Zinc is an important trace element that our body cannot produce itself. It is involved in numerous metabolic processes and also plays a major role in the good functioning of our immune system. However, due to a vegetarian diet or increased physical or mental stress, for example, it can happen that the element is present in our circulation in too low doses, i.e. there is a zinc deficiency. A practical way to compensate for this deficit is to take zinc tablets. In our big zinc tablet test 2021 we present the bestsellers among the zinc tablets and explain to you what you need to consider in order to make the right purchase decision for you and your health.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best zinc tablets: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for zinc tablets
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about zinc tablets answered in detail
- An adult's body should contain 2-3g of zinc, of which about 0.1% needs to be replaced daily, which corresponds to a daily requirement of 20-30 mg of zinc. (1)
- An unbalanced diet, a lot of sport, intestinal disorders or pregnancy can cause a zinc deficiency. According to estimates, up to 25% of the population worldwide could suffer from a zinc deficiency. (1)
- Zinc tablets are a practical and well-tolerated way to compensate for a zinc deficiency. They are available in different dosages and in combination with other vitamins and minerals.
The Best zinc tablets: Our Picks
In the following, we present some of the most popular types of zinc tablets among customers.
Buying and evaluation criteria for zinc tablets
When it comes to food supplements that you take daily, you should take some time before buying to think about what exactly is best for your body. We show you what you can look out for. By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't give your body anything it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer's certificates.
Personal zinc requirements
You suspect that you might suffer from a zinc deficiency and want to supplement your diet with zinc tablets? Before you do this, you should first consult a doctor and clarify whether your symptoms are really due to a zinc deficiency. A zinc deficiency is when you cannot cover your daily requirement of 20-30 mg with your food.(1) By consulting a doctor, you can make sure that you are really doing something good for your health by taking zinc tablets, because no food supplements should be taken without a reason. Your doctor can also help you find the right dosage of zinc tablets for you, depending on your needs.
Zinc tablets usually contain zinc ions in different forms. You can choose between zinc gluconate and zinc bisglycinate, although it has been clearly proven that zinc bisglycinate is 40% better absorbed by the body. (2) If you have an extremely high zinc requirement, for example because you are a top athlete, preparations with the amino acid L-histidine could also be suitable for you. This in turn increases the bioavailability of the zinc tablet. In any case, make sure that the ingredients have been tested for microbiological impurities and harmful substances. We recommend that you read the product information from the manufacturer and the reviews carefully in order to get a really high-quality preparation.
The bioavailability of a substance indicates to what extent and how quickly it can be absorbed by the human body.
When buying your zinc supplements, look for the highest possible bioavailability. If you suffer from zinc deficiency, you want as much of the substance as possible to be directly available to your circulation. As already mentioned, a higher bioavailability can be achieved, for example, by combining it with an amino acid within the preparation.
You should only take dietary supplements that have been manufactured properly. We will show you below what you can look out for.
- confidential manufacturer: When buying your supplements, make sure you choose a manufacturer that guarantees high product quality, purity and safety.
- Product testing: Check that the products undergo several tests, including independent laboratory tests.
- Testing for impurities: It is essential that zinc tablets are tested for heavy metals and microbiological contaminants before sale.
Such things are usually noted on the manufacturer's website. If you are unsure, you can also contact the manufacturer.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about zinc tablets answered in detail
What are zinc tablets and how do they work?
The intake of zinc has several positive effects on our body, which we would like to explain to you in the following.
Support of the immune system
The positive effect of zinc on our immune system has been known for a long time. The reason for this is that zinc ions improve the intracellular signal transmission of our immune cells. Zinc thus has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps us to fight off infections.(3)
Significance for the metabolism
Zinc is involved in numerous metabolic processes in our body. For example, zinc is essential for the metabolism of fat and glucose as well as for the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates.
