Zinc is the ‘Thor’ of Minerals &

Word on the street is that zinc shuts down replicase of viruses during viral infection but some say ‘there’s a catch’, read about that here—and even though a diet should be full of zinc-rich foods, during times of national pandemic like we are in now, it’s a good idea to ramp up those stores and have some extra on hand!

When to Take Zinc

If you are getting too much zinc, your body will let you know. Those with proper stores of zinc may be a slightly nauseous after taking a supplement. Don’t worry, it passes quickly. Say, for example, you just had a steak, ground beef, or lamb for dinner —then you probably don’t need to take zinc that day. If, on the other hand, you’ve been too busy to eat properly, are generally run ragged, malnourished, or feeling ‘under the weather’, —then def take some zinc. Most people can benefit. 

Quick Recommendations

L-OptiZinc is specially formulated for sensitive stomachs, the least nauseating of all zinc supplements, and most absorbable, according to our research. Don’t let the nausea issue scare you. Zinc is critical during these times. For those who may not have the time to read this full article, here are our top recommendations in a nutshell —of course, always consult with your physician beforehand. Now L-OptiZinc or Zinc Balance by Jarrow with copper. You can read more about zinc and copper below. Note: Jarrow zinc is more prone to causing nausea, as it is very pure and strong. So easy does it —maybe every other day is best. Heads up —if a brand says L-OptiZinc, like Source Naturals here, but they don’t specify on their label the type of methionine (l or d), then we don’t use it. We explain why later in the article.  Honorable mention goes to EZ Melts Zinc Carnosine, which claim to be stomach protective. And here’s a good option for the kiddos. These zinc and echinacea lozenges are also one of our faves that we always try to keep on hand —or try the ones with elderberry (sambucus). Get either one, as both echinacea and elderberry are antiviral. At the time of this writing, they’re back in stock. As a backup, these zinc cough drops by Zarbee’s are (surprisingly). I haven’t personally tried them, but I might still and yet if I can’t get ZAND. Keep in mind, the zinc lozenges are generally fine to take 2-3 per day, and rarely, if ever cause nausea, regardless of diet because the zinc dosage is so low. It’s still enough to make a difference and strengthen immunity. Just be sure to brush after, cuz they’re like hard candy. Please note, the information on the different kinds of zinc starts just below the infographics if you’re in a rush! 

Now, Let’s Get Started

Ever look at the zinc supplement shelf and feel a wave of confusion come over you?!? Well, don’t worry. That won’t be happening anymore if you read this. In this article, we cover everything on zinc. We also give you 30+ brands with their ingredient lists, and then tell you our personal faves! Let’s jump right in!

Mental Instability & Zinc

Did you know zinc, along with B-vitamins, is instrumental to our mental health and wellbeing. Without it, we can have all sorts of issues like eating disorders, depression, or anxiety. In fact, in the USA, there is a high rate of deficiency due to soil erosion, etc, which may play a role in mental illness. This is especially true for people who, for some unknown reason, experience excessive zinc and b-vitamin depletion during periods of stress. Such individuals are sometimes known to be pyroluric, or have pyroluria. During periods of high-stress, their bodies will actually leech their own zinc and B-vitamins via urine. This is terrible because these vitamins play a such a crucial role in our mental state and sense of personal wellbeing. For such individuals, it’s absolutely necessary to stay on top of lifelong supplementation. 

Why Zinc? Here’s a few more good reasons…

Zinc has been cited in popular online forums and in scientific studies for helping heal anorexia nervosa, bulimia, premenstrual cramps, acne, anxiety, depression, and HPV (human papillomavirus). Zinc has even been proven to help tinnitus sufferers! Here is more information about zinc and tinnitus in case you or someone you know is suffering with it. Zinc also helps regulate insulin resistance in diabetics and help in weight loss.

Types of Zinc

Choosing a zinc supplement can be confusing because there are so many different types.

