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Supplements & Vitamins - Z



1 to 3 years old: 3 milligrams (mg)
4-8 years old: 5 mg
9-13 years old: 8 mg

14+ years old: 11 mg 

14 to 18 years old: 9 mg
19+ years old: 8 mg

*Vegetarians, especially strict vegans, may need up to 50% more zinc.


  • Formation of free radicals leading to cancer and other heart disease
  • Acne


  • Important in prostate gland function and growth of the reproductive organs
  • Promotes healthy immune system and healing of wounds
  • Allows acuity of taste and smell
  • Protects the liver from chemical damage
  • Vital for bone formation
  • Needed to maintain proper concentration of Vitamin E in the blood
  • Can increase the absorption of vitamin A
  • Can balance blood sugar; assist the pancreas in manufacturing insulin; helps lower high cholesterol in diabetics
  • Can help boost libido in men and women
  • Helps wounds heal
  • Keeps skin healthy
  • Preserves eyesight, protects against macular degeneration
  • May help improve memory
  • Needed to make hormones
  • Can reduce symptoms of common cold

Loss of senses of taste and smell; thin, peeling fingernails with white spots; acne, delayed sexual maturation, fatigue, growth impairment, hair loss, schizophrenia, cataracts, ulcers, blood sugar imbalance, high cholesterol levels, impaired night vision, impotence, increased frequent infections, infertility, memory impairment, prostate trouble, recurrent colds and flu, skin lesions, slow wound healing

Serious deficiencies are rare; strict vegetarians, persons with diets high in fiber, pregnant/breast feeding women, persons over the age of 50, alcohol abuse.

High doses from supplements and/or fortified foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, cramps, loss of appetite, suppression of your immune system, and lower your body's copper content.

The upper safe limit has been set at 7 mg daily for children ages 1-3 years; at 12 mg a day for children who are 4-8 years old; and at 23 mg daily for those ages 9 -13 years old. For adolescents, ages 14-18 years old, the upper safe limit is set at 34 mg daily and at 40 mg a day for those 19 years of age and older.

Brewer’s yeast, dulse, egg yolks, lean meat, poultry, organ meats, fish, kelp, lamb, legumes, lima beans, liver, meats, mushrooms, pecans, oysters, poultry, pumpkin seeds, sardines, seafood, soy lecithin, soybeans, sunflower seeds, torula yeast, whole grains

Herbs – alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion, eyebright, fennel seed, hops, milk thistle, mullein, nettle, parsley, rose hips, sage, sarsaparilla, skullcap, wild yam

Top ten zinc-rich foods
• oysters, 6 medium, cooked (23.7 mg)
• cereals, ready-to-eat, 1 oz (varies: 0.7-15 mg)
• crab, Alaskan King, 3 oz, cooked (6.5 mg)
• turkey, dark meat, 3 ounces, cooked (3.8 mg)
• yogurt, plain, nonfat, 8 oz (2.2 mg)
• cashews, dry roasted, 1 oz (1.6 mg)
• sunflower seeds (kernels), dry roasted, 1 oz (1.5 mg)
• tofu, 1/2 cup firm (1.5 mg)
• spinach, 1/2 cup, boiled (0.7 mg)
• kidney beans, canned, 1/2 cup (0.7 mg)


Zinc gluconate, picolinate, citrate, monmethionate are best for absorption; lozenges of zinc gluconate with glycine for cold symptoms – do not chew or swallow or take more than 12 daily (6 daily for children); take Zinc and Iron supplements separately due to interference; 100 mg or more can depress the immune system; supplements of more than 200 mg per day can affect copper, manganese and iron absorption.

Taste test of zinc sulfate heptahydrate will determine deficiency – if taste bitterness, no deficiency

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