12 Best Bioavailable Zinc Supplements 2021

Zinc is a powerful immune nutrient known for its benefits for providing immune health support and inflammation reduction as well as for improving cold and respiratory symptoms, wound healing, acne reduction, and lowering the risk of age-related diseases. Research on atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus suggests that zinc deficiency may contribute to low-grade systemic inflammation.

Even more popular at the moment is the role of zinc and the potential benefits against COVID-19. This is probably one of the reasons that's driving the demand on zinc related products. In a ConsumerLab survey of 9,647 people who use dietary supplements shows that the supplements which experienced the greatest growth in popularity in 2020 were those being promoted to prevent or treat infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Zinc supplements achieved the highest growth with 13.5% points.

Does zinc help treat COVID 19? In order to answer that question, there are many zinc studies underway and you can review the status of these trials on clinicaltrials.gov. As of October 2021, there are more than 20 studies that have been launched to investigate the benefits of Zinc against COVID-19.


Types of Zinc

There are several types of zinc supplements. Some, such as zinc picolinate, may be better absorbed, while zinc acetate may be more effective at shortening the duration of the common cold (SourceSource).

Supplements contain several forms of zinc, including zinc gluconate, zinc citrate and zinc picolinate. The percentage of elemental zinc varies by form. 

1. Chelated Zinc

This form of zinc has undergone a process called chelation, whereby the organic molecules have been given an electrical charge that allows them to positively attract the charged mineral (in this case zinc). This creates a temporary increase in the complexity and concentration of the mineral within the molecule.

In other words, each molecule packs more concentrations of zinc via a process of attaching the mineral to something else, such as an amino acid. The belief is that this helps the body better absorb the mineral.

Zinc picolinate or zinc gluconate are formed when zinc is chelated to picolinic acid or gluconic acid, so the main difference between zinc gluconate and picolinate is what compound it is bound to.

2. Zinc Citrate

This type of zinc is made with citric acid. A study found that when given as a supplement without food, zinc citrate absorption was comparable with that of zinc gluconate, and higher than zinc oxide.

Zinc citrate is the zinc salt of citric acid. This compound is well-known as a dietary supplement that is useful in preventing zinc deficiency. Typically, we take this orally as a capsule or as a tablet.

However, due to the presence of zinc, this may have a metallic taste. However, taking a small amount of beverage after taking the tablet can avoid this unusual taste. Moreover, this treatment may irritate the digestive tract, resulting in an upset stomach. Another important side effect is, we may get flu-like symptoms including fever, sore throat, chills, etc.

Zinc citrate is the form that's most commonly used in dental hygiene products like toothpaste and mouthwash to fight plaque and gingivitis.

3. Zinc Gluconate

This is the most common over-the-counter zinc supplement that’s found in your local drug or health food store. It’s made with gluconic acid is often found in oral supplements, nasal zinc sprays or lozenges. A meta-analysis indicates that zinc gluconate lozenges were able to reduce cold duration 28 percent.

Zinc gluconate is the zinc salt of gluconic acid. We can find gluconic acid in natural sources, but for the preparation of the supplement, industries produce gluconic acid via the fermentation of glucose by Aspergillus niger or some species of fungi.

More importantly, this compound is used to treat a common cold. We can use it in lozenges to treat the cold symptoms. When considering the side effects of this compound, anosmia (loss of smell) is a reported side effect. However, this compound is relatively safe than other zinc supplements.

4. Zinc Picolinate

This chelated form of zinc salt is made with picolinic acid and is popular for oral use to reverse zinc deficiency. One study comparing the absorption of zinc picolinate, zinc citrate and zinc gluconate shows that there’s no significant change in any of these forms, but zinc picolinate did improve zinc absorption in humans.

5. Zinc Carnosine

Zinc Carnosine is a dipeptide of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine. A prescription medicine in Japan used to heal ulcers at 75 mg twice daily, this type of zinc is said to be helpful for leaky gut and healing stomach issues. It has a reputation for being better than antibiotics at healing h. pylori, the bacteria said to be responsible for stomach ulcers.

