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48 Vegetarian Lozenges

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Description
  • Supports immune function & natural resistance*
  • With vitamin C & echinacea

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Supplement Facts

As a dietary supplement, take two to six lozenges. Allow the lozenges to dissolve slowly in the mouth before swallowing. Do not chew. For maximum benefits, take as directed every day.

Serving Size 2 Lozenges
Servings Per Container 24
Amount Per Serving % DV
Calories 5.00
Vitamin A (as 100% beta-carotene) 2000.00 IU 40%
Vitamin C (as ascorbate acid) 200.00 mg 333%
Zinc (as Zinc Oxide) 20.00 mg 133%
Copper (as copper oxide) 1.00 mg 50%
Total Carbohydrates 1.00 g 0%
Sugar 1.00 g
Echinacea purpurea Herb Powder 20.00 mg **
** Daily Value (DV) not established

Other Ingredients: Sorbitol, Sucrose, Fructose, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid

Warning: Consult your physician prior to using this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition. Discontinue use two weeks prior to surgery.

Contains: Soybeans

Distributed by: General Nutrition Corporation Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Health Notes

Zinc

Zinc
This nutrient has been used in connection with the following health goals
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Acne Vulgaris
Dose: 60 to 90 mg daily
Several double-blind trials indicate that taking zinc reduces acne severity. Long-term use requires 1 to 2 mg of copper per day to prevent copper deficiency. (more)
Wound Healing
Dose: 30 mg daily (with 2 mg copper daily to prevent depletion), or apply topical zinc preparations regularly
Zinc is a component of enzymes needed to repair wounds, and even a mild deficiency can interfere with optimal recovery from everyday tissue damage.(more)
Warts
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 2.25 mg per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) body weight, up to 135 mg per day
In one study, supplementing with zinc, resulted in complete disappearance of warts in 87% of people treated.(more)
Acne Rosacea
Dose: 23 mg three times per day for three months
In a double-blind study, zinc supplements decreased the rosacea severity by about 75%. Long-term zinc users should also take a copper supplement to prevent deficiency.(more)
Burns
Dose: Refer to label instructions
(more)
Skin Ulcers
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 50 mg of zinc (plus 1 to 3 mg of copper daily, to prevent depletion) and apply zinc-containing bandages or tape to the area
Supplementing with zinc may help some types of skin ulcer by facilitating tissue growth.(more)
Dermatitis Herpetiformis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Supplementing with zinc can counteract the nutrient deficiency that often occurs as a result of malabsorption.(more)
Wound Healing
Dose: 30 mg daily (with 2 mg copper daily to prevent depletion), or apply topical zinc preparations regularly
Zinc is a component of enzymes needed to repair wounds, and even a mild deficiency can interfere with optimal recovery from everyday tissue damage.(more)
Sprains and Strains
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 25 to 50 mg daily ( plus 1 to 3 mg of copper daily, to prevent depletion)
Zinc helps with healing. Even a mild deficiency can interfere with optimal recovery from everyday tissue damage and more serious trauma.(more)
Burns
Dose: Refer to label instructions
(more)
Osteoarthritis
Dose: 1,000 mg daily boswellia resin herbal extract or two capsules, three times per day of Aticulin-F (formula containing 100 mg boswellia, 450 mg ashwagandha, 50 mg turmeric, and 50 mg zinc)
A combination of boswellia, ashwagandha, turmeric, and zinc effectively treated pain and stiffness in one study, without the stomach irritation that is a common side effect of NSAIDs.(more)
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner
Deficient zinc levels have been reported in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Some trials have found that supplementing with zinc reduces rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.(more)
Peptic Ulcer
Dose: 25 to 50 mg daily
Supplementing with zinc may help speed the repair of damaged stomach tissue.(more)
Celiac Disease
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner
The malabsorption that occurs in celiac disease can lead to multiple nutritional deficiencies. Supplementing with zinc may correct a deficiency.(more)
Peptic Ulcer
Dose: 150 mg of zinc carnosine complex twice per day
Studies have shown that a zinc salt of the amino acid carnosine protects against ulcer formation and promotes the healing of existing ulcers.(more)
Crohn's Disease
Dose: 25 to 50 mg of zinc (with 2 to 4 mg of copper to avoid depletion) per day
Zinc is needed to repair intestinal cells damaged by Crohn's disease. Supplementation may offset some of the deficiency caused by Crohn's-related malabsorption.(more)
Gastritis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Zinc is helpful in healing peptic ulcers, which can occur in some types of gastritis.(more)
Cold Sores
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner
Topically applied zinc appears to inhibit the replication of the herpes virus and help prevent future outbreaks. Use topical zinc only under a doctor's supervision.(more)
Canker Sores
Dose: 150 mg daily plus 1 to 2 mg of copper per day to prevent copper deficiency
Zinc deficiency has been linked with recurrent canker sores, so treating the deficiency may lead to relief. Long-term zinc supplementation requires extra copper to avoid deficiency. (more)
Gingivitis
Dose: Use a toothpaste containing .075% sanguinaria extract and 2% zinc chloride twice per day
One trial found that using a toothpaste containing bloodroot and zinc reduced gingivitis significantly better than placebo.(more)
Halitosis
Dose: Regularly use a mouthrinse or toothpaste containing zinc
Zinc is able to reduce the concentration of volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth, thus lessening halitosis.(more)
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Dose: Use 13 to 25 mg as gluconate, gluconate-glycine, or acetate in lozenges every two hours
Zinc lozenges used at the first sign of a cold have been shown to help stop the virus and shorten the illness.(more)
Cold Sores
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner
Topically applied zinc appears to inhibit the replication of the herpes virus and help prevent future outbreaks. Use topical zinc only under a doctor's supervision.(more)
Infection
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Zinc deficiencies can impair immune function. Supplementing with zinc has been shown to increase immune function in healthy people. Zinc lozenges have been found helpful in against the common cold.(more)
HIV and AIDS Support
Dose: 12 to 45 mg daily
Zinc levels are frequently low in people with HIV infection. Zinc supplements have been shown to reduce the number of infections in people with AIDS.(more)
Infectious Diarrhea
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Two of the nutrients that may not be absorbed efficiently as a result of diarrhea are zinc and vitamin A, both needed to fight infections.(more)
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Dose: For prevention: 15 mg daily; for treating colds: 30 mg daily at the onset
In one study, oral zinc supplementation significantly reduced both the incidence and duration of the common cold.(more)
Immune Function
Dose: 25 mg daily
Zinc supplements have been reported to increase immune function. Some doctors recommend zinc supplements for people with recurrent infections.(more)
Pre- and Post-Surgery Health
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Zinc is important for proper immune system function and wound healing. Zinc supplements taken before surgery may prevent zinc deficiency and promote healing.(more)
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Dose:

Not recommended due to a potenially serious side effect

Zinc nasal sprays appear to be effective at shortening the duration of cold symptoms, however, some people have experienced long-lasting or permanent loss of smell after using the spray.(more)
Birth Defects
Dose: 15 mg daily
Many doctors recommend a zinc-containing multivitamin to all women of childbearing age who may become pregnant for its potential role in preventing neural tube defects.(more)
Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Dose: Use a prenatal supplement that includes zinc
In one study, women who used a zinc-containing nutritional supplement before and after conception had a 36% decreased chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect.(more)
Gestational Hypertension
Dose: Refer to label instructions
In one study, supplementing with zinc reduced the incidence of gestational hypertension in a group of pregnant Hispanic women who were not zinc deficient.(more)
Preeclampsia
Dose: Refer to label instructions
(more)
Type 2 Diabetes
Dose: 15 to 25 mg per day
People with type 2 diabetes tend to be zinc deficient, supplementing with zinc may help restore levels.(more)
Type 1 Diabetes
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner
Supplementing with zinc may lower blood sugar levels and improve immune function in people with type 1 diabetes.(more)
Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Low zinc intake appears to be associated with several of the risk factors common in IRS, and a low blood level of zinc is associated with insulin resistance in overweight people.(more)
Hypoglycemia
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Zinc helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and since there are similarities in the way the body regulates high and low blood sugar levels, it might be helpful for hypoglycemia as well.(more)
Acrodermatitis
Dose: 30 to 150 mg per day under a doctor's supervision
Supplementing with the correct amount of zinc can completely resolve hereditary acrodermatitis enteropathica(more)
Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
Dose: If deficient: 15 mg per day
In one study, children with ADHD who received zinc showed significantly greater behavioral improvement, compared with children who received a placebo.(more)
Childhood Diseases
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Zinc is a mineral antioxidant nutrient that the immune system requires. Supplementing with it increases immune activity in people with certain illnesses.(more)
Ear Infections
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Zinc stimulates immune function, so some doctors recommend zinc supplements for people with recurrent ear infections.(more)
Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Some doctors have reported good results using a combination of zinc, manganese, and vitamin B6 for people with Osgood-Schlatter disease.(more)
Male Infertility
Dose: 60 mg (plus 2 mg of copper, to prevent depletion) daily
Zinc deficiency leads to reduced numbers of sperm and impotence in men. Taking zinc may correct this problem and improve sperm quality.(more)
Tinnitus
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 90 mg daily (with 2 or 3 mg per day of copper to prevent depletion)
For people deficient in zinc, supplementing with zinc may help improve their tinnitus.(more)
Ear Infections
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Zinc stimulates immune function, so some doctors recommend zinc supplements for people with recurrent ear infections.(more)
Night Blindness
Dose: If deficient: 15 to 30 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg copper daily, to prevent depletion)
A lack of zinc may reduce the activity of retinol dehydrogenase, an enzyme needed to help vitamin A work in the eye. Zinc helps night blindness in people who are zinc-deficient.(more)
Macular Degeneration
Dose: 45 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg of copper to protect against depletion)
Two important enzymes in the retina that are needed for vision require zinc. In one trial, zinc supplementation significantly reduced the rate of visual loss in people with macular degeneration.(more)
Night Blindness
Dose: If deficient: 15 to 30 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg copper daily, to prevent depletion)
A lack of zinc may reduce the activity of retinol dehydrogenase, an enzyme needed to help vitamin A work in the eye. Zinc helps night blindness in people who are zinc-deficient.(more)
Macular Degeneration
Dose: 45 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg of copper to protect against depletion)
Two important enzymes in the retina that are needed for vision require zinc. In one trial, zinc supplementation significantly reduced the rate of visual loss in people with macular degeneration.(more)
Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Dose: Use a prenatal supplement that includes zinc
In one study, women who used a zinc-containing nutritional supplement before and after conception had a 36% decreased chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect.(more)
Bulimia
Dose: Refer to label instructions
People with bulimia may be deficient in zinc, in which case supplementing with the mineral can restore levels and improve symptoms.(more)
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Zinc has been shown to reduce prostate size in some studies. If you are taking 30 mg or more of zinc per day, most doctors recommend adding 2 to 3 mg of copper to avoid deficiency.(more)
Prostatitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Zinc has antibacterial activity and is a key factor in the natural resistance of male urinary tract infections. Supplementing with it may improve postatitis.(more)
Athletic Performance
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Exercise depletes zinc, and severe zinc deficiency can compromise muscle function. One trial found that zinc improved muscle strength, and another study of athletes with low zinc levels found that zinc improved red blood cell flexibility during exercise, which could benefit blood flow to the muscles.(more)
Osteoporosis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
Supplementing with zinc appears to be helpful in both preventing and treating osteoporosis.(more)
Depression
Dose: Refer to label instructions
(more)
Hypothyroidism
Dose: Refer to label instructions
In people with low zinc, supplementing with zinc may increased thyroid hormone levels.(more)
Contact Dermatitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions
(more)
Acne Vulgaris
Dose: 60 to 90 mg daily

Several double-blind trials indicate that zinc supplements reduce the severity of acne.1, 2, 3, 4 In one double-blind trial,5 though not in another,6 zinc was found to be as effective as oral antibiotic therapy. Doctors sometimes suggest that people with acne take 30 mg of zinc two or three times per day for a few months, then 30 mg per day thereafter. It often takes 12 weeks before any improvement is seen. Long-term zinc supplementation requires 1-2 mg of copper per day to prevent copper deficiency.