  • zinc acetate
  • zinc angstrom
  • zinc carbonate
  • zinc carnosine
  • zinc chelate
  • zinc chloride
  • zinc citrate
  • zinc glycinate
  • zinc gluconate
  • zinc lactate
  • zinc l-aspartate / zinc aspartate
  • zinc methionine & monomethionine
  • zinc orotate
  • zinc oxide
  • zinc picolinate
  • zinc sulfate

A Brief Explanation of Types

Zinc Acetate is made from zinc nitrate and acetic anhydride. Zinc Angstrom Angstrom refers to the size of a particle, atom or molecule. It is smaller than ionic or colloidal minerals. I contacted Angstrom Zinc is broken down to an angstrom size particle and bonded to the water molecule through reverse osmosis in liquid angstrom mineral supplements. The actual type of zinc used is zinc sulfate. Zinc Carbonate the carbonate is a salt of carbonic acid, from the rock known as smithsonite or zincspar. 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 Chloride is a combination of zinc and chlorine Zinc Chelate is smithsonite processed with bisglycinate  Zinc Citrate is smithsonite processed with citric acid. Zinc Glycinate is some for of ester of glycine; aminoacetate Zinc Gluconate is a zinc rock processed with gluconic acid. Zinc Lactate is smithsonite processed with lactic acid. Zinc L-aspartate I do not know a lot about this type of zinc. I do know what aspartate is and it is related to aspartame. Because of that I would not take any supplement with it in it. For example, it has a bad reputation here. Even thought that is related to magnesium aspartate, I still wouldn’t risk it with zinc aspartate. Zinc Methionine & Monomethionine is a zinc salt with methionine, a sulfur-containing amino acid that is a constituent of most proteins. Zinc Orotate is a zinc rock processed with orotic acid. Zinc Oxide (topical often used in sunscreens) Zinc Picolinate is a zinc rock processed with picolinic acid, which is said to be more absorbable than gluconate or citrate, however the study was from 1987 and for some people there are even better options now.   Zinc Sulfate is a salt or ester of sulfuric acid. Cited most in scientific studies for healing HPV, one of the least expensive and most common form of zinc used today, however not my first choice because it has a reputation for causing stomach upset. A Brief Background on Zinc Methionine/Monomethionine continued from Part 1. This was puzzling to me because zinc monomethionine had an amazing reputation online. It is said to have high absorption and non-interference with copper blood plasma levels. Many people like it because it supposedly doesn’t induce nausea. Then I saw a supplement reviewer mention something about synthetic monomethionine and my search began. What was monomethionine exactly? I wanted to know. I had no luck finding anything out about it so I began to search for just methionine. Then the floodgates opened. Methionine is an amino acid. According to some very intelligent poster on Cure Zone, “with commercial amino acids when you see the “L” this indicates the natural form of the amino acid. The “D” form is the synthetic mirror image. So DL-methionine is also a synthetic form of methionine.” I verified this through other sources and it’s true. So to be sure, natural methionine is prefixed with just an L as in L-methionine, and synthetic is D or DL-methionine, or just monomethionine. I read about many studies with D/DL vs. L type methionine, and they are very clinical. Basically, natural forms have excellent absorption and have little to no side effects while the D/DL type is connected with some health issues. D/DL-methionine is also in some pet foods, including organic chicken feed. So even if you are eating organic chicken, it’s highly likely it’s getting some synthetic methionine.

Opti Zinc vs. Opti L-Zinc

Zinc methionine and monomethionine is sold under the patented name Opti Zinc or Opti L-Zinc. According to the manufacturer the difference between Opti Zinc and Opti L-Zinc is that one is synthetic D or DL methionine and one is natural methionine. The “L” version is the natural methionine, and thus more bioavailable. The natural L-methionine is the version that is approved for use in the EU (European Union). Europe almost always has stricter standards for food and supplements. Here is more information from the manufacturer. At first I thought that it was some kind of a scam, but the more I studied methionine, the more I realized this as a viable option because methionine is good for you.

Difference in Labeling Opti Zinc vs. Opti L-Zinc

Most types on the market right now are the Opti Zinc (D or DL monomethionine or methionine) – also known as the synthetic form of the amino acid. Here is what the label may look like if it is synthetic. It seems like a supplement listed as monomethionine is OptiZinc and when listed as L-methionine it is Opti L-Zinc.

My Zinc Picks

There are a few types of Opti L-Zinc supplements on the market listed below with their current corresponding labels. Because it is hard to find this type of zinc on the market, I listed all of them, even if they had some type of filler. 

