Your body needs zinc to perform a number of crucial functions as this essential mineral is a vital nutrient for so many fundamental functions within the internal ecosystem.
For example, Zinc is linked with better digestion and immune health, and also is a catalyst for stimulating over a hundred different enzymes as well as synthesizing DNA. Your body also needs zinc to produce testosterone, estrogen, and other important hormones.
In most cases, your body cannot produce zinc naturally. That’s why many take zinc supplements. Even consumers who don't have a deficiency in zinc might take zinc supplements to help maximize their important bodily functions.
A zinc supplement lets you avoid zinc deficiency, leading to a stronger immune system and muscles and can even help heal wounds faster.
What are the best zinc supplements on the market today? Which zinc supplements should you use to support your body? Keep reading to discover the best zinc supplements of 2023 in our expansive review of the evolving industry.
Ranking the Top 12 Best Zinc Supplements of 2023
As always, we advise against using our supplement ranking guide as a definitive source. Always conduct your own research, as our priorities and preferences used in making this list might not align with your own.
After the list of the best zinc supplements in 2023, keep reading below for a detailed frequently asked questions and answers section about this essential mineral and how it works within the body. There is also an outline on how we reviewed the top zinc products of this year and how the ratings worked for each zinc supplement brand.
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc
Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code Raw Zinc mixes whole food zinc with vitamin C to support skin and immune health. Each serving contains 200% of your Daily Value (DV) of zinc along with 100% of your DV of vitamin C.
What really separates Garden of Life Vitamin Code from other supplements, however, is the addition of dozens of fruits, vegetables, and digestive enzymes. The supplement contains apple, beet, broccoli, and carrot extract, for example, along with spirulina, cellulase, and 500 billion CFUs of probiotics, among many other listed ingredients.
Despite containing all of these ingredients, Vitamin Code is very reasonably-priced at just $10 for 30 servings. It’s easily the best zinc supplement available today.
Price: $10 (30 Servings)
Jamieson is one of the world’s best-known and bestselling supplement companies. Jamieson’s Zinc supplement provides similar dosage and benefits to other products on this list, but with a no-nonsense label and price tag.
If you want a straightforward zinc supplement with a stronger dose than most other zinc supplements listed here, then it’s hard to go wrong with Jamieson Zinc. The supplement comes in a timed release capsule, although you can also find chewable versions of the formula sold online.
Price: $25 (90 Servings)
Biopharm-X Zinc Citrate
Biopharm-X’s Zinc Citrate is a popular and affordable supplement that claims to support immune function and healthy zinc. There’s 50mg of zinc citrate in each tablet. The formula supports normal protein synthesis, bone health, and fatty acid metabolism, among other benefits.
The supplement is manufactured in the UK in an FDA and MHRA approved facility. There’s 100 servings (100 tablets) in each container at a price of just $14, making Biopharm-X Zinc Citrate one of the most value-packed zinc supplements on our list.
Price: $14 (100 Servings)
Spring Valley Zinc
Spring Valley Zinc is a 50mg zinc supplement, which is among the highest dosages listed here. The zinc is packaged into a micro-thin coated caplet for easy swallowing. Each bottle comes with 200 caplets at a price under $25, which makes this one of the most value-packed zinc supplements on this list.
Spring Valley claims their zinc supplement promotes antioxidant activity and immune health. Each caplet provides 333% of your Daily Value (DV) of zinc.
Price: $25 (200 Caplets)
Optimum Nutrition ZMA
Optimum Nutrition’s ZMA is one of the most popular zinc supplements available today – although it’s not strictly a zinc supplement. ZMA contains 30mg of zinc, 450mg of magnesium, and 10.5mg of vitamin B6 in each serving.
The “ZMA” stands for Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, which is purportedly more effective for increasing muscle strength, size, and recovery when used in conjunction with intense weight training. You can buy the supplement in 90 or 180 count bottles, both of which are surprisingly affordable.
Price: $11 (30 Servings) or $20 (60 Servings)
Bulksupplements Zinc Citrate Powder
Bulksupplements has developed a reputation for clean, bulk supplement powders with affordable prices and no fillers. The Bulksupplements Zinc Citrate Powder is no different.