References

1. Hillstrom, L Pettersson L, Hellbe L, et al. Comparison of oral treatment with zinc sulfate and placebo in acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 1977;97:681-4.

2. Verma KC, Saini AS, Dhamija SK. Oral zinc sulphate therapy in acne vulgaris: a double-blind trial. Acta Dermatovener (Stockholm) 1980;60:337-40.

3. Dreno B, Amblard P, Agache P, et al. Low doses of zinc gluconate for inflammatory acne. Acta Dermatovener (Stockholm) 1989;69:541-3.

4. Michaelsson G. Oral zinc in acne. Acta Dermatovener (Stockholm) 1980;Suppl 89:87-93 [review].

5. Michaelsson G, Juhlin L, Ljunghall K. A double blind study of the effect of zinc and oxytetracycline in acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 1977;97:561-6.

6. Cunliffe WJ, Burke B, Dodman B, Gould DJ. A double-blind trial of a zinc sulphate/citrate complex and tetracycline in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 1979;101:321-5.

Wound Healing
Dose: 30 mg daily (with 2 mg copper daily to prevent depletion), or apply topical zinc preparations regularly

Zinc is a component of many enzymes, including some that are needed to repair wounds. Even a mild deficiency of zinc can interfere with optimal recovery from everyday tissue damage, as well as from more serious trauma.1, 2 One controlled trial found the healing time of a surgical wound was reduced by 43% with oral supplementation of 50 mg of zinc three times per day, in the form of zinc sulfate.3

Whether oral zinc helps tissue healing when no actual zinc deficiency exists is unclear,4 but doctors often recommend 30 mg of zinc per day for four to six weeks to aid in the healing of wounds. Topical zinc-containing treatments, on the other hand, have improved healing of skin wounds even when there is no deficiency.5, 6 Long-term oral zinc supplementation must be accompanied by copper supplementation to prevent a zinc-induced copper deficiency. Typically, if 30 mg of zinc are taken each day, it should be accompanied by 2 mg of copper. If 60 mg of zinc are used, it should be accompanied by 3 mg of copper each day.

References

1. Sandstead HH. Understanding zinc: Recent observations and interpretations. J Lab Clin Med 1994;124:322-7.

2. Liszewski RF. The effect of zinc on wound healing: a collective review. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1981;81:104-6 [review].

3. Pories WJ, Henzel JH, Rob CG, Strain WH. Acceleration of healing with zinc sulfate. Ann Surg 1967;165:432-6.

4. Lansdown ABG. Zinc in the healing wound. Lancet 1996;347:706-7 [editorial].

5. Agren MS. Studies on zinc in wound healing. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl 1990;154:1-36 [review].

6. Agren MS. Zinc in wound repair. Arch Dermatol 1999;135:1273-4 [letter].

Warts
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 2.25 mg per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) body weight, up to 135 mg per day

In a double-blind study, supplementation with oral zinc, in the form of zinc sulfate, for two months resulted in complete disappearance of warts in 87% of people treated, whereas none of those receiving a placebo improved.1 The amount of zinc used was based on body weight, with a maximum of 135 mg per day. Similar results were seen in another double-blind study.2 These large amounts of zinc should be used under the supervision of a doctor. Side effects included nausea, vomiting, and mild abdominal pain.

References

1. Al-Gurairi FT, Al-Waiz M, Sharquie KE. Oral zinc sulphate in the treatment of recalcitrant viral warts: randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Br J Dermatol 2002;146:423-31.

2. Yaghoobi R, Sadighha A, Baktash D. Evaluation of oral zinc sulfate effect on recalcitrant multiple viral warts: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Am Acad Dermatol 2009;60:706-8.

Acne Rosacea
Dose: 23 mg three times per day for three months

In a double-blind study, supplementing with zinc (23 mg three times per day for three months) decreased the severity of rosacea by about 75%, whereas no improvement occurred in the placebo group. Mild gastrointestinal upset was reported by 12% of the people taking zinc, but no other significant side effects occurred.1 Long-term zinc supplementation should be accompanied by a copper supplement, in order to prevent zinc-induced copper deficiency.

References

1. Sharquie KE, Najim RA, Al-Salman HN. Oral zinc sulfate in the treatment of rosacea: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Int J Dermatol 2006;45:857-61.

Burns
Dose: Refer to label instructions

In a double-blind trial, daily intravenous administration of the trace minerals zinc, copper, and selenium to patients hospitalized with extensive burns significantly decreased the number of postburn infections and increased the rate of healing.1

References

1. Berger MM, Baines M, Raffoul W, et al. Trace element supplementation after major burns modulates antioxidant status and clinical course by way of increased tissue trace element concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:1293-300.

Skin Ulcers
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 50 mg of zinc (plus 1 to 3 mg of copper daily, to prevent depletion) and apply zinc-containing bandages or tape to the area

Zinc plays an important role in tissue growth processes important for skin ulcer healing. One study reported that patients with pressure ulcers had lower blood levels of zinc and iron than did patients without pressure ulcers,1 and preliminary reports suggested zinc supplements could help some types of skin ulcer.2 Supplementation with 150 mg of zinc per day improved healing in a preliminary study of elderly patients suffering from chronic leg ulcers.3 Double-blind trials using 135 to 150 mg of zinc daily have shown improvement4 only in patients with low blood zinc levels,5 and no improvement in leg ulcer healing.6, 7 A double-blind trial of 150 mg zinc per day in people with skin ulcers due to sickle cell anemia found that the healing rate was almost three times faster in the zinc group than in the placebo group after six months.8 Lastly, a preliminary study of patients with skin ulcers due to leprosy found that 50 mg of zinc per day in addition to anti-leprosy medication resulted in complete healing in most patients within 6 to 12 weeks.9 Long-term zinc supplementation at these levels should be accompanied by supplements of copper and perhaps calcium, iron, and magnesium. Large amounts of zinc (over 50 mg per day) should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor.

Topically applied zinc using zinc-containing bandages has improved healing of leg ulcers in double-blind studies of both zinc-deficient10 and elderly individuals.11 Most controlled comparison studies have reported that these bandages are no more effective than other bandages used in the conventional treatment of skin ulcers,12, 13 but one controlled trial found non-elastic zinc bandages superior to alginate dressings or zinc-containing elastic stockinettes.14 Two controlled trials of zinc-containing tape for foot ulcers due to leprosy concluded that zinc tape was similarly effective, but more convenient than conventional dressings.15, 16

References

1. Williams CM, Lines CM, McKay EC. Iron and zinc status in multiple sclerosis patients with pressure sores. Eur J Clin Nutr 1988;42:321-8.

2. Greaves MW, Skillen AW. Effects of long-continued ingestion of zinc sulphate in patients with venous leg ulceration. Lancet 1970;2:889-91.

3. Carruthers R. Oral zinc sulphate in leg ulcers. Lancet 1969;1:1264.

4. Haeger K, Lanner E, Magnusson PO. Oral zinc sulfate in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. In: Pories WJ, Strain WH, Hwu JM, et al (eds), Clinical applications of zinc metabolism. Springfield, IL: CC Thomas, 1974, 158-67.

5. Hallbook T, Lanner E. Serum-zinc and healing of venous leg ulcers. Lancet 1972;2:780-2.

6. Greaves MW, Ive FA. Double-blind trial of zinc sulphate in the treatment of chronic venous leg ulceration. Br J Dermatol 1972;87:632-4.

7. Clayton RJ. Double-blind trial of oral zinc sulphate in patients with leg ulcers. Br J Clin Pract 1972;26:368-70.

8. Serjeant GR, Galloway RE, Gueri MC. Oral zinc sulphate in sickle-cell ulcers. Lancet 1970;2:891-3.

9. Mathur NK, Bumb RA. Oral zinc in the trophic ulcers of leprosy. Int J Lepr 1983;51:410-1.

10. Agren MS. Studies on zinc in wound healing. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl 1990;154:1-36 [review].

11. Stromberg HE, Agren MS. Topical zinc oxide treatment improves arterial and venous leg ulcers. Br J Dermatol 1984;111:461-8.

12. Eriksson G. Comparison of two occlusive bandages in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Br J Dermatol 1986;114:227-30.

13. Agren MS, Stromberg HE. Topical treatment of pressure ulcers. A randomized comparative trial of Varidase and zinc oxide. Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg 1985;19:97-100.

14. Stacey MC, Jopp-Mckay AG, Rashid P, et al. The influence of dressings on venous ulcer healing-a randomised trial. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 1997;13:174-9.

15. Soderberg T, Hallmans G, Stenstrom S, et al. Treatment of leprosy wounds with adhesive zinc tape. Lepr Rev 1982;53:271-6.

16. Walton RT, Fritschi EP, Umapathy VA. Treatment of plantar ulcers in leprosy patients in the community with adhesive zinc tape. Lepr Rev 1986;57:53-6.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis
Dose: Refer to label instructions

People with DH frequently have mild malabsorption (difficulty absorbing certain nutrients) associated with low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) and inflammation of the stomach lining (atrophic gastritis).1 Mild malabsorption may result in anemia2 and nutritional deficiencies of iron, folic acid,3, 4vitamin B12,5, 6 and zinc.7, 8, 9 More severe malabsorption may result in loss of bone mass.10 Additional subtle deficiencies of vitamins and minerals are possible, but have not been investigated. Therefore, some doctors recommend people with DH have their nutritional status checked regularly with laboratory studies. These doctors may also recommend multivitamin-mineral supplements and, to correct the low stomach acid, supplemental betaine HCl (a source of hydrochloric acid).

References

1. Yancy KB, Lawley TJ. "Immunologically Mediated Skin Diseases."Harrison's Online. 1999. http://www.harrisonsonline.com/hill-bin/Chapters.cgi (Jan 10, 2000).

2. Kastrup W, Mobacken H, Stockbrugger R, et al. Malabsorption of vitamin B12 in dermatitis herpetiformis and its association with pernicious anaemia. Acta Med Scand 1986;220:261-8.

