Zinc is an essential nutrient that you can get from foods like meat, shellfish, dairy and eggs. It’s vital to many systems in your body, helps you maintain good health and may enhance your ability to fight off illnesses like colds.
The best way to get enough zinc is through a balanced diet, but if you’re deficient or are concerned that you’re not getting enough from food, a high-quality supplement is likely an excellent way to make sure you’re getting enough.
Zinc supplements come in many different forms, so it’s important to choose one that best suits your needs.
This article contains affiliate links.
What is zinc?
Zinc is an abundant trace mineral that is used in every cell in your body. It is vital to many body systems because it is involved in the growth of new cells and is present in numerous enzymes. It also helps with the processing of nutrients from your food and is even involved in the healing of wounds.
Although it is a crucial part of our bodies, we can’t make it ourselves, and some people find it hard to get enough in their diet. This is most common among people with restricted diets or pre-existing health conditions. The symptoms include rashes, diarrhoea, slow healing and impaired growth and development.
The Benefits of Zinc
Zinc plays an essential role in maintaining good health. It can boost your immune system and is often suggested as a way to help your body fight off colds. After several studies, it was concluded that the studies show a reduction in symptoms if the zinc was taken after symptoms developed. If participants took it for five months, the incidences of cold symptoms and time off work was decreased.
However, it was also decided that not enough was known about the correct dose or the potential side effects to recommend it as a cold treatment. The broader effects on the immune system appear to come from its ability to stimulate some immune cells and reduce oxidative damage by free radicals.
About 5% of the zinc in your body is in your skin; it is crucial to wound recovery and taking supplements or applying it directly to the area has been found to speed up healing. Having enough zinc is also linked to overall signs of good health. It has been linked to skin health, a reduction in inflammation and is often used to support continued good health in the elderly.
What are the different forms of zinc?
Zinc can be found in numerous forms and each has a distinct effect. Some of the most common are:
Zinc sulfate – This is a water-soluble form of zinc which is easy to ingest, but it often remains in your blood, then passes out in urine without increasing the zinc levels in your body.
Zinc acetate – is a form commonly used to boost the immune system. It’s also known as zinc diacetate or zinc salt dihydrate and is used for a wide range of health conditions
Zinc citrate – combined with citric acid this is most easily absorbed, and it’s an excellent way to build up your level of zinc.
Zinc Picolinate-This form is attached to amino acids meaning that your body can recognize it quickly and absorb it effectively. This is often considered to be the best way to raise your zinc levels quickly.
Chelated zinc- This is a process by which zinc is bonded to another substance to make it more easily absorbed. One example is when it is combined with glycine to form zinc bisglycinate.
Are there any side effects?
Taking too much zinc or if it builds up in your system over time can cause toxicity. Many individual factors have an impact on when toxicity may occur, but the NHS recommends that taking less than 25mg per day will keep you within safe levels.
Too much can affect how your body absorbs other minerals. The most common symptoms of zinc toxicity include nausea, diarrhoea, headaches, poor immune responses and stomach pain. If you have any concerns about taking zinc or if you experience any symptoms, it’s vital to stop taking any supplements and speak to your doctor.
The Best Zinc Supplements available in the UK
According to our experience and rigorous selection criteria, we’ve carefully selected the best zinc supplements available in the UK.
TerraNova Zinc 15mg Complex
These capsules contain 15mg of zinc from natural whole food sources including pumpkin seeds, spirulina and acai berries. TerraNova uses the best active ingredients in their most natural form. This means that they can be digested more easily and used by your body quickly. The superfoods are prepared when fresh and then freeze-dried to preserve the nutrients in their active state ready for consumption. One bottle holds 100 capsules and they recommend taking one daily.
Terranova was founded over a decade ago and are based in the UK. They produce broad-spectrum supplements that are formulated to deliver the best nutrition that nature has to offer. This supplement contains zinc it a zinc bisglycinate which makes it easier for your body to absorb.
The capsule itself is made from vegetable cellulose, and the whole product is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. They contain no artificial fillers, binders or excipients and are free from gluten, soy, yeast, dairy, gelatin and preservatives.
- Manufactured in the UK
- Non-GMO and Gluten-Free
- 100% Natural
- Suitable for vegans and vegetarians
- No artificial binders, fillers or excipients
- 15mg zinc per serving
- The whole product doesn’t have an organic certification but some components like the spirulina and acai berry do.
Nature’s Best Zinc 15 mg
Nature’s Best Zinc 15 mg contains high-quality, zinc in the form of zinc citrate for easy absorption. Each tablet is small and easy to swallow and has been made to the rigorous standards of good manufacturing practices (GMP). Nature’s Best recommend that you take one tablet per day and a bottle provides you with 180 servings which will last you for six months.
These are highly effective tablets, but they don’t have the same natural credentials as those by TerraNova. They are suitable for vegetarians and free from GMO, gluten, yeast, soy, dairy, nuts and shellfish.
- Made in the UK
- Free from many allergens
- 15mg of zinc per serving
- Contains additional binding ingredients
HealthSpan Elite Zinc Defence Lozenges
If you’re not keen on tablets or capsules, these peppermint lozenges are a great way to top up your zinc. Each one provides 10mg of zinc in a zinc acetate form with natural sweetener and peppermint flavouring. One packet contains 45 lozenges to last you well over a month of you take one a day.
These aren’t as virtuous, and some of the other items listed but have the added benefit of being in tasty lozenge form. They are gelatin-free and are suitable for both vegans and vegetarians and have been developed by sports nutritionist to give athletes the best zinc support.
- Manufactured in the UK
- Tasty peppermint flavour
- Suitable for vegans and vegetarians
- Formulated by sports nutritionists
- 10mg zinc per lozenge
- Contains additional ingredients and preservatives.
This site is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products and services. We participate in programs from Amazon, eBay, CJ, Awin, Viglink and other sites. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to companies linked to on this site.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 50mg of zinc too much?
Yes, 50mg of zinc per day is too much. The NHS recommends taking less than 25mg per day to stay within safe levels. Taking too much zinc may allow it to build up in your system and cause toxicity. Large amounts can affect how your body absorbs other minerals and can produce symptoms like nausea, diarrhoea, headaches, poor immune responses and stomach pain.
If you have any concerns about taking zinc or if you experience any symptoms, it’s vital to stop taking any supplements and speak to your doctor.
What strength zinc should I take?
How much zinc is right for you depends on the levels already in your body and how much you get in your diet. If you think you may be deficient in zinc, talk to your doctor. The most common strength of zinc is 15mg daily, like these excellent capsules from TerraNova.
How much zinc do I need per day UK?
The NHS recommends that women (aged between 19 to 64) require 7mg of zinc per day and men (also aged 19 to 64) need 9.5mg.
When should I take zinc supplements?
Zinc can be taken for several reasons, of you think you’re not getting enough in your diet, if you want to boost your immune system or if you need to speed up wound healing. Zinc can be taken at any time of the day although some people find that it helps to provide a good nights sleep so you could take it before bed.