There’s 48mg of zinc (320% DV) in each 150mg serving of the powder. The smallest container has 250g of zinc powder (1666 servings). Sizes of 500g, 1kg, and 5kg are also available, giving you an enormous amount of zinc powder at a reasonable price.
Price: $18 (1666 Servings)
Eidon Ionic Minerals Zinc Liquid Concentrate
Eidon Ionic Minerals makes a popular Zinc Liquid Concentrate supplement. The company claims their supplement supports prorate health, adrenal function, cellular metabolism, and a healthy immune system.
Most zinc supplements here are tablets or capsules. This supplement, however, is a liquid concentrate: the zinc is suspended in deionized water, and you take 30 drops per day to get the equivalent dose of zinc. You can mix it with water, juice, or the beverage of your choice.
Price: $19 (30 Servings)
Sandhus isn’t a well-known nutritional supplement company, but they do make a popular Optizinc formula. With 30mg per serving, Sandhus Zinc provides the recommended daily amount of zinc. They claim their zinc is “highly bioavailable” because it’s in the form of OptiZinc, a unique mineral chelate that combines zinc with L-methionine.
This zinc is packaged into vegetable capsules, and there’s 60 servings (120 capsules) in each reasonably-priced container. The supplement is also sold under the Sandhus Herbals brand, where there’s 50mg of zinc per serving.
Price: $25 (60 Servings)
Jarrow Formulas Zinc Balance
Jarrow Formulas Zinc Balance claims to support immune and antioxidant production in your body using two ingredients: zinc and copper. There’s 15mg of zinc and 1mg of copper in each serving, giving you 110% to 140% of your Daily Value (DV) of each vital mineral.
Each bottle is priced at $22 for 100 servings, putting Jarrow Formulas Zinc Balance within range of most other supplements on this list.
America Medic & Science (AMS) Chelated Zinc
American Medic & Science makes a chelated zinc supplement with 25mg of zinc per serving. The supplement claims to support immune system function, vision and eye health, DNA formation, and insulin formation, among other benefits.
You take one zinc tablet per day, and each bottle comes with 60 tablets (60 servings). At $25, it’s not the most cost-effective zinc supplement on this list, but it is one option available through Amazon and other retailers.
Price: $25 (60 Servings)
Ayer Zinc Supplement Drops
Ayer’s Zinc Supplement Drops are marketed towards parents who want an easy way to give zinc to a toddler or baby. Priced at $16 for a 50mL (50 serving) bottle, the zinc supplement drops contain 3mg of zinc per mL. That’s a much smaller dosage than other zinc supplements listed here. However, 3mg of zinc is the recommended daily value for infants and children under age 4. You can take the liquid directly or add it to a beverage.
Ayer’s Zinc Supplement Drops claim to be highly bioavailable. They also have no artificial flavors or added colors.
Price: $16 (50 Servings)
Rocufast Extra Strength Zinc
Rocufast’s Extra Strength Zinc is a chewable lozenge with turmeric and beetroot. Rocufast claims these ingredients help your body absorb zinc more quickly, making the formula “10x better than a pure zinc supplement”. Each serving contains 30mg of zinc mixed with a variety of herbal extracts, plant extracts, and more.
If you want a pure zinc supplement, then Rocufast Extra Strength Zinc is not the right option. However, if you want a zinc supplement mixed with dozens of plant and herbal extracts, then Rocufast Extra Strength Zinc may be the right choice.
Price: $30 (30 Servings)
How We Ranked
Our editorial team ranked the zinc supplements above based on all of the following factors.
Zing Dosage: Most zinc supplements above have 25mg to 30mg of zinc per serving. Some supplements have as little as 10mg per serving, while others have doses as high as 50mg.
Pure Zinc: You can find plenty of zinc supplements that combine zinc with other ingredients, including magnesium, echinacea, or elderberry. We covered many of these products in our immune supplements guide. Most of the supplements above contained exclusively zinc, although there were some exceptions for the highest-rated zinc combo supplements on the market – like Optimum Nutrition’s ZMA or Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code.
Inactive Ingredients: Generally, we preferred vegetarian or vegan inactive ingredients with no artificial colors or preservatives.
