by Melissa Chichester
But like many minerals, zinc comes in different forms. When it comes to taking supplements, it can be tricky to sort out what form of zinc to add to your routine. Here are seven types of zincs that you might see available as supplements, lozenges, sprays, and more.
Zinc acetate is created when zinc oxide is combined with acetic acid to create a salt. This form of zinc is commonly found in zinc lozenges and over-the-counter products.
Zinc glycinate is the combination of zinc and amino acid glycine. Glycine is the smallest essential amino acid. Glycine is combined with zinc to increase absorption in the body.
Zinc gluconate is a combination of zinc and gluconic acid. This type of zinc is the most common kind found at the drugstore. This kind of zinc is also typically used in lozenges and zinc sprays.
This kind of zinc is made with picolinic acid and is considered one form of zinc that is easier to absorb. It may also be easier to digest compared to other forms.
Like magnesium citrate, zinc citrate is made with citric acid. Zinc citrate is a well-absorbed form of zinc that also has a milder taste compared to other forms.
Zinc oxide is a form of zinc that you probably know from chalky white sunscreen! Zinc oxide is used topically in sunscreen, diaper rash cream, and other skin creams. It is even used in clay masks and moisturizers. Zinc oxide is also used in dietary supplements, but may not be as bioavailable as zinc gluconate.
Zinc sulfate is a form of zinc made with sulfuric acid. It can be taken orally, and it is a common ingredient in eye drops for both dogs and people.
This form of zinc has been attached to a chelating agent. “Chelating” is a way to bond metal ions. This kind of bonding makes zinc more water-soluble and easier to absorb.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays an important role in supporting immune health.* It also assists with DNA formation, and it is needed for healthy cell growth and division.*
The National Institutes of Health recommends that for adults over the age of 19, men receive eleven milligrams of zinc. Women over age 19 should receive eight milligrams per day.
Since your body does not store zinc, it is important to eat a nutritious diet that includes foods rich in zinc.
Always talk with your healthcare practitioner before taking a new supplement, including this essential mineral!