Low zinc levels are associated with metabolic disorders. Studies have found that one cause of obesity is a metabolic disorder caused by zinc deficiency.(4) It was found that in metabolic disorders, supplementation with zinc had a positive effect on blood pressure as well as glucose and cholesterol levels in our blood.(4)
Effect on skin and hair
Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, zinc counteracts inflammatory skin blemishes and thus improves the appearance of acne skin. Zinc can also improve thin, brittle hair or increased hair loss.(8)
Improvement of cognitive functions
Less well known and far removed from the increasingly touted "beauty functions" of food supplements is the important role of zinc for our neurological system. Zinc is also involved in a variety of cellular processes in our brain and a zinc deficiency can lead to neurological disorders. There are more and more studies in this area, which have shown the positive effect of taking zinc tablets for depression.(5)
When does it make sense to take zinc tablets?
- insufficient intake: It makes sense to take zinc tablets if a person's daily zinc requirement cannot be covered by food. This can be the case, for example, due to an inadequate diet or absorption disorders in the intestines.
- special diet: A vegetarian or vegan diet can easily lead to a zinc deficiency, as many primary zinc suppliers are animal proteins.(9)
- increased physical or mental activity: Competitive athletes or people who are under a lot of stress at work, for example, often have a higher zinc requirement than the average person.
- pregnant and breastfeeding women: During pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is advisable to supplement the diet with zinc tablets, as here too the requirement is higher than usual.(7)
However, in order to find out for sure whether it makes sense for you to take zinc tablets, you should have a clarifying discussion with your doctor.
How much do zinc tablets cost?
What types of zinc tablets are available?
|Zinc tablets with gluconate||This formulation represents the conventional zinc tablets.|
|Zinc tablets with bisglycinate||This formula provides 40% higher bioavailability compared to a gluconate formula. (2)|
|Zinc tablets with L-histidine||This amino acid further increases bioavailability.|
|Zinc tablets with vitamin C||This popular combination is optimal for strengthening the immune system.|
If you are unsure about your choice, you can check with your doctor which preparation is most suitable for you.
How do I take zinc tablets?
How well do zinc tablets tolerate?
Extremely high doses can lead to zinc intoxication. This finding is accompanied by gastrointestinal complaints and dehydration. Other possible effects are the appearance of lethargy, anaemia or dizziness. Copper deficiency can also result from excessive doses of zinc.(6) It is therefore important that you use your supplements responsibly and follow the dosage instructions....
What are the alternatives to zinc tablets?
If you prefer to avoid animal foods, you can also find good sources of zinc in nuts, wheat and rye. However, you should note that zinc from animal foods is usually better absorbed, as certain amino acids of plant origin inhibit its absorption. (10)
Image source: Nikkytok/ 123rf
Wolfgang Maret, Harold H. Sandstead,
Zinc requirements and the risks and benefits of zinc supplementation,
Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology,
Volume 20, Issue 1,
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: 10.1024/0300-98220.127.116.11. PMID: 18271278.
Wessels I, Maywald M, Rink L. Zinc as a Gatekeeper of Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017 Nov 25;9(12):1286. doi: 10.3390/nu9121286. PMID: 29186856; PMCID: PMC5748737.
Olechnowicz J, Tinkov A, Skalny A, Suliburska J. Zinc status is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress, lipid, and glucose metabolism. J Physiol Sci. 2018;68(1):19-31. doi:10.1007/s12576-017-0571-7
Petrilli MA, Kranz TM, Kleinhaus K, et al. The Emerging Role for Zinc in Depression and Psychosis. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:414. Published 2017 Jun 30. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00414
Ulrika M. Agnew1; Todd L. Slesinger, Zinc Toxicity,Last Update: May 7, 2020.
Roohani N, Hurrell R, Kelishadi R, Schulin R. Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. J Res Med Sci. 2013;18(2):144-157.
Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, Tosti A. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019;9(1):51-70. doi:10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6
Hunt JR. Bioavailability of iron, zinc, and other trace minerals from vegetarian diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):633S-639S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/78.3.633S. PMID: 12936958.
Lönnerdal B. Dietary factors influencing zinc absorption. J Nutr. 2000 May;130(5S Suppl):1378S-83S. doi: 10.1093/jn/130.5.1378S. PMID: 10801947.