Advertised Benefits: Supplement companies are not allowed to advertise health benefits. However, some supplements toe the line, claiming their formulas improve your immune system, boost your digestive health, and provide other suggested benefits. We preferred supplements that were legal and transparent with their benefits.
Delivery Method: Some zinc supplements use liquid formulas, while others use caplets, tablets, or capsules.
Bioavailability: All zinc supplements claim to be bioavailable – easy for your body to absorb. However, not all zinc supplements live up to this promise. Some zinc supplements are highly soluble in water – which is good for absorption. Other zinc supplements use zinc oxide, which gets destroyed by your stomach acid.
Label Transparency: Some zinc supplements contain proprietary formulas with no specific dosages listed. Others are open and honest with their advertised ingredients. We preferred label transparency.
Scientific Benefits: Most of the zinc supplements listed above have not gone through any clinical trials or scientific studies. However, some supplements cite research performed on equivalent doses of zinc or other ingredients. We prefer science-backed evidence over junk science and unverified claims.
Who Should Take a Zinc Supplement?
Zinc is a crucial mineral. Your body requires zinc for countless functions. If your body does not get an adequate amount of zinc, then you are zinc deficient. People who are zinc deficient have a higher risk of health issues.
Zinc deficiency isn’t common in the developed world, but it certainly occurs.
Vegans and vegetarians may not get enough zinc, for example, because plant-based sources of zinc are less efficient than animal-based sources.
Similarly, alcoholics may struggle to get sufficient levels of zinc because their bodies do not absorb zinc as efficiently.
Zinc is popular among men seeking to increase testosterone, especially older men. Testosterone production declines with age, and some men take zinc supplements to maintain testosterone levels as they get older.
Studies have shown that men deficient in zinc also tend to have low levels of testosterone. Zinc supplements can lessen the severity of this problem.
Others take zinc to support the immune system. Some evidence shows zinc lessens the severity of a cold, for example, helping you recover from a cold more quickly.
Studies show that when you take zinc at the onset of illness, you may be able to recover more quickly from the cold. Studies haven’t quite shown that zinc prevents you from getting sick, although it does seem to shorten the duration of an illness.
Others take zinc for digestive health. Zinc is a crucial mineral for boosting the intestinal wall, for example, and reducing symptoms of leaky gut. If you have digestive issues, bloating, and other problems, then zinc may be able to lessen the severity of symptoms.
Benefits of Zinc
Zinc is a critical trace mineral. Researchers have performed thousands of studies on zinc, confirming its connection to various benefits and body functions.
First, zinc appears to help you recover more quickly from a cold. Research has shown that people who take zinc supplements at the onset of symptoms can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms.
In this study published in Pediatrics in 1998, for example, researchers analyzed the effects of 10mg of zinc on infants and preschool children. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that after six months, the illness rate was significantly lower in the zinc group compared to a placebo, and that supplementing with 10mg of zinc decreased the likelihood of illness.
Researchers also found that zinc was particularly useful for reducing incidence of lower respiratory infections. In other words, zinc lowered the chances of catching a lower respiratory infection.
At the onset of the study, 36% of children had low zinc levels in their blood. By the end of the study, only 12% had low zinc levels, showing that zinc supplements were absorbed by the body and did reduce zinc deficiency.
Another study published in 1989 provided additional evidence that zinc could fight upper respiratory infections. Researchers split 174 patients with upper respiratory infections into two groups. One group took a 23mg zinc lozenge every two hours during the day, while a placebo group took a placebo lozenge. After seven days, the zinc group felt about 13% better than the control group. This difference was small but significant, and researchers concluded that zinc could reduce symptoms and improve recover for upper respiratory infections.
Researchers have observed a connection between zinc and testosterone levels. In this 1996 study, researchers from Harvard analyzed testosterone levels in a group of 40 men, then checked their zinc levels. Researchers found that men with lower levels of zinc tended to have lower levels of testosterone.
The same group of researchers took their analysis a step further. They gave zinc supplements to a group of zinc deficient elderly men, then observed over a six month period. Researchers found that testosterone levels more than just increased among the elderly men – testosterone levels almost doubled.