Zinc carnosine (also known as polaprezinc; Promac; L-CAZ, or taken as a self-named supplement) is a common form of zinc supplementation and medication.

A prospective randomized clinical trial published in 2017 showed that when antibiotic treatment for H. pylori infection was combined with zinc carnosine - the eradication rate was improved without added toxicity (Ref). A smaller trial published in 1999 reflected similar findings (Ref).

Zinc carnosine can be an amazing piece of any gut repair program & it was fun to learn that it does much more too.

Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are groups of proteins that are involved in the body’s ability to respond to inflammation, immune challenges, and stress. Genes that code for HSPs are highly regarded as “longevity” genes - the more active, the better.

While Zinc may indirectly help HSP expression through the promotion of mucosal health (a healthy home for flora to bind and grow), zinc carnosine is also an antioxidant and may support HSP expression directly.

Zinc nor L-carnosine have not been shown to support HSP expression by themselves, but the combined chelate form of zinc carnosine does support HSP activity for reasons that are still unclear.

6. Zinc Orotate

Zinc orotate is zinc that has been chelated to orotic acid. The human body’s cellular membranes readily absorb this type of zinc. Research from Dr. Hans Nieper has found that orotate forms of zinc were more neutrally charged, as compared to other types of zinc. This allowed them to pass through the membranes of cells easily, leading to higher tissue concentrations of zinc. Zinc orotates contain many antioxidant properties that can protect your health while offering your cells the most readily-absorbable form of zinc on the market today.

7. Zinc Acetate

Another chemically-altered form of zinc, acetates are considered to be more absorbable than gluconate. This form of zinc, also known as zinc salt dihydrate and zinc diacetate, is created by adding acetic acid to zinc carbonate or zinc metal. This form may aid in reducing the duration of the common cold (PubMed), as well as offer relief for Wilson's disease, a genetic disorder whereby the body stores toxic levels of copper.

8. Zinc Oxide

This inorganic compound of zinc is most commonly used in topical ointments for addressing minor skin conditions such as burns and irritation. It is also a common ingredient in sunscreens. This type is a non-chelated, inorganic form of zinc. The results are mixed on body absorption and metabolism of this form of inorganic zinc.

9. Zinc Sulfate

Water-soluble and non-chelated, this is an inorganic form of zinc, and the results are mixed on the body absorption and metabolism.

What is the Difference Between Zinc Citrate, Zinc Picolinate and Zinc Gluconate?

According to the Beth Israel Lahey Health Winchester Hospital, a person supplementing with zinc will find their best options in the form of zinc citrate, zinc acetate and zinc picolinate because these absorb the best. Zinc gluconate is not among the top three, but it is absorbed better than zinc oxide. As far as cost goes, zinc sulfate is the lowest-cost option among the supplements.

One difference between zinc gluconate and picolinate is that zinc gluconate, along with zinc acetate, has antiviral properties. This makes it a good form for making lozenges and nasal gels that don't contribute to the amount of iron digested and absorbed by the body, but it can fight viruses infecting the nose and throat.

The Mayo Clinic explains that zinc-based lozenges and syrups can be effective if they are used within the first 24 hours of the sign of symptoms. However, be careful — use of intranasal zinc has been linked with the loss of smell.

Although different forms of zinc have different amounts of elemental zinc that can be used by the body, the National Institutes of Health explains that there is not enough research indicating whether there are any superior forms in terms of absorption, bioavailability or tolerability.

One older study — published in the June 1987 issue of Agents Actions — did look at the effectiveness of three forms of zinc supplement and may shed a little bit of light on choosing zinc glycinate versus picolinate. The study looked at only 15 healthy human subjects who were divided into four groups. Over the course of four weeks, the four groups were tested with zinc picolinate, zinc citrate, zinc gluconate or a placebo.

Based on the zinc measurements in their hair, urine, erythrocyte and serum both before and after, zinc picolinate was the only form to raise zinc levels, at least in the hair, urine and erythrocyte. 