A Note Regarding Fillers

Most supplements in general have fillers. They commonly include some derivative of a stearate, whether it is vegetable stearate, stearic acid, or magnesium stearate, and silica, or silicon dioxide, varying forms of cellulose (not all forms are vegetable cellulose), and soy lecithin. There are very few supplements without one or more of the above. And many supplements have much scarier ingredients. I try to pick the purest supplements I can find. My personal goal was to choose a supplement with the least fillers, sugar and allergens, particularly soy. For information about fillers and my stance on them, please read more here. (provide link)

Opti L-Zinc Picks with Labels & Reviews

Here are a few versions of opti-zinc. PRO L-OPTIZINC (NO REVIEWS) This supplement above doesn’t show a label, so I called the company and was informed it has rice flour. But it is listed as 60 mg of zinc. Vitacost L-Opti Zinc – read the reviews! —Reviews are veryyyy informative! Why? Because it shows ‘anecdotal’ evidence first hand from individuals in the global community!  To learn more about reducing zinc induced nausea, the copper/zinc link, the Toxinless 30+ zinc brands list with ingredients, honorable mentions, drug interactions, and scientific studies, please read:  Please note: If your body already has a lot of bioavailable zinc in your system, then taking zinc may create nausea. Sometimes it is just the wrong kind of zinc for your body. If you take the most innocuous one (see our picks in Part 2), then you should experience no nausea. If you’ve eaten red meat in the last 1-2 days, you may not necessarily need zinc as beef and red meats are heavy in it. This is usually the only time someone doesn’t need it. If someone eats red meat daily, such as a zero carber like Kelly Hogan  then a zinc supplement would most likely result in nausea, because it’s not needed. Make sense!? We hope so. Some will talk about the zinc assay test where you put liquid zinc in a dropper on the tongue. If you can taste the metallic zinc then you do not need it. If you cannot taste it, then you need it, according to the method/theory.

A Note About Copper & Zinc

There is a lot of emphasis placed on balancing copper and zinc ratios. At doses of 50 mg or more it is suggested to be sure you are getting enough copper. Keep in mind that suggested daily intake be 15 mg total absorbed. Now not all zincs absorb the same. Take that into account when you add this supplement to your diet. The label should tell you the amount to take. Just be sure you don’t already have high levels of copper in the body before adding it. You may just need a balance of zinc without copper. Many people have excess copper in the body. To get your levels tested, contact a doctor or health provider of your choice. If you are trying to figure out if you may have enough copper in your body, you may want to start with this article from the Weston A. Price Foundation on copper and zinc balance.

Combined Zinc & Copper Supplements

If you feel you may be copper deficient however, below is a list of supplements that combine the Opti L-Zinc with copper. Some sources say that the safest way to get copper is through chlorophyll. Here is a little more about copper in chlorophyll. Then you can decide to take a blended supplement for copper and zinc or two different ones. Jarrow L-Opti Zinc with Copper – (reviews) – notice the design change from blue to red. Now Foods L-OptiZinc w/Copper – (reviews)

Non Opti L-Zinc Copper Blends

Solaray Zinc Copper reviews

Reducing & Avoiding Zinc Induced Nausea

Taking too much (or certain types) of zinc is more likely to result in stomach upset or other side effects which can be dangerous. Because of this, some sources suggest not going above 15-30 mg especially if you are just starting a supplement. It is also best to increase amounts gradually not exceeding your personal requirement. Keep in mind different types of zinc will have different absorption rates. It’s best not to take zinc on an empty stomach. I’ve read that zinc carnosine and zinc monomethionine are gentler on the stomach than zinc sulfate or other types of zinc.

Honorable Mentions

Here is a list of 4 other brands and their zinc type with the least fillers. Please keep in mind that it is very hard to find ‘the perfect supplement’. If I missed some great zinc supplement that you think should be added to this list, please let me know.

Drug Interactions

Sometimes zinc interacts positively or negatively with other drugs. For more information about that, please read more here.

Zinc Studies

Here are some zinc studies you can refer to:

Do you take a zinc supplement and how has it helped you? Please share!

Additional Recommended Reading: Wellness Mama: How Zinc Affects the Whole Body Nutrition & Mental Development with WAPS Metals & the Mind WAPS Homeopathic Zinc WAPS Mineral Primer WAPS Copper Zinc Imbalance & Plant Based Diets WAPS The Role Zinc in Human Biology Can My Chicken Eat This!?! A Cool Zinc Site! 

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