Some people take zinc supplements to improve digestion. Some use zinc to target specific digestive conditions – like leaky gut syndrome. This study in 2014 reinforced the idea that zinc could reduce symptoms of leaky gut, showing that zinc supplement could enhance the epithelial barrier function in your gut to overcome the leaky gut syndrome.
Researchers have performed thousands of studies on zinc supplements. Instead of reviewing each one, we’ll reference this review study from 2013, which summarized research on zinc’s effects, dosages, and health benefits.
Researchers found that zinc deficiency was associated with growth failure. People who failed to get enough zinc growing up tended to have abnormal epidermal, gastrointestinal, central nervous, immune, skeletal, and reproductive systems, for example. A lack of zinc literally stunted growth.
Researchers in the review study also found that physiological conditions could increase the risk of zinc deficiency. Some people had inflammatory bowel disease, for example, or other malabsorption syndromes that impeded zinc absorption.
There’s evidence that zinc deficiency in early development leads to autism. This study in 2018 found that zinc deficiency disrupted neuron activity, increasing the risk of autism. However, researchers cautioned that more research was needed to verify the benefits.
Researchers published one of the longest-lasting studies on zinc in the Journal of Nutrition in 2002. Researchers analyzed zinc supplementation over a five year period in a group of 717 elderly adults with good nutrition. Researchers found that zinc levels rose from baseline in each of the five years of the study. This shows that zinc supplements can genuinely raise zinc levels in the body, and that zinc supplements are absorbed by the body.
Zinc deficiency could also cause high blood pressure. A 2019 study showed a link between low zinc levels and hypertension: when your body doesn’t get enough zinc, your body absorbs more sodium. In other words, a zinc supplement could lower your blood pressure.
There’s also some evidence that zinc improves eye health, reducing your risk of age-related macular degeneration, a common form of eye disease.
Finally, there’s some evidence that zinc could halt the progression or pre-diabetes. When your body is zinc deficient it struggles to handle glucose, which increases the risk of developing pre-diabetes.
There also reports of Zinc as a respiratory support mineral too:
And of course using the zinc mineral as an immune system booster:
Overall, zinc has been extensively studied for its effects of the immune system, testosterone, digestive health, and more. Although most people are not zinc deficient, zinc deficiency can lead to serious health risks.
Side Effects of Zinc
Zinc is a natural mineral and part of a standard diet. Most people are not allergic to zinc or have adverse reactions to zinc when taking a normal dosage.
However, some people experience certain side effects from zinc.
If you take excessive amounts of zinc in one sitting, however, it could lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, metallic taste, kidney and stomach damage, and other side effects.
Chronic zinc overload, for example, where you take too much zinc for a long period of time, can increase the risk of prostate cancer. This study published in 2003 found that men taking 100mg or more of zinc per day had twice the risk of prostate cancer compared to men taking less than 100mg of zinc.
The zinc supplements above have dosages no higher than 50mg per serving.
The study also attributed the risk specifically to zinc supplements – not overall dietary zinc intake. In other words, you need to take 100mg of zinc supplements per day to experience similar side effects.
Some studies have suggested that zinc impedes your body’s ability to absorb copper. Again, however, you need a significant amount of zinc to experience this effect.
Overall, zinc is well-tolerated by most people when taken in normal dosages.
Recommended Dosage of Zinc
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for zinc is:
- 11mg per day for boys and men age 14 and older
- 8mg per day for women 19 and older
According to WebMD, the average North American adult gets 9mg to 13mg of zinc per day from dietary sources. Zinc deficiency is rare in western diets, although it still affects millions of people
People with zinc deficiency may want to take a higher dosage. Experts recommend that those with mild zinc deficiency take 2 to 3 times the RDA of zinc for 6 months to reverse the deficiency.
The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for zinc, meanwhile, is typically around 40mg per day.
Zinc supplements have different dosages based on their delivery method. A zinc sulfate supplement, for example, contains 23% elemental zinc, while a zinc gluconate supplements contains 14.3% elemental zinc. In other words, two zinc supplements with a 30mg serving size may not deliver the same amount of zinc.
Frequently Asked Questions About Zinc
This section will work to answer most of the commonly asked questions that consumers have about both zinc as a supplement and the specific products listed above in our guide. Always consult your product manufacturer if you have any specific questions about a supplement and its ingredients or function.
