Welcome to ReviewBox Brasil! Today we are going to talk about an essential mineral for the proper functioning of the immune system: zinc. As the body does not produce zinc, external sources are necessary for its supply, among them are supplements. Amidst so many options, we will show you in this article what you should take into account before buying the ideal Zinc according to your needs.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The best Zinc: Our Picks
- 4 Buying Guide
- 4.1 What is zinc?
- 4.2 What are the consequences of a lack of zinc?
- 4.3 What is the importance of zinc in childhood nutrition?
- 4.4 How is zinc related to fitness?
- 4.5 What is the recommended quantity of zinc?
- 4.6 Which foods are rich in zinc?
- 4.7 Who should take the zinc supplementation?
- 4.8 What are the effects of excess zinc?
- 4.9 What are the advantages of zinc?
- 4.10 How much does zinc cost?
- 4.11 Where can I buy zinc?
- 5 Purchase Criteria: What to take into account when choosing zinc
- Zinc helps maintain good health in adults, in addition to muscle mass gain, and also acts on children's growth.
- Unnecessary or excessive supplementation, however, is harmful to health.
- We will show you which characteristics differentiate one supplement from another and how to choose the ideal zinc.
The best Zinc: Our Picks
Those who need to replenish their zinc values, search for the ideal amount and dose according to their needs. Knowing this, manufacturers have invested in varied options for all situations. Therefore, below, we present to you the best types of zinc supplements available on the market today.
Choosing the ideal zinc supplement is not as simple as it seems. As it is a nutrient, you need to be aware of the dosage and the need to include the supplementation in your diet. That is why we have created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need to make the best decision when buying zinc.
What is zinc?
Therefore, zinc, besides playing an important role in our immunisation, also helps the body to function better. In addition, this mineral performs functions which contribute to the functioning of metabolism, especially of proteins and nucleic acids.
The fact is that zinc acts in our body to protect us from a large number of diseases, as well as helping to fight others that have already taken hold in our body. In addition to contributing to the improvement of health, this mineral is also essential for the growth of children. But, despite its importance, our organism does not synthesise zinc. Therefore, the element must be acquired through food or supplementation.
What are the consequences of a lack of zinc?
The fact is that people who do not consume sufficient amounts of zinc are more likely to suffer from the action of infectious agents. Therefore, these people get sick more often compared to those who have an adequate zinc intake. Besides weakening the immune system, the lack of this mineral can have several other consequences, as you can see below:
- Difficulty in healing
- Difficulty in tasting salty foods
- Skin problems (psoriasis)
- Dry and yellowish skin
- Hair loss
- Increased levels of glucose in the blood
- Liver malfunction
- Sexual impotence
What is the importance of zinc in childhood nutrition?
To get an idea of the importance of zinc in children's nutrition, one of the WHO projects to reduce the cases of infant mortality is to include zinc supplements in their diet. Since this measure was adopted in the late 1980s, the cases of death from diarrhea in children under five years of age in the world have fallen dramatically. In addition, according to research conducted by UNICEF, zinc supplements for pregnant women may also help the baby gain weight after birth, reducing the risk of infection.
More than that, as zinc also acts as an antioxidant, this mineral protects muscles from free radicals after training. In this way, zinc favours a faster and more complete recovery of the muscles. This, consequently, promotes a better performance of the athlete, generating muscular mass gain.
What is the recommended quantity of zinc?
|Age group||Recommended dosage (mg)|
|Infants (0 to 1 year)||5|
|Children (1 to 10 years)||10|
|Men (11 to +51)||15|
|Women (11 to +51 years)||12|
Which foods are rich in zinc?
However, in some cases, only the diet rich in zinc cannot provide the body with the ideal amount of the mineral. In any case, foods that contain zinc should by all means enter as a supplement in your diet. To give you an idea of the quantity of zinc present in foods, check the table below with the main ones:
|Weight||Amount of zinc|
Who should take the zinc supplementation?
Those who have difficulty absorbing the nutrient, or who have diseases that generate this inefficiency, need zinc supplementation.
In addition, people with diabetes, eating disorders, intestinal and kidney diseases may also need zinc supplements to compensate for the lack of absorption. Vegetarians and vegans, for example, who also have limited access to zinc sources, generally need to supplement their diet. Pregnant and lactating women and the elderly also often need a higher concentration of zinc and therefore benefit from supplementation.
What are the effects of excess zinc?
In other words, excess zinc causes the deficiency of copper, which is another essential mineral for our body. And copper deficiency can have as a consequence, among other problems, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Besides the decrease of other minerals in the body, the excess of zinc in the body can result in:
- Reduced good cholesterol (HDL)
- Changes in urinary function
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal cramps
- Frequent vomiting.
So before taking supplements, you need to know if they are really necessary and what dose is indicated.
What are the advantages of zinc?
Another advantage is that this mineral helps in the healing process and in fighting premature aging. Not to mention that zinc is also essential for the growth of children and the health of pregnant women and babies. As a disadvantage, is its use in excess or if there is no real need. The result, as we have seen, can range from uncomfortable side effects to the deficiency of other essential minerals for the proper functioning of the body. Below you will find the main advantages and disadvantages of zinc:
How much does zinc cost?
Where can I buy zinc?
Purchase Criteria: What to take into account when choosing zinc
After making sure you need the supplementation, and with the guidance of your doctor, you will have to choose the best product on the market. To do this, you need to understand what differentiates one supplement from another. Therefore, we have listed for you the main factors that should be observed before buying zinc:
Below, we will explain each of these factors so that you invest in the ideal zinc.
Zinc is not easily absorbed in the body unless it is bound to another substance. For this reason, many zinc manufacturers add some organic and amino acids to its composition, forming chelated zinc. But supplemental zinc is also available in an inorganic, non-chelated form. Check out below the main types of zinc you will find on the market:
- Zinc chelate: this type has undergone a process called chelation, which increases the concentration of the mineral and, in theory, helps the body to better absorb the mineral.
- Zinc gluconate: one of the most popular types. However, gluconate supplements are just a chemical substitute for actual zinc. In other words, the body absorbs very little of this processed form.
- Zincoxide: this type is an inorganic, non-chelated form of zinc.
- Zinc Sulfate: water-soluble and not chelated, this is an inorganic type of the mineral.
We recommend that you talk to your doctor so that together you choose the best option according to your needs.
Another factor you should check before buying zinc is the composition of the product. Here you can choose between two versions: pure zinc, without any other ingredient in its composition; or the mineral combined with other vitamins and nutrients. It is not rare to find more vitamin supplement options in which zinc is combined with calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, among others. To know which option is ideal for you, it is worth checking your nutritional needs for replacement of the other vitamins.
Besides, take into consideration the form in which the supplement should be ingested. In general, the most common forms found for sale are capsules or liquid.
Here you should evaluate the practicality of consumption and the power and ease of absorption in your body. Generally, children and the elderly take more advantage of the liquid form, in drops. This is because tablets can make it difficult to swallow and digest the mineral.
One of the most important factors you should check is the dosage of the zinc supplement. This varies from product to product and must meet the prescription given by your doctor. But, to give you an idea, in the market you will find zinc with dosages ranging from 7mg to 50mg, in each tablet.
Finally, we recommend that you look at the quantity, whether capsules or millilitres. By choosing the exact amount you will consume, you not only invest your money better, but also avoid a possible waste in case you don't need to use it all. On the market, you will find zinc in packages containing between 30 and 180 capsules. In the case of the mineral in its liquid form, the quantity varies between 20ml and 100ml. (Source of the highlighted image: alexlmx / 123rf)