Zinc is a mineral needed for over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body. It’s essential for your immune system, hormonal & skin health, nervous system, digestion & more. Foods rich in zinc include red meat, oysters, pumpkin seeds, almonds, eggs & lentils. Because Zinc is needed by so many different systems in the body, having adequate levels is crucial. Adults should aim to include 8-11mg of zinc in their daily intake.
Some signs that you may be zinc deficient include:
- Frequent colds and flus
- Poor skin healing
- Low testosterone
- Weak hair and nails
Who is most likely to experience Zinc Deficiency?
Zinc deficiency is most common in vegans and vegetarians, and if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms it might be time to get your zinc levels checked. Supplementation can be a useful tool to boost zinc levels back up in the body, and there are a variety of different zinc supplements available.
As with all supplements – quality is paramount, otherwise, you could just be paying for fillers, chemicals, and low-dose options which means you need to take more to help the same benefit.
In regards to zinc, look for a form of zinc that has high bioavailability, meaning that is it well absorbed in the body. Cheaper forms of zinc such as zinc oxide have low bioavailability and can often irritate the stomach. Some of the best forms of zinc are zinc picolinate, zinc glycinate, and zinc citrate.
Zinc picolinate: A highly bioavailable form of zinc that is bound to picolinic acid. This form of zinc has shown to be easier for the body to absorb when compared to zinc citrate in some studies.
Zinc biglycinate: Another well absorbed form of zinc that is bound to 2 molecules of glycine, an amino acid. It is often available in higher doses and is a great choice for treating a clinical deficiency.
Zinc citrate: A form of zinc made with citric acid. Much higher absorption than zinc oxide and is a good supplement choice if you think you need some extra zinc.
Depending on your symptoms, you can take 25mg-40mg per day of zinc. Zinc should always be taken after food and away from coffee or tea. Ask your local in store naturopath or nutritionist to see which type of zinc may be best for you or speak with your health care practitioner. Always read the label, use only as directed.