3. Gawkrodger DJ, Ferguson A, Barnetson RS. Nutritional status in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis. Am J Clin Nutr 1988;48:355-60.

4. Hoffbrand AV, Douglas AP, Fry L, Stewart JS. Malabsorption of dietary folate (Pteroylpolyglutamates) in adult coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. Br Med J 1970;4:85-9.

5. Davies MG, Marks R, Nuki G. Dermatitis herpetiformis-a skin manifestation of a generalized disturbance in immunity. Q J Med 1978;47:221-48.

6. Kastrup W, Mobacken H, Stockbrugger R, et al. Malabsorption of vitamin B12 in dermatitis herpetiformis and its association with pernicious anaemia. Acta Med Scand 1986;220:261-8.

7. Crofton RW, Glover SC, Ewen SWB, et al. Zinc absorption in celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis: a test of small intestinal function. Am J Clin Nutr 1983;38:706-12.

8. Gawkrodger DJ, Ferguson A, Barnetson RS. Nutritional status in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis. Am J Clin Nutr 1988;48:355-60.

9. Hoffbrand AV, Douglas AP, Fry L, Stewart JS. Malabsorption of dietary folate (Pteroylpolyglutamates) in adult coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. Br Med J 1970;4:85-9.

10. Di Stefano M, Jorizzo RA, Veneto G, et al. Bone mass and metabolism in dermatitis herpetiformis. Dig Dis Sci 1999;44:2139-43.

Wound Healing
Dose: 30 mg daily (with 2 mg copper daily to prevent depletion), or apply topical zinc preparations regularly

Zinc is a component of many enzymes, including some that are needed to repair wounds. Even a mild deficiency of zinc can interfere with optimal recovery from everyday tissue damage, as well as from more serious trauma.1, 2 One controlled trial found the healing time of a surgical wound was reduced by 43% with oral supplementation of 50 mg of zinc three times per day, in the form of zinc sulfate.3

Whether oral zinc helps tissue healing when no actual zinc deficiency exists is unclear,4 but doctors often recommend 30 mg of zinc per day for four to six weeks to aid in the healing of wounds. Topical zinc-containing treatments, on the other hand, have improved healing of skin wounds even when there is no deficiency.5, 6 Long-term oral zinc supplementation must be accompanied by copper supplementation to prevent a zinc-induced copper deficiency. Typically, if 30 mg of zinc are taken each day, it should be accompanied by 2 mg of copper. If 60 mg of zinc are used, it should be accompanied by 3 mg of copper each day.

References

1. Sandstead HH. Understanding zinc: Recent observations and interpretations. J Lab Clin Med 1994;124:322-7.

2. Liszewski RF. The effect of zinc on wound healing: a collective review. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1981;81:104-6 [review].

3. Pories WJ, Henzel JH, Rob CG, Strain WH. Acceleration of healing with zinc sulfate. Ann Surg 1967;165:432-6.

4. Lansdown ABG. Zinc in the healing wound. Lancet 1996;347:706-7 [editorial].

5. Agren MS. Studies on zinc in wound healing. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl 1990;154:1-36 [review].

6. Agren MS. Zinc in wound repair. Arch Dermatol 1999;135:1273-4 [letter].

Sprains and Strains
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 25 to 50 mg daily ( plus 1 to 3 mg of copper daily, to prevent depletion)

Zinc is a component of many enzymes, including some that are needed to repair wounds. Even a mild deficiency of zinc can interfere with optimal recovery from everyday tissue damage as well as from more serious trauma.1 Trace minerals, such as manganese, copper, and silicon are also known to be important in the biochemistry of tissue healing.2, 3, 4, 5 However, there have been no controlled studies of people with sprains or strains to explore the effect of deficiency of these minerals, or of oral supplementation, on the rate of healing.

References

1. Sandstead HH. Understanding zinc: Recent observations and interpretations. J Lab Clin Med 1994;124:322-7.

2. Tenaud I, Sainte-Marie I, Jumbou O, et al. In vitro modulation of keratinocyte wound healing integrins by zinc, copper and manganese. Br J Dermatol 1999;140:26-34.

3. Pereira CE, Felcman J. Correlation between five minerals and the healing effect of Brazilian medicinal plants. Biol Trace Elem Res 1998;65:251-9.

4. Carlisle EM. Silicon as an essential trace element in animal nutrition. Ciba Found Symp 1986;121:123-39.

5. Leach RM. Role of manganese in mucopolysaccharide metabolism. Fed Proc 1971;30:991.

Burns
Dose: Refer to label instructions

In a double-blind trial, daily intravenous administration of the trace minerals zinc, copper, and selenium to patients hospitalized with extensive burns significantly decreased the number of postburn infections and increased the rate of healing.1

References

1. Berger MM, Baines M, Raffoul W, et al. Trace element supplementation after major burns modulates antioxidant status and clinical course by way of increased tissue trace element concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:1293-300.

Osteoarthritis
Dose: 1,000 mg daily boswellia resin herbal extract or two capsules, three times per day of Aticulin-F (formula containing 100 mg boswellia, 450 mg ashwagandha, 50 mg turmeric, and 50 mg zinc)

Boswellia has anti-inflammatory properties that have been compared to those of the NSAIDs used by many for inflammatory conditions.1 Clinical trials have found that boswellia is more effective than a placebo for relieving pain and swelling and preventing loss of function in people with osteoarthritis.2 Boswellia has also been found to be as effective as the anti-inflammatory drug valdecoxib (Bextra). In addition, while the improvements occurred more slowly in the boswellia group than in the valdecoxib group, they persisted for a longer period of time after treatment was discontinued.3 One clinical trial found that a combination of boswellia, ashwagandha, turmeric, and zinc effectively treated pain and stiffness associated with OA but did not improve joint health, according to X-rays of the affected joint.4 Unlike NSAIDs, long-term use of boswellia does not lead to irritation or ulceration of the stomach.

References

1. Safayhi H, Mack T, Saieraj J, et al. Boswellic acids: Novel, specific, nonredox inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1992;261:1143-6.

2. Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, Khiyani R. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee - a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine 2003;10:3-7.

3. Sontakke S, Thawani V, Pimpalkhute S, et al. Open, randomized, controlled clinical trial of Boswellia serrata extract as compared to valdecoxib in osteoarthritis of knee. Indian J Pharmacol 2007;39:27-9.

4. Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, et al. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;33:91-5.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner

Deficient zinc levels have been reported in people with RA.1 Some trials have found that zinc reduced RA symptoms,2 but others have not.3, 4 Some suggest that zinc might only help those who are zinc-deficient,5 and, although there is no universally accepted test for zinc deficiency, some doctors check white-blood-cell zinc levels.

References

1. Aaseth J, Munthe E, Forre O, Steinnes E. Trace elements in serum and urine of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol 1978;7:237-40.

2. Simkin PA. Oral zinc sulphate in rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet 1976;ii:539-42.

3. Peretz A, Neve J, Jeghers O, Pelen F. Zinc distribution in blood components, inflammatory status, and clinical indexes of disease activity during zinc supplementation in inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Am J Clin Nutr 1993;57:690-4.

4. Job C, Menkes CJ, de Gery A, et al. Zinc sulphate in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthrit Rheum 1980;23:1408.

5. Simkin PA. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with oral zinc sulfate. Agents Actions 1981;8(suppl):587-96.

Peptic Ulcer
Dose: 25 to 50 mg daily

Zinc is also needed for the repair of damaged tissue and has protected against stomach ulceration in animal studies.1 In Europe, zinc combined with acexamic acid, an anti-inflammatory substance, is used as a drug in the treatment of peptic ulcers.2 In a small controlled trial, high amounts of zinc accelerated the healing of gastric ulcers compared with placebo.3 Some doctors suspect that such an exceptionally high intake of zinc may be unnecessary, suggesting instead that people with ulcers wishing to take zinc supplements use only 25 to 50 mg of zinc per day. Even at these lower levels, 1 to 3 mg of copper per day must be taken to avoid copper deficiency that would otherwise be induced by the zinc supplementation.

References

1. Pfeiffer CJ, Cho CH, Cheema A, Saltman D. Reserpine-induced gastric ulcers: protection by lysosomal stabilization due to zinc. Eur J Pharmacol 1980;61:347-53.

2. Jimenez E, Bosch F, Galmes JL, Banos JE. Meta-analysis of efficacy of zinc acexamate in peptic ulcer. Digestion 1992;51:18-26.

3. Frommer DJ. The healing of gastric ulcers by zinc sulphate. Med J Aust 1975;22(21):793-6.

Celiac Disease
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner

The malabsorption that occurs in celiac disease can lead to multiple nutritional deficiencies. The most common nutritional problems in people with celiac disease include deficiencies of essential fatty acids, iron, vitamin D, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and folic acid.1Zinc malabsorption also occurs frequently in celiac disease2 and may result in zinc deficiency, even in people who are otherwise in remission.3 People with newly diagnosed celiac disease should be assessed for nutritional deficiencies by a doctor. Celiac patients who have not yet completely recovered should supplement with a high-potency multivitamin-mineral. Some patients may require even higher amounts of some of these vitamins and minerals-an issue that should be discussed with their healthcare practitioner. Evidence of a nutrient deficiency in a celiac patient is a clear indication for supplementation with that nutrient.

After commencement of a gluten-free diet, overall nutritional status gradually improves. However, deficiencies of some nutrients may persist, even in people who are strictly avoiding gluten. For example, magnesium deficiency was found in 8 of 23 adults with celiac disease who had been following a gluten-free diet and were symptom-free. When these adults were supplemented with magnesium for two years, their bone mineral density increased significantly.4

References

1. Connon JJ. Celiac disease. In: Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1994, 1062.

2. Crofton RW, Glover SC, Ewen SWB, et al. Zinc absorption in celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis: a test of small intestinal function. Am J Clin Nutr 1983;38:706-12.

3. Solomons NW, Rosenberg IH, Sandstead HH. Zinc nutrition in celiac sprue. Am J Clin Nutr 1976;29:371-5.

4. Rude RK, Olerich M. Magnesium deficiency: possible role in osteoporosis associated with gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Osteoporos Int 1996;6:453-61.

Peptic Ulcer
Dose: 150 mg of zinc carnosine complex twice per day

Experimental animal studies have shown that a zinc salt of the amino acid carnosine exerts significant protection against ulcer formation and promotes the healing of existing ulcers.1, 2 However, because zinc by itself has been shown to be helpful against peptic ulcer, it is not known how much of the beneficial effect was due to the carnosine.3, 4 Clinical studies in humans demonstrated that this compound can help eradicate H. pylori, an organism that has been linked to peptic ulcer and stomach cancer.5 The amount of the zinc carnosine complex used in research studies for eradication of H. pylori is 150 mg twice daily.

References

1. Nishiwaki H, Kato S, Sugamoto S, et al. Ulcerogenic and healing impairing actions of monochloramine in rat stomachs: effects of zinc L-carnosine, polaprezinc. J Physiol Pharmacol 1999;50:183-95.