Q: How do you use zinc to raise testosterone?
A: Studies have shown that a single 30 mg dose of zinc could raise testosterone levels in men. Those who are deficient in zinc might especially benefit from the testosterone boosting effects of zinc supplements, and these consumers may want to take 2 to 3 times the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of zinc. This amounts to around 11 mg per day for boys and men age 14 and older for six months to reverse zinc deficiency and raise testosterone. However, effects may vary and you should bring testosterone concerns to your physician first.
Q: Can zinc really boost testosterone?
A: Zinc has been shown to support normal testosterone levels in men who are zinc deficient. However, there’s limited evidence that zinc can raise testosterone levels in men who already get normal amounts of zinc. We recommend consulting your doctor about the possibility of using zinc to increase their testosterone naturally.
Q: Are there sexual benefits to zinc?
A: Men who are deficient in zinc tend to have lower testosterone, which could lead to sexual dysfunction. If you are zinc deficient, then research shows a zinc supplement may provide sexual benefits. Increases to testosterone can lead to a boosted libido, as well as improved sexual function.
Q: Is 50 mg of zinc too much?
A: For most people, the maximum necessary zinc dosage is 30 mg. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of zinc is 8 mg per day for most women and 11 mg per day for most men, so 30 mg is roughly three times the recommended dose. That being said, 50 mg might be too high.
Q: Should children use zinc supplements?
A: Talk to your pediatrician before giving any zinc to your child. Most studies on children involve dosages no higher than 3mg to 10mg of zinc, so it's hard to say whether or not zinc might be good for your child.
Q: Does zinc deficiency cause autism?
A: One 2018 study showed a link between zinc deficiency and autism, although researchers cautioned that more research was needed to verify this connection. Most studies linking autism to zinc deficiencies have been thoroughly debunked be repeated studies and peer reviewers.
Q: Does zinc deficiency cause growth issues?
A: Zinc deficiency among children and youth is sometimes associated with growth issues. People who were zinc deficient growing up were more likely to have issues with organs and bodily systems when they are older. It is hard to be sure that zinc deficiency growth issues can be solved by zinc supplementation, especially later in life.
Q: What is zinc?
A: Zinc is a mineral. In nature, zinc looks like a pale, gray metal. When you take a zinc supplement, you’re taking a salt form of zinc, where the zinc is paired with another mineral to allow for better absorption by the body.
Q: Are zinc liquids better than capsules?
A: Zinc liquids and capsules claim to offer similar doses of zinc. There’s no evidence showing that one form is better than the other at equivalent doses. Users can feel comfortable using either form of zinc in their supplements.
Q: Do zinc supplements really raise zinc levels?
A: Yes, studies have shown that zinc supplements raise zinc levels in the body for most people. However, research in this area is limited, just like with most supplements. Consumers should do their own research and consult their physician before beginning any new supplement routine.
Q: How does zinc work?
A: Zinc plays a crucial role in multiple bodily functions, including your digestive tract, immune system, hormone production, and much more. It works to improve many of these systems, especially if you currently have a deficiency in the mineral.
Q: What does zinc do?
A: Zinc does quite a bit for the body. It’s essential to cell division, growth, and repair, which is why it influences many body systems. Zinc is also involved in multiple enzymatic reactions. It aids the body in the response to several hormones, helps maintain good digestion, and strengthens the immune system, among other benefits.
Q: Does zinc affect hormones?
A: Zinc plays a crucial role in hormone production. Because zinc is involved in multiple enzymatic reactions, it helps the body produce hormones like growth hormone, testosterone, insulin, and estrogen. If you don’t get enough zinc per day, then it could impact hormone production in these integral areas.
Q: Who is at risk for zinc deficiency?
A: Zinc deficiency is rare in the developed world, although it does occur. Vegans and vegetarians may be at a higher risk of zinc deficiency. People who live in poverty with diets low in zinc are also at a greater risk. Children under the age of five need zinc the most, making them more at risk for zinc deficiency.
Q: What are the best foods for zinc?
A: Eating foods rich in zinc include oysters, beef, chicken, pork, lentils, tofu, and hemp seeds are great ways to increase your zinc intake without supplementation.