Based on these results, it seems as if zinc picolinate is most likely to absorb into a person's body, and zinc gluconate is the least likely. In terms of zinc glycinate versus picolinate, the picolinate wins this one. Still, more research would be needed to know more about zinc glycinate versus picolinate, especially because this study was done so long ago.

Zinc Types and Elemental Zinc Amount: How much elemental Zinc is in the different zinc compounds

Different forms of zinc contain different amounts of elemental zinc, which refers to the weight of the zinc molecule by itself (Note: Most product labels tend to mark the elemental weight):
  • Zinc citrate is approximately 34% zinc by weight. For a dose of 50mg elemental zinc, take 146 mg zinc citrate. (Examine)
  • Zinc sulfate consists 23% of elemental zinc; thus, 220 mg of zinc sulfate contains 50 mg of elemental zinc (NIH).
  • Zinc gluconate is approximately 13% zinc by weight. For a dose of 50mg elemental zinc, take 385 mg zinc gluconate. (Examine)
  • Zinc monomethionine is approximately 21% zinc by weight. For a dose of 50mg elemental zinc, take 238 mg zinc monomethionine. (Examine)
  • Zinc picolinate (20% of elemental zinc) (Metabolics
  • Zinc ascorbate (15%) (Metabolics
  • Zinc chloride (48%) (Metabolics
  • Zinc carbonate (52%) (Metabolics
  • Zinc bisglycinate (25%) (Metabolics
  • Zinc oxide (80%) (FamilyPractice). Although the percentage of elemental zinc is high, do take note that zinc oxide is one of the least bioavailable form.
  • Zinc carnosine: The typical clinical oral dose is 150 mg/day, containing 34 mg zinc and 116 mg L-carnosine.

What is chelated zinc supplement?

Chelated zinc is a zinc supplement that’s easily absorbed by your body.

Because it’s difficult for your body to efficiently absorb zinc on its own, zinc is often attached to a chelating agent in supplements. A chelating agent is a substance that bonds with zinc to create a more absorbable end product.

Types of chelated zinc

Chelated zinc is mainly made using one of the following compounds: amino acids or organic acids.

Amino acids
  • aspartic acid: used to make zinc aspartate
  • methionine: used to make zinc methionine
  • monomethionine: used to make zinc monomethionine
Organic acids
  • acetic acid: used to make zinc acetate
  • citric acid: used to make zinc citrate
  • gluconic acid: used to make zinc gluconate
  • orotic acid: used to make zinc orotate
  • picolinic acid: used to make zinc picolinate
Zinc supplements combining zinc with inorganic acids such as sulfates (zinc sulfate) and oxides (zinc oxide) are also available.

Best Zinc Supplement 2021

1. WonderLabs Zinc Lozenges with Vitamin C - Best Seller
 

- Amazon's Choice for Zinc Lozenges.

About this Item:
  • Nutritionally Supports a Healthy Immune System
  • Formulated with a perfect balance of 25 mg of Zinc, 30 mg of Vitamin C, 2mg of Vitamin B6, and a Proprietary Blend of Royal Jelly, White Willow Bark Ext., and Slippery Elm Bark Powder
  • Almost TWICE the amount of zinc per lozenge of cold-EEZE zinc lozenges
  • Fruit Flavored to provide children zinc lozenges without a large amount of added sugars
  • Internally tested and third party tested to ensure purity and potency so you get the highest quality vitamin
  • Made in the USA in a FDA Registered & Inspected Facility, under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP's)
Amazon Reviews
4.4 out of 5 - More than 1,800 customer reviews.



2. NOW Foods Zinc Glycinate Softgels - Best Chelated Zinc


Chelated zinc is a type of zinc supplement that uses a chelating agent to help your body absorb zinc more easily.

While there are several chelated zinc supplements on the market, one of the best options is NOW Foods’ Zinc Glycinate softgels.

Each softgel contains 30 mg of zinc glycinate — a form of zinc that human and animal studies suggest may be better absorbed than other types of zinc. (Trusted SourceTrusted Source).

All NOW Foods supplements are certified by Underwriters Laboratories and follow GMP to ensure the quality and accuracy of their products. Additionally, these supplements tend to be more affordable than many other high quality brands.