2. Arakawa T, Satoh H, Nakamura A, et al. Effects of zinc L-carnosine on gastric mucosal and cell damage caused by ethanol in rats. Correlation with endogenous prostaglandin E2. Dig Dis Sci 1990;35:559-66.

3. Cho CH, Ogle CW. A correlative study of the antiulcer effects of zinc sulphate in stressed rats. Eur J Pharmacol 1978;48:97-105.

4. Frommer DJ. The healing of gastric ulcers by zinc sulphate. Med J Aust 1975;22(21):793-6.

5. Kashimura H, Suzuki K, Hassan M, et al. Polaprezinc, a mucosal protective agent, in combination with lansoprazole, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin increases the cure rate of Helicobacter pylori infection. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1999;13(4):483-7.

Crohn's Disease
Dose: 25 to 50 mg of zinc (with 2 to 4 mg of copper to avoid depletion) per day

Crohn's disease often leads to malabsorption. As a result, deficiencies of many nutrients are common. For this reason, it makes sense for people with Crohn's disease to take a high potency multivitamin-mineral supplement. In particular, deficiencies in zinc, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and iron have been reported.1, 2, 3 Zinc, folic acid, and vitamin B12 are all needed to repair intestinal cells damaged by Crohn's disease. Some doctors recommend 25 to 50 mg of zinc (balanced with 2 to 4 mg of copper), 800 mcg of folic acid, and 800 mcg of vitamin B12 daily. Iron status should be evaluated by a doctor before considering supplementation.

References

1. Imes S, Plinchbeck BR, Dinwoodie A, et al. Iron, folate, vitamin B-12, zinc, and copper status in out-patients with Crohn's disease: effect of diet counseling. J Am Dietet Assoc 1987;87:928-30.

2. Sandstead HH. Zinc deficiency in Crohn's disease. Nutr Rev 1982;40:109-12.

3. Driscoll RH Jr, Meredith SC, Sitrin M, et al. Vitamin D deficiency and bone disease in patients with Crohn's disease. Gastroenterology 1982;83:1252-8.

Gastritis
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Zinc and vitamin A, nutrients that aid in healing, are commonly used to help people with peptic ulcers. For example, the ulcers of people taking 50 mg of zinc three times per day healed three times faster than those of people who took placebo.1 Since some types of gastritis can progress to peptic ulcer, it is possible that taking it may be useful. Nevertheless, the research does not yet show that zinc specifically helps people with gastritis. The amount of zinc used in this study is very high compared with what most people take (15-40 mg per day). Even at these lower levels, it is necessary to take 1-3 mg of copper per day to avoid a zinc-induced copper deficiency.

References

1. Frommer DJ. The healing of gastric ulcers by zinc sulphate. Med J Aust 1975;22(21):793-6.

Cold Sores
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner

Zinc preparations have been shown to inhibit the replication of herpes simplex in the test tube.1 In one study, people with recurrent herpes simplex infections applied a zinc sulfate solution daily to the sores. After healing occurred, the frequency of applications was reduced to once a week for a month, then to twice a month. During an observation period of 16 to 23 months, none of these people experienced a recurrence of their cold sores.2

Zinc oxide, the only commercially available form of zinc for topical application, is probably ineffective as a treatment for herpes simplex.3 Other forms of topical zinc can be obtained by prescription, through a compounding pharmacist. However, because an excessive concentration of zinc may cause skin irritation, topical zinc should be used only with the supervision of a doctor knowledgeable in its use.

References

1. Eby GA, Halcomb WW. Use of topical zinc to prevent recurrent herpes simplex infection: review of literature and suggested protocols. Med Hypotheses 1985;17:157-65.

2. Brody I. Topical treatment of recurrent herpes simplex and post-herpetic erythema multiforme with low concentrations of zinc sulphate solution. Br J Dermatol 1981;104:191-4.

3. Apisariyakulm A, Buddhasukh D, Apisariyakul S, Ternai B. Zinc monoglycerolate is effective against oral herpetic sores. Med J Aust 1990;152:54.

Canker Sores
Dose: 150 mg daily plus 1 to 2 mg of copper per day to prevent copper deficiency

Zinc deficiency has also been linked with recurrent canker sores in preliminary studies1 and in one case report.2 A preliminary trial found that supplementation with up to 150 mg of zinc per day reduced recurrences of canker sores by 50 to 100%; participants who were zinc deficient experienced the most consistent benefit.3 However, a double-blind trial (that did not test people for zinc deficiency) did not find zinc supplements helpful for recurrent canker sores.4

References

1. Pang JF. Relation between treatment with traditional Chinese medicine for recurrent aphthous ulcer and human zinc and copper. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 1992;12:280-2, 260-1 [in Chinese].

2. Endre L. Recurrent aphthous ulceration with zinc deficiency and cellular immune deficiency. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1991;72:559-61.

3. Merchant HW, Gangarosa LP, Glassman AB, Sobel RE. Zinc sulfate supplementation for treatment of recurring oral ulcers. South Med J 1977;70:559-61.

4. Wray D. A double-blind trial of systemic zinc sulfate in recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1982;53:469-72.

Gingivitis
Dose: Use a toothpaste containing .075% sanguinaria extract and 2% zinc chloride twice per day

Bloodroot contains alkaloids, principally sanguinarine, that are sometimes used in toothpaste and other oral hygiene products because they inhibit oral bacteria.1, 2 Sanguinarine-containing toothpastes and mouth rinses should be used according to manufacturer's directions. A six-month, double-blind trial found that use of a bloodroot and zinc toothpaste reduced gingivitis significantly better than placebo.3 However, a similar study was unable to replicate these results.4 Thus, at present, it is unknown who will respond to bloodroot toothpaste and who will not. Concerns also exist about the long-term safety of bloodroot.

References

1. Dzink JL, Socransky SS. Comparative in vitro activity of sanguinarine against oral microbial isolates. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1985;27(4):663-5.

2. Hannah JJ, Johnson JD, Kuftinec MM. Long-term clinical evaluation of toothpaste and oral rinse containing sanguinaria extract in controlling plaque, gingival inflammation, and sulcular bleeding during orthodontic treatment. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 1989;96:199-207.

3. Harper DS, Mueller LJ, Fine JB, et al. Clinical efficacy of a dentifrice and oral rinse containing sanguinaria extract and zinc chloride during 6 months of use. J Periodontol 1990;61(6):352-8.

4. Mauriello SM, Bader JD. Six-month effects of a sanguinarine dentifrice on plaque and gingivitis. J Periodontol 1988;59(4):238-43.

Halitosis
Dose: Regularly use a mouthrinse or toothpaste containing zinc

Preliminary research has also demonstrated the ability of zinc to reduce the concentration of volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth. One study found that the addition of zinc to a baking soda toothpaste lessened halitosis by lowering the levels of these compounds.1 A mouthrinse containing zinc chloride was seen in another study to neutralize the damaging effect of methyl mercaptan on periodontal tissue in the mouth.2, 3

References

1. Brunette DM, Proskin HM, Nelson BJ. The effects of dentifrice systems on oral malodor. J Clin Dent 1998;9:76-82.

2. Ng W, Tonzetich J. Effect of hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan on the permeability of oral mucosa. J Dent Res 1984;63:994-7.

3. Waler SM. The effect of some metal ions on volatile sulfur-containing compounds originating from the oral cavity. Acta Odontol Scand 1997;55:261-4.

Common Cold and Sore Throat
Dose: Use 13 to 25 mg as gluconate, gluconate-glycine, or acetate in lozenges every two hours

Zinc interferes with viral replication in test tubes, may interfere with the ability of viruses to enter cells of the body, may help immune cells to fight a cold, and may relieve cold symptoms when taken as a supplement.1 In double-blind trials, zinc lozenges have reduced the duration of colds in adults but have been ineffective in children.2, 3, 4, 5 Lozenges containing zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, and, in most trials, zinc acetate6, 7 have been effective; most other forms of zinc and lozenges flavored with citric acid,8 tartaric acid, sorbitol, or mannitol have been ineffective.9 Trials using these other forms of zinc have failed, as have trials that use insufficient amounts of zinc.10 For the alleviation of cold symptoms, lozenges providing 13 to 25 mg of zinc (as zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate) are used every two hours while awake but only for several days. The best effect is obtained when lozenges are used at the first sign of a cold.

An analysis of the major zinc trials has claimed that evidence for efficacy is "still lacking."11 However, despite a lack of statistical significance, this compilation of data from six double-blind trials found that people assigned to zinc had a 50% decreased risk of still having symptoms after one week compared with those given placebo. Some trials included in this analysis used formulations containing substances that may inactivate zinc salts. Other reasons for failure to show statistical significance, according to a recent analysis of these studies,12 may have been small sample size (not enough people) or not enough zinc given. Thus, there are plausible reasons why the authors were unable to show statistical significance, even though positive effects are well supported in most trials using gluconate, gluconate-glycine, or acetate forms of zinc.

References

1. Macknin ML. Zinc lozenges for the common cold. Cleve Clin J Med 1999;66:27-32 [review].

2. Eby G, Davis DR, Halcomb WW. Reduction in duration of common colds by zinc gluconate lozenges in a double-blind study. Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy 1984;25:20-4.

3. Al-Nakib W, Higgins PG, Barrow I, et al. Prophylaxis and treatment of rhinovirus colds with zinc gluconate lozenges. J Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 1987;20:893-901.

4. Prasad AS, Beck FWJ, Bao B, Snell D, Fitzgerald JT. Duration and severity of symptoms and levels of plasma interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, and adhesion molecules in patients with common cold treated with zinc acetate. J Infect Dis 2008;197:795-802.

5. Macknin ML, Piedmonte M, Calendine C, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold in children. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1998;279:1962-7.

6. Petrus EJ, Lawson KA, Bucci LR, Blum K. Randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled clinical study of the effectiveness of zinc acetate lozenges on common cold symptoms in allergy-tested subjects. Curr Ther Res 1998;59:595-607.

7. Prasad AS, Fitzgerald JT, Bao B, et al. Duration of symptoms and plasma cytokine levels in patients with the common cold treated with zinc acetate. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2000;133:245-52.

8. Eby G. Where's the bias? Ann Intern Med 1998;128:75 [letter].

9. Garland ML, Hagmeyer KO. The role of zinc lozenges in treatment of the common cold. Ann Pharmacolther 1998;32:63-9 [review].

10. Weismann K, Jakobsen JP, Weismann JE, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for common cold. A double-blind clinical trial. Dan Med Bull 1990;37:279-81.

11. Jackson JL, Peterson C, Lesho E. A meta-analysis of zinc salts lozenges and the common cold. Arch Intern Med 1997;157:2373-6.