Q: Do vegetarians or vegans need a zinc supplement?
A: Many dietary sources of zinc are animal-based, including beef, chicken, and pork. Vegetarians and vegans may not get enough zinc through their diet, which means they might need a zinc supplement. This ultimately depends largely on your specific diet.
Q: What are the best plant-based sources of zinc?
A: Popular plant-based sources of zinc include beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, walnuts, cashews, chia seeds, linseed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, wholemeal bread, and quinoa. These plant-based sources can make it easier for vegans and vegetarians to get the zinc they need in their diet.
Q: Can you overdose on zinc?
A: There’s evidence of the possibility of dangerous zinc overdoses. In one study, a man took over 500mg of elemental zinc at once, developing severe nausea and vomiting but no other long-term health effects. Fatal zinc doses have been reported, although all of these cases have involved intravenous administration of zinc, rather than zinc supplementation itself.
Q: What’s the best form of zinc to take?
A: The best form of zinc is a salt that is water-soluble, such as zinc gluconate. There’s some evidence that amino acid chelates have better bio-absorption. The most important thing is for your zinc supplement to be dissolvable in water (water-soluble), which boosts absorption by the body. Some supplements contain zinc oxide, for example, which is not water-soluble and is mostly destroyed by stomach acid without being absorbed.
Q: Can zinc supplements cure a cold?
A: Some evidence suggests that zinc supplements reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms when taken at the onset of symptoms. There’s also limited evidence that zinc supplements reduce the chances of catching a cold.
Q: Should women take zinc supplements?
A: Zinc is a crucial mineral for both men and women. The RDA for women is 8 mg, while it’s 11 mg for men. Women who are zinc deficient may be at a higher risk of health issues. Always fallow recommended doses, regardless of your gender.
Q: Do plants and animals provide equivalent levels of zinc?
A: Research suggests that animal sources of zinc are more bio-available than plant sources of zinc. That’s because phytates, which are present in breads, grains, cereals, legumes, and other foods, bind to zinc and inhibit its absorption. However, using non-supplement sources of zinc might still be a viable way to promote zinc level increase.
Q: What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?
A: Symptoms of zinc deficiency include impaired growth, delayed puberty, erectile dysfunction, diarrhea, hair loss, swollen tongue, a weakened immune system, and distorted or discolored nails. Symptoms may vary based on the individual.
Q: Do certain diseases put you more at risk for zinc deficiency?
A: People with gastrointestinal issues like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis may be more at risk for zinc deficiency. Additionally, people with sickle cell disease may require more zinc.
A: Alcoholics have a decreased ability to absorb zinc, which makes them more at risk for zinc deficiency. Alcoholics might benefit from the use of a zinc supplement, but this will depend heavily on a number of factors. Consult your doctor.
Q: Should you take a zinc supplement while pregnant?
A: Women may want to take a zinc supplement while pregnant. The growing baby requires extra zinc, which could raise your overall zinc requirement. Consult your doctor before using any zinc supplement while pregnant.
Q: Does zinc impact eye health?
A: There’s some evidence that zinc slows the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a common form of eye disease. This evidence is limited and research studies on the subject are few and far-between, so consumers should be careful about trusting zinc with their eye health without proper research.
Q: Are zinc supplements safe?
A: Zinc has been extensively studied and is generally recognized as safe. It’s unlikely for healthy adults to experience side effects when taking normal doses of zinc. We conclude that zinc supplements are likely very safe.
Q: Does zinc interact with any drugs?
A: There’s some evidence that zinc interacts with antibiotics, and you may not want to take zinc when following antibiotic treatment. Zinc may also interact with penicillamine (a rheumatoid arthritis drug) and thiazide diuretics (blood pressure drugs). Always speak with your physician for a clearer answer to this question.
Zinc is a critical trace mineral required for many body functions. While plants and animal foods can help you to increase your zinc levels and gain the benefits associated with the mineral, some users might want to use zinc supplements to fill the gaps in their normal diet for zinc.
Zinc deficiency is linked with a range of health issues. If you are concerned about zinc deficiency, or if you want to enjoy the benefits listed above, then consider taking a zinc supplement.