Amazon Reviews
4.7 out of 5 - More than 600 customer reviews.




3. Nature's Potent Zinc 50mg



> Immune Support Team - Zinc has immune-enhancing properties and is also vital for normal growth and development. It also plays a role in antioxidant support.

> Zinc for Women – Zinc is a key nutrient during pregnancy, essential for proper growth and development in a fetus. 

> Premium Quality - Zinc tablets made to Nature’s Potent guaranteed purity potency standards. 

> Zinc can be used with other Best Multivitamins like: Elderberry, Vitamins B12 and B6, Magnesium Tablets, B- Complex, Vitamin C.

> Safe - All our products Made in USA in GMP Certified Facilities - Third Part Tested to insure 100% Best Quality Products!

https://amzn.to/2UbOMi7
I was told by my neuropathic physican that zinc was the way to go if you were looking to reduce acne. Well, I followed her advice and take one pill a day at 6:00 PM after a meal and my acne has been under control. I prefer Nature’s Potent because it’s a solid tablet and I never have had any issues with stomach upset. Easy to swallow and in my opinion the best zinc tablet on the market...

4.7 out of 5 - 6,874 global ratings



4. Pure Micronutrients Zinc Chelate




- Zinc Glycinate Supplements
- 25mg per serving

FAST RELIEF / PEAK IMMUNE SUPPORT – Delivers zinc in the form of Bisglycinate, a clinically proven highly absorbable form that's faster acting. 

FEEL ENERGETIC, ENJOY CLEAR SKIN, SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH - Specifically designed to restore optimal zinc levels critical for energy production, healthy immune function and growth / repair within the body. 

SUPER EASY TO SWALLOW - Our small soft Zinc capsules have been specifically designed to be very easy to swallow, making them effortless to take, with no lingering aftertaste!

GENTLE, NO UPSET STOMACH - Pure Zinc contains a very gentle form of Zinc that breaks down in the small intestine, greatly reducing the incidence of digestive discomfort, nausea and/or diarrhoea or constipation. Perfect for women, men, elderly, women during pregnancy & teenagers who are prone to stomach irritability following vitamin supplementation. Pure Zinc is easily digested with or without food.

NATURAL, PURE & TRUSTED – GMO free, no fillers, preservatives or other non-active ingredients. Kosher & Halal friendly. Pharmaceutical Grade, USA MADE, Third Party Tested


I started taking these a couple months ago and my acne has cleared up so much! I had a lot of hormonal acne and then just skin irritation (probably from sitting at a desk all day and leaning on my hands all day. Too much face touching.) I try to never forget to take this every night. I stopped for about a week and had a breakout again. These really work. Especially if the acne is pms related. I wish I had before and after pics. Even the random pimples I do get now clear up so much faster. I've also seen an improvement in those bumps I have on my arms. I have a habit of picking my skin and these have cleared it up so much that there isn't much left for me to focus on. No longer destroying myself.

4.7 out of 5 - 4,231 global ratings



5. Mary Ruth's Liquid Ionic Zinc


MaryRuth’s Liquid Ionic Zinc is a liquid dietary supplement that provides zinc in ionic form, meaning that zinc is found as ions in the solution.

- Ionic Zinc Liquid Drops by MaryRuth's for Skin Health and Immune Support 

- Pure Zinc Sulfate Supplement with Organic Glycerin for Adults & Kids 

- Vegan, Non-GMO & Gluten Free | 40 Servings

- Per Serving (3 mL; ~4 Pumps): 11.25 mg Zinc (as Zinc Sulfate)

- Other Ingredients: Organic Glycerin (from Mustard Seed), Purified Water. 

- Store in a cool, dry place. Keep out of reach of children in case of accidental overdose or choking. - Free of Common Allergies: Liquid Ionic Zinc by MaryRuth's is Non-GMO, Vegan, Made in a GMP Facility. Dairy Free, Nut Free, Gluten & Wheat Free, Soy Free, Corn Free, Nightshade Free, Sugar Free. Bariatric Friendly, Celiac Friendly, Kid Friendly. 