12. Macknin ML. Zinc lozenges for the common cold. Cleve Clin J Med 1999;66:27-32 [review].

Cold Sores
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner

Zinc preparations have been shown to inhibit the replication of herpes simplex in the test tube.1 In one study, people with recurrent herpes simplex infections applied a zinc sulfate solution daily to the sores. After healing occurred, the frequency of applications was reduced to once a week for a month, then to twice a month. During an observation period of 16 to 23 months, none of these people experienced a recurrence of their cold sores.2

Zinc oxide, the only commercially available form of zinc for topical application, is probably ineffective as a treatment for herpes simplex.3 Other forms of topical zinc can be obtained by prescription, through a compounding pharmacist. However, because an excessive concentration of zinc may cause skin irritation, topical zinc should be used only with the supervision of a doctor knowledgeable in its use.

References

1. Eby GA, Halcomb WW. Use of topical zinc to prevent recurrent herpes simplex infection: review of literature and suggested protocols. Med Hypotheses 1985;17:157-65.

2. Brody I. Topical treatment of recurrent herpes simplex and post-herpetic erythema multiforme with low concentrations of zinc sulphate solution. Br J Dermatol 1981;104:191-4.

3. Apisariyakulm A, Buddhasukh D, Apisariyakul S, Ternai B. Zinc monoglycerolate is effective against oral herpetic sores. Med J Aust 1990;152:54.

Infection
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Marginal deficiencies of zinc result in immune function impairments.1 In a double-blind study of healthy elderly people, supplementing with 45 mg of zinc per day for one year significantly reduced the frequency of infections.2 Some doctors recommend lower amounts of supplemental zinc for people experiencing recurrent infections, such as 25 mg per day for adults and even lower amounts for children (depending on body weight). Zinc lozenges have been found helpful in some studies for the common cold. Long-term zinc supplementation should in most cases be accompanied by a copper supplement in order to prevent zinc-induced copper deficiency.

References

1. Fraker PJ, Gershwin ME, Good RA, Prasad A. Interrelationships between zinc and immune function. Fed Proc 1986;45:1474-9.

2. Prasad AS, Beck FWJ, Bao B, et al. Zinc supplementation decreases incidence of infections in the elderly: effect of zinc on generation of cytokines and oxidative stress. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:837-44.

HIV and AIDS Support
Dose: 12 to 45 mg daily

Blood levels of both zinc1 and selenium2 are frequently low in people with HIV infection. Zinc supplements (45 mg per day) have been shown to reduce the number of infections in people with AIDS.3 Zinc supplementation (12 mg per day for women, 15 mg per day for men) also slowed the decline in immune function in HIV-infected adults with low blood levels of zinc.4

References

1. Fabris N, Mocchegiani E, Galli M, et al. AIDS, zinc deficiency, and thymic hormone failure. JAMA 1988;259:839-40.

2. Dworkin BM. Selenium deficiency in HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Chem Biol Interact 1994;91:181-6.

3. Mocchegiani E, Veccia S, Ancarani F, et al. Benefit of oral zinc supplementation as an adjunct to zidovudine (AZT) therapy against opportunistic infections in AIDS. Int J Immunopharmacol 1995;17:719-27.

4. Baum MK, Lai S, Sales S, et al. Randomized, controlled clinical trial of zinc supplementation to prevent immunological failure in HIV-infected adults. Clin Infect Dis 2010;50:1653-60.

Infectious Diarrhea
Dose: Refer to label instructionsTwo of the nutrients that may not be absorbed efficiently as a result of diarrhea are zinc and vitamin A, both needed to fight infections. In third-world countries, supplementation with zinc and vitamin A has led to a reduction in, or prevention of, infectious diarrhea in children.1 There is evidence that even children who are not zinc-deficient could benefit from zinc supplementation during an episode of infectious diarrhea, if the diarrhea is being caused by certain specific organisms, such as the organism that causes cholera or some strains of E. coli.2
References

1. Bhan MK, Bhandari N. The role of zinc and vitamin A in persistent diarrhea among infants and young children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1998;26:446-53 [review].

2. Crane JK, Hoque KM. Zinc for infectious diarrhea in developed countries: should we be sprinkling our own lawns? J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2008;46:484-5.

Common Cold and Sore Throat
Dose: For prevention: 15 mg daily; for treating colds: 30 mg daily at the onsetZinc interferes with viral replication in test tubes, may interfere with the ability of viruses to enter cells of the body, may help immune cells to fight a cold, and may relieve cold symptoms when taken as a supplement.1 In double-blind trials, zinc lozenges have reduced the duration of colds in adults but have been ineffective in children.2, 3, 4, 5 Lozenges containing zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, and, in most trials, zinc acetate6, 7 have been effective; most other forms of zinc and lozenges flavored with citric acid,8 tartaric acid, sorbitol, or mannitol have been ineffective.9 Trials using these other forms of zinc have failed, as have trials that use insufficient amounts of zinc.10 For the alleviation of cold symptoms, lozenges providing 13 to 25 mg of zinc (as zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate) are used every two hours while awake but only for several days. The best effect is obtained when lozenges are used at the first sign of a cold.

An analysis of the major zinc trials has claimed that evidence for efficacy is "still lacking."11 However, despite a lack of statistical significance, this compilation of data from six double-blind trials found that people assigned to zinc had a 50% decreased risk of still having symptoms after one week compared with those given placebo. Some trials included in this analysis used formulations containing substances that may inactivate zinc salts. Other reasons for failure to show statistical significance, according to a recent analysis of these studies,12 may have been small sample size (not enough people) or not enough zinc given. Thus, there are plausible reasons why the authors were unable to show statistical significance, even though positive effects are well supported in most trials using gluconate, gluconate-glycine, or acetate forms of zinc.

In a double-blind study of children in Turkey, oral zinc supplementation significantly reduced both the incidence (by 29%) and the duration (by 11%) of the common cold. The amount of zinc used in this seven-month study was 15 mg per day for children with an average age of 5.6 years. The amount of supplemental zinc was doubled at the onset of a cold, and this higher amount was continued until symptoms resolved.13

References

1. Macknin ML. Zinc lozenges for the common cold. Cleve Clin J Med 1999;66:27-32 [review].

2. Eby G, Davis DR, Halcomb WW. Reduction in duration of common colds by zinc gluconate lozenges in a double-blind study. Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy 1984;25:20-4.

3. Al-Nakib W, Higgins PG, Barrow I, et al. Prophylaxis and treatment of rhinovirus colds with zinc gluconate lozenges. J Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 1987;20:893-901.

4. Prasad AS, Beck FWJ, Bao B, Snell D, Fitzgerald JT. Duration and severity of symptoms and levels of plasma interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, and adhesion molecules in patients with common cold treated with zinc acetate. J Infect Dis 2008;197:795-802.

5. Macknin ML, Piedmonte M, Calendine C, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold in children. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1998;279:1962-7.

6. Petrus EJ, Lawson KA, Bucci LR, Blum K. Randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled clinical study of the effectiveness of zinc acetate lozenges on common cold symptoms in allergy-tested subjects. Curr Ther Res 1998;59:595-607.

7. Prasad AS, Fitzgerald JT, Bao B, et al. Duration of symptoms and plasma cytokine levels in patients with the common cold treated with zinc acetate. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2000;133:245-52.

8. Eby G. Where's the bias? Ann Intern Med 1998;128:75 [letter].

9. Garland ML, Hagmeyer KO. The role of zinc lozenges in treatment of the common cold. Ann Pharmacolther 1998;32:63-9 [review].

10. Weismann K, Jakobsen JP, Weismann JE, et al. Zinc gluconate lozenges for common cold. A double-blind clinical trial. Dan Med Bull 1990;37:279-81.

11. Jackson JL, Peterson C, Lesho E. A meta-analysis of zinc salts lozenges and the common cold. Arch Intern Med 1997;157:2373-6.

12. Macknin ML. Zinc lozenges for the common cold. Cleve Clin J Med 1999;66:27-32 [review].

13. Kurugol Z, Akilli M, Bayram N, Koturoglu G. The prophylactic and therapeutic effectiveness of zinc sulphate on common cold in children. Acta Paediatr 2006;95:1175-81.

Immune Function
Dose: 25 mg daily

Most,1, 2 but not all,3 double-blind studies have shown that elderly people have better immune function and reduced infection rates when taking a multiple vitamin-mineral formula. In one double-blind trial, supplements of 100 mcg per day of selenium and 20 mg per day of zinc, with or without additional vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, reduced infections in elderly people, though vitamins without minerals had no effect.4 Burn victims have also experienced fewer infections after receiving trace mineral supplements in double-blind research.5 These studies suggest that trace minerals may be the most important micronutrients for enhancing immunity and preventing infections in the elderly.

Zinc supplements have been reported to increase immune function.6, 7 This effect may be especially important in the elderly according to double-blind studies.8, 9 Some doctors recommend zinc supplements for people with recurrent infections, suggesting 25 mg per day for adults and lower amounts for children (depending on body weight). However, too much zinc (300 mg per day) has been reported to impair immune function.10

While zinc lozenges have been shown to be effective for reducing the symptoms and duration of the common cold in some controlled studies, it is not clear whether this effect is due to an enhancement of immune function or to the direct effect of zinc on the viruses themselves.11

References

1. Pike J, Chandra RK. Effect of vitamin and trace element supplementation on immune indices in healthy elderly. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1995;65:117-21.

2. Chandra RK. Effect of vitamin and trace-element supplementation on immune responses and infection in elderly subjects. Lancet 1992;340:1124-7.

3. Chavance M, Herbeth B, Lemoine A, et al. Does multivitamin supplementation prevent infections in healthy elderly subjects? A controlled trial.Int.J Vitam Nutr Res 1993;63:11-6.

4. Girodon F, Lombard M, Galan P, et al. Effect of micronutrient supplementation on infection in institutionalized elderly subjects: a controlled trial. Ann Nutr Metab 1997;41:98-107.

5. Berger MM, Spertini F, Shenkin A, et al. Trace element supplementation modulates pulmonary infection rates after major burns: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68:365-71.

6. Duchateau J, Delespesse G, Vereecke P. Influence of oral zinc supplementation on the lymphocyte response to mitogens of normal subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1981;34:88-93.

7. Fraker PJ, Gershwin ME, Good RA, Prasad A. Interrelationships between zinc and immune function. Fed Proc 1986;45:1474-9.

8. Fortes C, Forastiere F, Agabiti N, et al. The effect of zinc and vitamin A supplementation on immune response in an older population. J Am Geriatr Soc 1998;46:19-26.

9. Girodon F, Lombard M, Galan P, et al. Effect of micronutrient supplementation on infection in institutionalized elderly subjects: a controlled trial. Ann Nutr Metab 1997;41:98-107.

