Go to source
Randomisierte Kontrollierte Studie
Gandia P, Bour D, Maurette JM, Donazzolo Y, Duchène P, Béjot M, Houin G. A bioavailability study comparing two oral formulations containing zinc (Zn bis-glycinate vs. Zn gluconate) after a single administration to twelve healthy female volunteers. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 Jul;77(4):243-8. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.77.4.243. PMID: 18271278.
Go to source
Randomisierte Kontrollierte Studie
Rita Wegmüller, Fabian Tay, Christophe Zeder, Marica Brnić, Richard F. Hurrell, Zinc Absorption by Young Adults from Supplemental Zinc Citrate Is Comparable with That from Zinc Gluconate and Higher than from Zinc Oxide, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 144, Issue 2, February 2014, Pages 132–136, https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.113.181487
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Ackland ML, Michalczyk AA. Zinc and infant nutrition. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2016 Dec 1;611:51-57. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2016.06.011. Epub 2016 Jun 15. PMID: 27317042.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Duncan A, Yacoubian C, Watson N, Morrison I. The risk of copper deficiency in patients prescribed zinc supplements. J Clin Pathol. 2015 Sep;68(9):723-5. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2014-202837. Epub 2015 Jun 17. PMID: 26085547.
Go to source
Klinische Untersuchung
Penttilä O, Hurme H, Neuvonen PJ. Effect of zinc sulphate on the absorption of tetracycline and doxycycline in man. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1975 Dec 19;9(2-3):131-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00614009. PMID: 786686.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Lomaestro BM, Bailie GR. Absorption interactions with fluoroquinolones. 1995 update. Drug Saf. 1995 May;12(5):314-33. doi: 10.2165/00002018-199512050-00004. PMID: 7669261.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Saper RB, Rash R. Zinc: an essential micronutrient. Am Fam Physician. 2009 May 1;79(9):768-72. PMID: 20141096; PMCID: PMC2820120.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlischer Review
Prasad AS. Zinc: an overview. Nutrition. 1995 Jan-Feb;11(1 Suppl):93-9. PMID: 7749260.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Feb 16;(2):CD001364. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub3. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;6:CD001364. PMID: 21328251.
Go to source
Fallstudie
Jafek BW, Linschoten MR, Murrow BW. Anosmia after intranasal zinc gluconate use. Am J Rhinol. 2004 May-Jun;18(3):137-41. PMID: 15283486.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Kogan S, Sood A, Garnick MS. Zinc and Wound Healing: A Review of Zinc Physiology and Clinical Applications. Wounds. 2017 Apr;29(4):102-106. PMID: 28448263.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Swardfager W, Herrmann N, Mazereeuw G, Goldberger K, Harimoto T, Lanctôt KL. Zinc in depression: a meta-analysis. Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Dec 15;74(12):872-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.008. Epub 2013 Jun 24. PMID: 23806573.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Kumssa DB, Joy EJ, Ander EL, Watts MJ, Young SD, Walker S, Broadley MR. Dietary calcium and zinc deficiency risks are decreasing but remain prevalent. Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 22;5:10974. doi: 10.1038/srep10974. PMID: 26098577; PMCID: PMC4476434.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Nishito Y, Kambe T. Absorption Mechanisms of Iron, Copper, and Zinc: An Overview. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2018;64(1):1-7. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.64.1. PMID: 29491267.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. PMID: 25057538.
Go to source
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