- Each bottle comes with 40 servings.

Dosage : 11.25mg for 4 pumps (4 pumps per serving)

Reviews
We are using this for health of our immune system. This was recommended to us by a doctor who swears by it. As she is taking care of Covid patients, she believes this has helped her not catch it. So... we are trying it. We just got it and haven't had it for that long, so we'll see. But, we are taking other Zinc pills and believe that has helped us. This is stronger and will get into our system faster, so we're looking forward to positive results.
4.7 out of 5 - 5,781 global ratings



6. Nature's Bounty Zinc 50 mg Caplets - Chelated Zinc Supplement 50 mg



  • This product is the #1 best seller under the zinc mineral supplements on Amazon Best Sellers and has more than 50,000 customer reviews on Amazon.
  • One vegetarian-friendly caplet a day contributes to carbohydrate, protein, fat and energy metabolism, and helps promote wellness in key areas of reproductive health for men.
  • Plays a key role in the synthesis of testosterone.
  • During the summer months products may arrive warm but Amazon stores and ships products in accordance with manufacturers' recommendations, when provided.
Amazon Reviews
4.8 out of 5 - More than 50,000 customer reviews on Amazon



7. Nature's Bounty Immune 24 Hour +  - Best Zinc Supplement for Seniors


Zinc dosage for senior: Men over age 60 do not usually meet their recommended daily zinc needs. On average, males in this demographic get 9.4 milligrams per day, slightly less than the recommendation, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. In some cases, your doctor may suggest taking a daily multivitamin or zinc supplement to further boost your zinc intake. Zinc can be toxic at high doses, causing severe gastrointestinal problems. It is unlikely to get excessive amounts of zinc from your diet, but you can overdose on supplements. 

About this item:
  • Softgels contain Zinc (15 mg per serving daily; 136% of daily value), Vitamin A, C, D3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folate, Panthotenic Acid, Magnesium, Echinacea, Elderberry, Astralagus.
  • THE ONLY VITAMIN C WITH 24-HOUR IMMUNE SUPPORT: Nature's Bounty Immune 24 Hour + contains 1000mg of Ester-C, the only clinically studied Vitamin C with 24-hour immune support. Ester-C lasts up to 2x longer than regular Vitamin C
  • PLUS VITAMIN D & ZINC, WITH ELDERBERRY AND ECHINACEA: Immune 24 Hour + provides Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Zinc for extra immune plus antioxidant support. Also contains Elderberry and Echinacea, plus 9 essential nutrients to help keep you healthy
  • SUPPORTS UPPER RESPIRATORY HEALTH: Highly bioavailable Ester-C can increase Vitamin C levels in the body, which is important for white blood cell function, contributing to the health of the upper respiratory tract
  • NON-GMO FORMULA: Nature's Bounty Immune 24 Hour + is Non-GMO and contains No artificial flavor or artificial sweeteners, no sugar, no starch, no milk, no lactose, no soy, no gluten, no wheat, no yeast, no fish, sodium free
  • RAPID RELEASE SOFTGELS: For adults, Take 2 softgels daily, preferably with a meal.

Amazon Reviews
4.8 out of 5 - More than 30,000 customer reviews on Amazon.com.



8. WonderLabs Zinc Lozenges with Vitamin C - Best Seller

 

- Amazon's Choice for Zinc Lozenges.

About this Item:
  • Nutritionally Supports a Healthy Immune System
  • Formulated with a perfect balance of 25 mg of Zinc, 30 mg of Vitamin C, 2mg of Vitamin B6, and a Proprietary Blend of Royal Jelly, White Willow Bark Ext., and Slippery Elm Bark Powder
  • Almost TWICE the amount of zinc per lozenge of cold-EEZE zinc lozenges
  • Fruit Flavored to provide children zinc lozenges without a large amount of added sugars
  • Internally tested and third party tested to ensure purity and potency so you get the highest quality vitamin
  • Made in the USA in a FDA Registered & Inspected Facility, under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP's)
Amazon Reviews
4.4 out of 5 - More than 1,800 customer reviews.