10. Chandra RK. Excessive intake of zinc impairs immune responses. JAMA 1984;252:1443.

11. Macknin ML. Zinc lozenges for the common cold. Cleve Clin J Med 1999;66:27-32 [review].

Pre- and Post-Surgery Health
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Zinc is a mineral nutrient important for proper immune system function and wound healing.1 One study found most surgery patients recovering at home had low dietary intakes of zinc.2 Low blood levels of zinc have been reported in patients after lung surgery.3, 4 In one study this deficiency lasted for up to seven days after surgery and was associated with higher risk of pneumonia,5 while another study found an association between post-operative zinc deficiency and fatigue.6 Poor post-operative wound healing is also more common in people with zinc deficiency.7 Zinc supplements given to patients before surgery prevented zinc deficiency in one study, but the effect of these supplements on post-surgical health was not evaluated.8

References

1. Thomas DR. Specific nutritional factors in wound healing. Adv Wound Care 1997;10:40-3 [review].

2. Stotts NA, Whitney JD. Nutritional intake and status of clients in the home with open surgical wounds. J Community Health Nurs 1990;7:77-86.

3. Yamamoto R, Inoue K, Hori T, et al. Clinical evaluation of changes in serum zinc and copper concentrations around pulmonary operation. Nippon Kyobu Geka Gakkai Zasshi 1994;42:1178-83 [in Japanese].

4. Cordova Martinez A, Escanero Marcen JF. Changes in serum trace elements after surgery: value of copper and zinc in predicting post-operative fatigue. J Int Med Res 1992;20:12-9.

5. Yamamoto R, Inoue K, Hori T, et al. Clinical evaluation of changes in serum zinc and copper concentrations around pulmonary operation. Nippon Kyobu Geka Gakkai Zasshi 1994;42:1178-83 [in Japanese].

6. Cordova Martinez A, Escanero Marcen JF. Changes in serum trace elements after surgery: value of copper and zinc in predicting post-operative fatigue. J Int Med Res 1992;20:12-9.

7. Senapati A, Slavin BM, Thompson RPH. Zinc depletion and complications of surgery. Clinical Nutrition 1990;9:341-6.

8. Hallbook T, Hedelin H. Pre-operative peroral zinc supplementation. Acta Chir Scand 1978;144:63-6.

Common Cold and Sore Throat
Dose:

Not recommended due to a potenially serious side effect

Caution: Using zinc nasal spray has been reported to cause severe or complete loss of smell function. In some of those cases, the loss of smell was long-lasting or permanent.1

Zinc interferes with viral replication in test tubes.2 The beneficial effect of zinc nasal sprays should be weighed against the potentially serious side effect of loss of smell. Since zinc supplements are also effective and do not carry such a risk, it is more advisable to take zinc orally.

A double-blind trial showed a 74% reduction in symptom duration in people using a zinc nasal spray four times daily, compared with the 42 to 53% reduction reported in trials using zinc gluconate or zinc acetate lozenges.3 The average duration of symptoms after the beginning of treatment was 2.3 days in the people receiving zinc, compared with 9.0 days in those receiving placebo. However, in another double-blind study, zinc nasal spray was no more effective than a placebo; in both groups the median duration of symptoms was seven days.4

References

1. Jafek BW, Linschoten MR, Murrow BW. Anosmia after intranasal zinc gluconate use. Am J Rhinol 2004;18:137-41.

2. Macknin ML. Zinc lozenges for the common cold. Cleve Clin J Med 1999;66:27-32 [review].

3. Hirt M, Nobel S, Barron E. Zinc nasal gel for the treatment of common cold symptoms: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ear Nose Throat J 2000;79:778-80.

4. Belongia EA, Berg R, Liu K. A randomized trial of zinc nasal spray for the treatment of upper respiratory illness in adults. Am J Med 2001;111:103-8.

Birth Defects
Dose: 15 mg dailyIn a preliminary study, women with the highest total dietary zinc intake before pregnancy (including zinc from both food and supplements) had a 35% decreased risk of having an NTD-affected pregnancy.1 However, another preliminary study found no association between blood levels of zinc in pregnant women and the incidence of NTDs.2 Zinc supplementation (15 mg per day) is considered safe for pregnant women. Given its safety and potential role in preventing NTDs, a zinc-containing multivitamin is recommended by many doctors to all women of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
References

1. Velie EM, Block G, Shaw GM, et al. Maternal supplemental and dietary zinc intake and the occurrence of neural tube defects in California. Am J Epidemiol 1999;150:605-16.

2. Hambidge M, Hackshaw A, Wald N. Neural tube defects and serum zinc. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1993;100:746-9.

Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Dose: Use a prenatal supplement that includes zinc

In a preliminary study, pregnant women who used a zinc-containing nutritional supplement in the three months before and after conception had a 36% decreased chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect, and women who had the highest dietary zinc intake (but took no vitamin supplement) had a 30% decreased risk.1

References

1. Velie EM, Block G, Shaw GM, et al. Maternal supplemental and dietary zinc intake and the occurrence of neural tube defects in California. Am J Epidemiol 1999;150:605-16.

Gestational Hypertension
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Zinc supplementation (20 mg per day) was reported to reduce the incidence of GH in one double-blind trial studying a group of low-income Hispanic pregnant women who were not zinc deficient.1

References

1. Hunt IF, Murphy NJ, Cleaver AE, et al. Zinc supplementation during pregnancy: effects on selected blood constituents and on progress and outcome of pregnancy in low-income women of Mexican descent. Am J Clin Nutr 1984;40:508-21.

Preeclampsia
Dose: Refer to label instructions

A marginal zinc deficiency has been reported in some women with preeclampsia.1, 2 The common practice of prescribing iron and folic acid supplements to pregnant women can lead to reduced zinc absorption.3 Trials studying the relationship between zinc supplementation and preeclampsia incidence have produced conflicting results. In one double-blind trial, the incidence of preeclampsia was significantly lower in women receiving a multivitamin-mineral supplement, which provided 20 mg of zinc per day, than in women who received the same supplement without zinc.4 However, in another double-blind trial, a higher incidence of preeclampsia was reported in pregnant women given 20 mg of zinc per day than was reported in women given a placebo.5 In yet another trial, zinc supplementation failed to prevent preeclampsia. 6 Therefore, current evidence does not sufficiently support the use of zinc as a way to protect against preeclampsia.

References

1. Lazebnik N, Kuhnert BR, Kuhnert PM. Zinc, cadmium, and hypertension in parturient women. J Obstet Gynecol 1989;161:437-40.

2. Cherry FF, Bennett EA, Bazzano GS, et al. Plasma zinc in hypertension/toxemia and other reproductive variables in adolescent pregnancy. Am J Clin Nutr 1981;34:2367-75.

3. Simmer K, Iles CA, James C, Thompson RP. Are iron-folate supplements harmful? Am J Clin Nutr 1987;45:122-5.

4. Hunt IF, Murphy NJ, Cleaver AE, et al. Zinc supplementation during pregnancy: effects on selected blood constituents and on progress and outcome of pregnancy in low-income women of Mexican descent. Am J Clin Nutr 1984;40:508-21.

5. Mahomed K, James DK, Golding J, McCabe R. Zinc supplementation during pregnancy: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. BMJ 1989;299:826-9.

6. Jonsson B, Hauge B, Larsen MF, Hald F. Zinc supplementation during pregnancy: a double blind randomised controlled trial. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1996;75:725-9.

Type 2 Diabetes
Dose: 15 to 25 mg per dayPeople with type 2 diabetes tend to be zinc deficient,1 but some evidence indicates that zinc supplementation does not improve their ability to process sugar.2 Nonetheless, many doctors recommend that people with type 2 diabetes supplement with moderate amounts of zinc (15 to 25 mg per day) as a way to correct the deficit.
References

1. Nakamura T, Higashi A, Nishiyama S, et al. Kinetics of zinc status in children with IDDM. Diabetes Care 1991;14:553-7.

2. Niewoehner CB, Allen JI, Boosalis M, et al. Role of zinc supplementation in type II diabetes mellitus. Am J Med 1986;81:63-8.

Type 1 Diabetes
Dose: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner

People with type 1 diabetes tend to be zinc deficient,1 which may impair immune function.2 Zinc supplements have lowered blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes.3

Some doctors are concerned about having people with type 1 diabetes supplement with zinc because of a report that zinc supplementation increased glycosylation,4 generally a sign of deterioration of the condition. This trial is hard to evaluate because zinc supplementation increases the life of blood cells and such an effect artificially increases the lab test results for glycosylation. Until this issue is resolved, those with type 1 diabetes should consult a doctor before considering supplementation with zinc.

References

1. Nakamura T, Higashi A, Nishiyama S, et al. Kinetics of zinc status in children with IDDM. Diabetes Care 1991;14:553-7.

2. Mocchegiani E, Boemi M, Fumelli P, Fabris N. Zinc-dependent low thymic hormone level in type I diabetes. Diabetes1989;12:932-7.

3. Rao KVR, Seshiah V, Kumar TV. Effect of zinc sulfate therapy on control and lipids in type I diabetes. J Assoc Physicians India 1987;35:52 [abstract].

4. Cunningham JJ, Fu A, Mearkle PL, Brown RG. Hyperzincuria in individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: concurrent zinc status and the effect of high-dose zinc supplementation. Metabolism1994;43:1558-62.

Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Preliminary studies have reported that low zinc intake is associated with several of the risk factors common in IRS,1 and a low blood level of zinc is associated with insulin resistance in overweight people.2 However, people with IRS have not specifically been studied to determine whether they are zinc deficient or whether zinc supplements are helpful for them.

References

1. Singh RB, Niaz MA, Rastogi SS, et al. Current zinc intake and risk of diabetes and coronary artery disease and factors associated with insulin resistance in rural and urban populations of North India. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17:564-70.

2. Chen MD, Lin PY, Lin WH. Investigation of the relationships between zinc and obesity. Kao Hsiung I Hsueh Ko Hsueh Tsa Chih 1991;7:628-34 [in Chinese].

Hypoglycemia
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Research has shown that supplementing with chromium (200 mcg per day)1 or magnesium (340 mg per day)2 can prevent blood sugar levels from falling excessively in people with hypoglycemia. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) has also been found to be helpful for hypoglycemic people.3 Other nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin B6, may help control blood sugar levels in diabetics.4 Since there are similarities in the way the body regulates high and low blood sugar levels, these nutrients might be helpful for hypoglycemia as well, although the amounts needed for that purpose are not known.

References

1. Anderson RA et al. Chromium supplementation of humans with hypoglycemia. Fed Proc 1984;43:471.

2. Stebbing JB et al. Reactive hypoglycemia and magnesium. Magnesium Bull 1982;2:131-4.

3. Shansky A. Vitamin B3 in the alleviation of hypoglycemia. Drug Cosm Ind 1981;129(4):68-69,104-5.

4. Gaby AR, Wright JV. Nutritional regulation of blood glucose. J Advancement Med 1991;4:57-71.

Acrodermatitis
Dose: 30 to 150 mg per day under a doctor's supervision

Supplementation with zinc brings about complete remission in hereditary acrodermatitis enteropathica. Zinc supplements in the amount of 30 to 150 mg per day are used by people with this condition.1 People with acrodermatitis enteropathica need to be monitored by a healthcare professional to ensure that their level of zinc supplementation is adequate and that the zinc supplements are not inducing a copper deficiency.

References

1. Berkow R. Merck Manual. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories, 1987, 946.

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
Dose: If deficient: 15 mg per day

In a double-blind study, children with ADHD who received 15 mg of zinc per day for six weeks showed significantly greater behavioral improvement, compared with children who received a placebo.1 This study was conducted in Iran, and zinc deficiency has been found to be quite common in certain parts of that country. It is not clear, therefore, to what extent the results of this study apply to children living in other countries.

References

1. Akhondzadeh S, Mohammadi MR, Khademi M. Zinc sulfate as an adjunct to methylphenidate for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children: a double blind and randomized trial [ISRCTN64132371]. BMC Psychiatry 2004;4:9.

Childhood Diseases
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Zinc is another mineral antioxidant nutrient that the immune system requires. Zinc deficiency results in lowered immune defenses, and zinc supplementation increases immune activity in people with certain illnesses.1 As with vitamin A, zinc levels have been observed to fall during the early stages of measles infection and to return to normal several days later.2 There is evidence that zinc supplements are helpful in specific viral infections,3, 4, 5 but there are no data on the effect of zinc on childhood exanthemous infections.

References

1. Fraker PJ, King LE, Laakko T, Vollmer TL. The dynamic link between the integrity of the immune system and zinc status. J Nutr 2000;130:1399S-406S [review].

2. Coutsoudis A, Coovadia HM, Broughton M, et al. Micronutrient utilisation during measles treated with vitamin A or placebo. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1991;61:199-204.

3. Mocchegiani E, Muzzioli M. Therapeutic application of zinc in human immunodeficiency virus against opportunistic infections. J Nutr 2000;130:1424S-31S.

4. Novick SG, Godfrey JC, Pollack RL, Wilder HR. Zinc-induced suppression of inflammation in the respiratory tract, caused by infection with human rhinovirus and other irritants. Med Hypotheses 1997;49:347-57 [review].

5. Kumel G, Schrader S, Zentgraf H, Brendel M. Therapy of banal HSV lesions: molecular mechanisms of the antiviral activity of zinc sulfate. Hautarzt 1991;42:439-45 [review; in German].

Ear Infections
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Zinc supplements have also been reported to increase immune function.1, 2 As a result, some doctors recommend zinc supplements for people with recurrent ear infections, suggesting 25 mg per day for adults and lower amounts for children. For example, a 30-pound child might be given 5 mg of zinc per day while suffering from OM. Nonetheless, zinc supplementation has not been studied in people with ear infections.

References

1. Duchateau J, Delespesse G, Vereecke P. Influence of oral zinc supplementation on the lymphocyte response to mitogens of normal subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1981;34:88-93.

2. Fraker PJ, Gershwin ME, Good RA, Prasad A. Interrelationships between zinc and immune function. Fed Proc 1986;45:1474-9.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Another group of doctors has reported good results using a combination of zinc, manganese, and vitamin B6 for people with Osgood-Schlatter disease; however, the amounts of these supplements were not mentioned in the report.1 Most physicians would consider reasonable daily amounts of these nutrients for adolescents to be 15 mg of zinc, 5 to 10 mg of manganese, and 25 mg of vitamin B6. Larger amounts might be used with medical supervision.

References

1. Aston B. Manganese and man. J Orthomolec Psychiatry 1980;9:237-49.

Male Infertility
Dose: 60 mg (plus 2 mg of copper, to prevent depletion) daily

Zinc deficiency leads to reduced numbers of sperm and impotence in men.1 The correlation between blood levels of zinc and sperm quality remains controversial. Infertile men have been reported to have lower levels of zinc in their semen, than do men with normal fertility.2 Similarly, men with normal sperm density tend to have higher amounts of zinc in their semen, than do men with low sperm counts.3 However, other studies have found that a high concentration of zinc in the semen is related to decreased sperm motility in infertile men.4, 5 A few studies have shown that oral zinc supplementation improves both sperm count6, 7 motility,8, 9 and the physical characteristics of sperm in some groups of infertile men.10 For infertile men with low semen zinc levels, a preliminary trial found that zinc supplements (240 mg per day) increased sperm counts and possibly contributed to successful impregnation by 3 of the 11 men.11 However, these studies all included small numbers of volunteers, and thus the impact of their conclusions is limited. In a controlled trial, 100 men with low sperm motility received either 57 mg of zinc twice daily or a placebo.12 After three months, there was significant improvement in sperm quality, sperm count, sperm motility, and fertilizing capacity of the sperm. The ideal amount of supplemental zinc remains unknown, but some doctors recommend 30 mg two times per day. Long-term zinc supplementation requires 1-2 mg of copper per day to prevent copper deficiency.

References

1. Prasad AS, Cossack ZT. Zinc supplementation and growth in sickle cell disease. Ann Intern Med 1984;100:367-71.

2. Kvist U, Kjellberg S, Bjorndahl L, et al. Seminal fluid from men with agenesis of the Wolffian ducts: zinc-binding properties and effects on sperm chromatin stability. Int J Androl 1990;13:245-52.

3. Saaranen M, Suistomaa U, Kantola M, et al. Lead, magnesium, selenium and zinc in human seminal fluid: comparison with semen parameters and fertility. Hum Reprod 1987;2:475-9.

4. Danscher G, Hammen R, Fjerdingstad E, Rebbe H. Zinc content of human ejaculate and motility of sperm cells. Int J Androl 1978;1:576-81.

5. Carpino A, Siciliano L, Petroni MF, et al. Low seminal zinc bound to high molecular weight proteins in asthenozoospermic patients: evidence of increased sperm zinc content in oligoasthenozoospermic patients. Hum Reprod 1998;13:111-4.

6. Stankovic H, Mikac-Devic D. Zinc and copper in human semen. Clin Chim Acta 1976;70:123-6.

7. Hartoma TR, Nahoul K, Netter A. Zinc, plasma androgens and male sterility. Lancet 1977;2:1125-6.

8. Stankovic H, Mikac-Devic D. Zinc and copper in human semen. Clin Chim Acta 1976;70:123-6.

9. Kynaston HG, Lewis-Jones DI, Lynch RV, Desmond AD. Changes in seminal quality following oral zinc therapy. Andrologia 1988;20:21-2.

10. Tikkiwal M, Ajmera RL, Mathur NK. Effect of zinc administration on seminal zinc and fertility of oligospermic males. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1987;31:30-4.

11. Marmar JL, Katz S, Praiss DE, DeBenedictis TJ. Semen zinc levels in infertile and postvasectomy patients and patients with prostatitis. Fertil Steril 1975;26:1057-63.

12. Omu AE, Dashti H, Al-Othman S. Treatment of asthenozoospermia with zinc sulphate: andrological, immunological and obstetric outcome. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1998;79:179-84.

Tinnitus
Dose: Take under medical supervision: 90 mg daily (with 2 or 3 mg per day of copper to prevent depletion)

Zinc supplements have been used to treat people who had both tinnitus and hearing loss (usually age-related). Of those who had initially low blood levels of zinc, about 25% experienced an improvement in tinnitus after taking zinc (90-150 mg per day for three to six months).1 Such large amounts of zinc should be monitored by a doctor. Two controlled clinical trials2, 3 found no benefit from zinc supplementation (66 mg per day in one double-blind trial) in people with tinnitus. However, participants in these studies were not zinc deficient. Preliminary research suggests that zinc supplementation is only helpful for tinnitus in people who are zinc deficient.4 A doctor can measure blood levels of zinc.

References

1. Shambaugh GE. Zinc and presbycusis. Am J Otol 1985;6:116-7.

2. Paaske PB, Pedersen CB, Kjems G, Sam IL. Zinc in the management of tinnitus. Placebo-controlled trial. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1991;100:647-9.

3. Paaske PB, Pedersen CB, Kjems G, Sam IL. Zinc in the management of tinnitus. Placebo-controlled trial. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1991;100:647-9.

4. Ochi K, Ohashi T, Kinoshita H, et al. The serum zinc level in patients with tinnitus and the effect of zinc treatment. Nippon Jibiinkoka Gakkai Kaiho 1997;100:915-9 [in Japanese].

Ear Infections
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Zinc supplements have also been reported to increase immune function.1, 2 As a result, some doctors recommend zinc supplements for people with recurrent ear infections, suggesting 25 mg per day for adults and lower amounts for children. For example, a 30-pound child might be given 5 mg of zinc per day while suffering from OM. Nonetheless, zinc supplementation has not been studied in people with ear infections.

References

1. Duchateau J, Delespesse G, Vereecke P. Influence of oral zinc supplementation on the lymphocyte response to mitogens of normal subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1981;34:88-93.

2. Fraker PJ, Gershwin ME, Good RA, Prasad A. Interrelationships between zinc and immune function. Fed Proc 1986;45:1474-9.

Night Blindness
Dose: If deficient: 15 to 30 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg copper daily, to prevent depletion)

Dietary zinc deficiency is common, and a lack of zinc may reduce the activity of retinol dehydrogenase, an enzyme needed to help vitamin A work in the eye. Zinc helps night blindness in people who are zinc-deficient;1 therefore, many physicians suggest 15 to 30 mg of zinc per day to support healthy vision. Because long-term zinc supplementation may reduce copper levels, 1 to 2 mg of copper per day (depending on the amount of zinc used) is usually recommended for people who are supplementing with zinc for more than a few weeks.

References

1. Anonymous. Zinc-responsive night blindness in sickle cell anemia. Nutr Rev 1982;40:175-7.

Macular Degeneration
Dose: 45 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg of copper to protect against depletion)

Two important enzymes in the retina that are needed for vision require zinc. In a double-blind trial, supplementation with 45 mg of zinc per day for one to two years significantly reduced the rate of visual loss in people with macular degeneration.1 However, in another double-blind trial, supplementation with the same amount of zinc did not prevent vision loss among people with a particular type of macular degeneration (the exudative form).2

References

1. Newsome DA, Swartz M, Leone NC, et al. Oral zinc in macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 1988:106:192-8.

2. Stur M, Tihl M, Reitner A, Meisinger V. Oral zinc and the second eye in age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophtholmol 1966;37:1225-35.

Night Blindness
Dose: If deficient: 15 to 30 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg copper daily, to prevent depletion)

Dietary zinc deficiency is common, and a lack of zinc may reduce the activity of retinol dehydrogenase, an enzyme needed to help vitamin A work in the eye. Zinc helps night blindness in people who are zinc-deficient;1 therefore, many physicians suggest 15 to 30 mg of zinc per day to support healthy vision. Because long-term zinc supplementation may reduce copper levels, 1 to 2 mg of copper per day (depending on the amount of zinc used) is usually recommended for people who are supplementing with zinc for more than a few weeks.

References

1. Anonymous. Zinc-responsive night blindness in sickle cell anemia. Nutr Rev 1982;40:175-7.

Macular Degeneration
Dose: 45 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg of copper to protect against depletion)

Two important enzymes in the retina that are needed for vision require zinc. In a double-blind trial, supplementation with 45 mg of zinc per day for one to two years significantly reduced the rate of visual loss in people with macular degeneration.1 However, in another double-blind trial, supplementation with the same amount of zinc did not prevent vision loss among people with a particular type of macular degeneration (the exudative form).2

References

1. Newsome DA, Swartz M, Leone NC, et al. Oral zinc in macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 1988:106:192-8.