9. NOW Foods Zinc Glycinate Softgels - Best Chelated Zinc


Chelated zinc is a type of zinc supplement that uses a chelating agent to help your body absorb zinc more easily.

While there are several chelated zinc supplements on the market, one of the best options is NOW Foods’ Zinc Glycinate softgels.

Each softgel contains 30 mg of zinc glycinate — a form of zinc that human and animal studies suggest may be better absorbed than other types of zinc. (Trusted SourceTrusted Source).

All NOW Foods supplements are certified by Underwriters Laboratories and follow GMP to ensure the quality and accuracy of their products. Additionally, these supplements tend to be more affordable than many other high quality brands.

Amazon Reviews
4.7 out of 5 - More than 600 customer reviews.


10. NutriGold Zinc Gold - Best Organic

If you’re looking for an organic zinc supplement, NutriGold’s Zinc Gold is one of the best options out there.

Each capsule contains 15 mg of whole-foods-based zinc that’s derived from an organic sprouted blend, which the supplement claims may be gentler on your stomach.

Additionally, NutritGold’s supplements are certified organic by SCS Global Services, an official partner of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that sets sustainability, quality, and organic standards.

Each product is also third-party tested, as well as non-GMO and vegan certified.

Adults should take 1 capsule daily, or as directed by your healthcare provider.


11. Best Chewable Zinc Supplement 2020 - Zinc Gummies


  • The First Gummy Supplement of its Kind - Zinc 50mg Gummy with Vitamin D3, Echinacea (2 Month Supply) - Made in USA
  • Vitamin D with Zinc - Zinc Gummies 50mg for Adults Kids are an essential mineral supplement that are a powerful part of a healthy lifestyle. Zinc supplements are powerful antioxidants that support a strong immune response, wound healing, cell production and many other vital functions of your body just like Elderberry, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin C & D3
  • Powerful Zinc Chewable Immune Support - Taking Zinc Chewable Gummies each day can help make up for a lack of other nutrients in the diet such as vitimin D, vitamin C, vitamin A as well as Elderberry. Zinc immune support has been shown to be a highly absorbable form of zink, allowing for faster protection against normal illnesses.
  • Zinc Supplements Gummies - Zinc Vitamins for Adults and Zinc Gummies for Kids can promote the production of collagen, and they may play a role in keeping your skin radiant and smooth. Immune Support Gummies Zinc wound-healing properties can be beneficial to maintaining skin’s elasticity throughout aging.
  • Vegan Zinc Supplements - Taking zinc gummy vitamins for men women everyday may help promote longer deep sleep periods throughout the night. As a result, this zinc gummie supplement mineral vitamin helps to support your cognitive ability, mood, and energy levels. Zinc gummie absorb faster into the bloodstream, since they are chewed, rather than taking zinc lozenge, pills or capsules, or liquid zinc.

12. Quercetin Zinc Vitamins C & D3 Bromelain Magnesium by Mt. Angel Vitamins - Best Immune Support Supplement 


  • 300 capsules: 5 - 10 months supply
  • FORTIFIED FUNCTION – Sick of stuffy, sneezy, seasonal illnesses? Fight flare-ups with Mt. Angel Vitamins’ quercetin supplement! This nutrient blend helps boost better health so you can feel your best!
  • OVERALL AID – Bolster your body AND mind! Quercetin with vitamin C and zinc are proven not only to provide immune support but also to improve metabolism, circulatory supporty, and cognitive clarity!
  • BREATHE & BOUND – Revive your vitality! By fostering cellular functioning, your zinc quercetin capsules’ antioxidants enhance respiratory health and energy levels so you can enjoy activities!
  • TAKE IT EASY – Support, meet simplicity. To enjoy extra defense, take 1 of your quercetin with bromelain and zinc capsules twice daily. Bursting with 300 capsules, your bottle lasts longer than most brands’.

Conclusion

If you think a zinc supplement is right for you, talk to your doctor about which form you should take. This is especially important because zinc can interfere with your body's absorption of copper and iron, so you might need to supplement those minerals as well.


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