2. Stur M, Tihl M, Reitner A, Meisinger V. Oral zinc and the second eye in age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophtholmol 1966;37:1225-35.

Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Dose: Use a prenatal supplement that includes zinc

In a preliminary study, pregnant women who used a zinc-containing nutritional supplement in the three months before and after conception had a 36% decreased chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect, and women who had the highest dietary zinc intake (but took no vitamin supplement) had a 30% decreased risk.1

References

1. Velie EM, Block G, Shaw GM, et al. Maternal supplemental and dietary zinc intake and the occurrence of neural tube defects in California. Am J Epidemiol 1999;150:605-16.

Bulimia
Dose: Refer to label instructionsZinc deficiency has been detected in people with anorexia or bulimia in most,1, 2 though not all,3 studies. In addition, some of the manifestations of zinc deficiency, such as reduced appetite, taste, and smell, are similar to symptoms observed in some cases of anorexia or bulimia.4
References

1. Humphries L, Vivian B, Stuart M, McClain CJ. Zinc deficiency and eating disorders. J Clin Psychiatry 1989;50:456-9.

2. Varela P, Marcos A, Navarro MP. Zinc status in anorexia nervosa. Ann Nutr Metab 1992;36:197-202.

3. Roijen SB, Worsaae U, Zlotnik G. Zinc in patients with anorexia nervosa. Ugeskr Laeger 1991;153:721-3 [in Danish].

4. McClain CJ, Stuart MA, Vivian B, et al. Zinc status before and after zinc supplementation of eating disorder patients. J Am Coll Nutr 1992;11:694-700.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Prostatic secretions are known to contain a high concentration of zinc; that observation suggests that zinc plays a role in normal prostate function. In one preliminary study, 19 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia took 150 mg of zinc daily for two months, and then 50 to 100 mg daily. In 74% of the men, the prostate became smaller.1 Because this study did not include a control group, improvements may have been due to a placebo effect. Zinc also reduced prostatic size in an animal study but only when given by local injection.2 Although the research supporting the use of zinc is weak, many doctors recommend its use. Because supplementing with large amounts of zinc (such as 30 mg per day or more) may potentially lead to copper deficiency, most doctors recommend taking 2 to 3 mg of copper per day along with zinc.

References

1. Bush IM, Berman E, Nourkayhan S, et al. Zinc and the prostate. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association Chicago, 1974.

2. Fahim MS, Fahim Z, Der R, Harman J. Zinc treatment for reduction of hyperplasia of prostate. Fed Proc 1976;35(3):361.

Prostatitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions

In healthy men, prostatic secretions contain a significant amount of zinc, which has antibacterial activity and is a key factor in the natural resistance of the male urinary tract infection.1, 2 In CBP3, 4, 5, 6 and NBP7 these zinc levels are significantly reduced; however, it is not clear whether this indicates a predisposition to, or is the result of, prostatic infection.8, 9 Zinc supplements increased semen levels of zinc in men with NBP in one study,10but not in another.11 While zinc supplements have been associated with improvement of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), according to one preliminary report,12 no research has examined their effectiveness for prostatitis. Nonetheless, many doctors of natural medicine recommend zinc for this condition.

References

1. Colleen S, Mardh PA, Schytz A. Magnesium and zinc in seminal fluid of healthy males and patients with non-acute prostatitis with and without gonorrhoea. Scand J Urol Nephrol 1975;9:192-7.

2. Fair WR, Parrish RF. Antibacterial substances in prostatic fluid. Prog Clin Biol Res 1981;75A:247-64.

3. Lipsky BA. Prostatitis and urinary tract infection in men: what's new; what's true? Am J Med 1999;106:327-34 [review].

4. Colleen S, Mardh PA, Schytz A. Magnesium and zinc in seminal fluid of healthy males and patients with non-acute prostatitis with and without gonorrhoea. Scand J Urol Nephrol 1975;9:192-7.

5. Fair WR, Couch J, Wehner N. Prostatic antibacterial factor. Identity and significance. Urology 1976;7:169-77.

6. Kavanagh JP, Darby C, Costello CB. The response of seven prostatic fluid components to prostatic disease. Int J Androl 1982;5:487-96.

7. Marmar JL, Katz S, Praiss DE, DeBenedictis TJ. Semen zinc levels in infertile and postvasectomy patients and patients with prostatitis. Fertil Steril 1975;26:1057-63.

8. Lipsky BA. Prostatitis and urinary tract infection in men: what's new; what's true? Am J Med 1999;106:327-34 [review].

9. Neal DE Jr, Kaack MB, Fussell EN, Roberts JA. Changes in seminal fluid zinc during experimental prostatitis. Urol Res 1993;21:71-4.

10. Marmar JL, Katz S, Praiss DE, DeBenedictis TJ. Semen zinc levels in infertile and postvasectomy patients and patients with prostatitis. Fertil Steril 1975;26:1057-63.

11. Fair WR, Couch J, Wehner N. Prostatic antibacterial factor. Identity and significance. Urology 1976;7:169-77.

12. Bush IM, Berman E, Nourkayhan S, et al. Zinc and the prostate. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association Chicago, 1974.

Athletic Performance
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Exercise increases zinc losses from the human body, and severe zinc deficiency can compromise muscle function.1, 2 Athletes who do not eat an optimal diet, especially those who are trying to control their weight or use fad diets while exercising strenuously, may become deficient in zinc to the extent that performance or health is compromised.3, 4 One double-blind trial in women found that 135 mg per day of zinc for two weeks improved one measure of muscle strength.5 Whether these women were zinc deficient was not determined in this study. A double-blind study of male athletes with low blood levels of zinc found that 20 mg per day of zinc improved the flexibility of the red blood cells during exercise, which could benefit blood flow to the muscles.6 No other studies of the effects of zinc supplementation in exercising people have been done. A safe amount of zinc for long-term use is 20 to 40 mg per day along with 1 to 2 mg of copper. Higher amounts should be taken only under the supervision of a doctor.

References

1. Lukaski HC. Magnesium, zinc, and chromium nutriture and physical activity. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:585S-93S [review].

2. Van Loan MD, Sutherland B, Lowe NM, et al. The effects of zinc depletion on peak force and total work of knee and shoulder extensor and flexor muscles. Int J Sport Nutr 1999;9:125-35.

3. Manore MM. Dietary recommendations and athletic menstrual dysfunction. Sports Med 2002;32:887-901 [review].

4. Micheletti A, Rossi R, Rufini S. Zinc status in athletes: relation to diet and exercise. Sports Med 2001;31:577-82 [review].

5. Krotkiewski M, Gudmundsson M, Backstrom P, Mandroukas K. Zinc and muscle strength and endurance. Acta Physiol Scand 1982;116:309-11.

6. Khaled S, Brun JF, Cassanas G, et al. Effects of zinc supplementation on blood rheology during exercise. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc 1999;20:1-10.

Osteoporosis
Dose: Refer to label instructions

One trial studying postmenopausal women combined hormone replacement therapy with magnesium (600 mg per day), calcium (500 mg per day), vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, copper, manganese, boron, and other nutrients for an eight- to nine-month period.1 In addition, participants were told to avoid processed foods, limit protein intake, emphasize vegetable over animal protein, and limit consumption of salt, sugar, alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, and tobacco. Bone density increased a remarkable 11%, compared to only 0.7% in women receiving hormone replacement alone.

Levels of zinc in both blood and bone have been reported to be low in people with osteoporosis,2 and urinary loss of zinc has been reported to be high.3 In one trial, men consuming only 10 mg of zinc per day from food had almost twice the risk of osteoporotic fractures compared with those eating significantly higher levels of zinc in their diets.4 Whether zinc supplementation protects against bone loss has not yet been proven, though in one trial, supplementation with several minerals including zinc and calcium was more effective than calcium by itself.5 Many doctors recommend that people with osteoporosis, as well as those trying to protect themselves from this disease, supplement with 10 to 30 mg of zinc per day.

References

1. Abraham GE, Grewal H. A total dietary program emphasizing magnesium instead of calcium. J Reprod Med 1990;35:503-7.

2. Sahap AO. Zinc and senile osteoporosis. J Am Geriatr Soc 1983;31:790-1.

3. Relea P, Revilla M, Ripoll E, et al. Zinc, biochemical markers of nutrition, and type I osteoporosis. Age Ageing 1995; 24:303-7.

4. Elmstahl S, Gullberg B, Janzon L, et al. Increased incidence of fractures in middle-aged and elderly men with low intakes of phosphorus and zinc. Osteoporos Int 1998;8:333-40.

5. Strause L, Saltman P, Smith KT, et al. Spinal bone loss in postmenopausal women supplemented with calcium and trace minerals. J Nutr 1994;124:1060-4.

Depression
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Hypothyroidism
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Laboratory animals with severe, experimentally induced zinc deficiency developed hypothyroidism, whereas moderate zinc deficiency did not affect thyroid function.1 In a small study of healthy people, thyroid hormone (thyroxine) levels tended to be lower in those with lower blood levels of zinc. In people with low zinc, supplementing with zinc increased thyroxine levels.2 One case has been reported of a woman with severe zinc deficiency (caused by the combination of alcoholism and malabsorption) who developed hypothyroidism that was corrected by supplementing with zinc.3 Although the typical Western diet is marginally low in zinc,4 additional research is needed to determine whether zinc supplementation would be effective for preventing or correcting hypothyroidism.

References

1. Fujimoto S, Indo Y, Higashi A, et al. Conversion of thyroxine into tri-iodothyronine in zinc deficient rat liver. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1986;5:799-805.

2. Hartoma TR, Sotaniemi EA, Maattanen J. Effect of zinc on some biochemical indices of metabolism. Nutr Metab 1979;23:294-300.

3. Weismann K, Roed-Petersen J, Hjorth N, Kopp H. Chronic zinc deficiency syndrome in a beer drinker with a Billroth II resection. Int J Dermatol 1976;15:757-61.

4. Wolf WR, Holden J, Greene FE. Daily intake of zinc and copper from self selected diets. Fed Proc 1977;36:1175.

Contact Dermatitis
Dose: Refer to label instructions

Zinc is an essential mineral that is a component of more than 300 enzymes needed to repair wounds, maintain fertility in adults and growth in children, synthesize protein, help cells reproduce, preserve vision, boost immunity, and protect against free radicals, among other functions.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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GNC Ultra Zinc Lozenges® - Orange
 
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5.0

Miracle Cold Buster!

By karylwithakandy

from New Hampshire

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Pros

  • Effective
  • Good Value

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Cold Shortening
    • On-the-go

    Comments about GNC Ultra Zinc Lozenges® - Orange:

    My whole family uses it at the first sign of a cold. 2-3 a day and the cold time is shortened SIGNIFICANTLY! We are never without a backup box.

    • My Beauty Routine Takes:
    • 30 Minutes

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