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Zinc is an essential micronutrient that’s needed for a number of critical processes in your body. For example, zinc plays an important role in immune function, cell division, and protein and DNA synthesis (1).

While there are many food sources of zinc, including meat and shellfish, some people may be at a higher risk for not getting enough zinc in their diets (1).

For example, pregnant or lactating women, vegetarians and vegans, people with gastrointestinal disorders, individuals taking certain medications like diuretics, and those who drink alcohol excessively are at a higher risk of developing a zinc deficiency (1, 2).

They may benefit from a zinc supplement (1, 2).

Keep reading for our picks of the best zinc supplements, as well as tips on how to choose a product that’s right for you.

When choosing a zinc supplement, it’s important to consider the type of zinc, dosage, supplement form, and product quality.

Type of zinc

There are several types of zinc supplements. Limited research suggests that some forms, such as zinc picolinate and zinc citrate, may be better absorbed than others, like zinc oxide. However, more recent studies are needed (3, 4).

Dosage

Most zinc supplements contain 15–30 mg of zinc per serving. Keep in mind the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of zinc is 40 mg per day for adults, 4–7 mg per day for infants, 7–23 mg per day for kids, and 23–34 mg per day for teens (1).

Due to potential side effects of excess zinc, it’s best not to exceed 40 mg per day unless under medical supervision.

Taking too much zinc can cause negative side effects, such as decreased immune function, low copper levels, and reduced HDL (good) cholesterol levels (1).

Supplement form

Zinc supplements are available as capsules, lozenges, and liquids. For people who cannot or prefer not to swallow pills, liquid forms are likely a better option.

Quality

Before buying any supplement, it’s important to research high quality, trustworthy brands to ensure both safety and quality.

Look for supplements that are produced by reputable manufacturers and free of large amounts of added ingredients like fillers, additives, and preservatives.

A good way to ensure high quality is to look for products that have been certified by a third-party organization such as NSF International or Underwriters Laboratories.

We chose the zinc supplements in this review based on the following criteria:

  • Quality. We included products that are manufactured by reputable companies that follow current good manufacturing processes (CGMPs) set by the Food and Drug Administration, use high quality ingredients, and are tested for purity and quality.
  • Form of zinc. We looked for supplements featuring highly absorbable forms of zinc, like zinc picolinate and zinc citrate.
  • Dosage. We included supplements containing a safe and effective amount of zinc.
  • Vetting. All the products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.

Here are the 13 best zinc supplements to help you meet your nutritional needs.

A note on price

General price ranges are indicated with dollar signs ($–$$$) below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price range.

Generally, prices range from $0.08–$1.39 per serving, or $5.99–$38.90 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $0.25 per serving
  • $$ = $0.25–$0.50 per serving
  • $$$ = over $0.50 per serving

Note that the serving sizes vary. Some supplements require two capsules per serving, while the serving size for others may be 1 teaspoon (5 mL), 1 mL, or 1 capsule, tablet, or lozenge.

Best overall zinc supplement

Thorne Zinc Picolinate

  • Price: $
  • Form: zinc picolinate
  • Dosage: 1 capsule per day

Thorne Research is a supplement company that has dedicated scientists, labs, and research facilities for nutritional supplements.

All of Thorne’s products are made in a lab that meets regulations and standards set by NSF International and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), a regulatory body in Australia that’s responsible for assessing the safety of supplements.

Furthermore, the brand’s products are NSF Certified for Sport. This means that the products are tested to ensure the absence of more than 200 substances that many major athletic organizations have banned.

Thorne Zinc Picolinate is one of the best zinc supplements on the market due to the company’s high quality standards, purity of ingredients, and form of zinc used.

One tablet of this supplement provides 30 mg of zinc picolinate. For best results, take one tablet per day or as recommended by a doctor.

Pros

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • trusted by healthcare professionals
  • gluten-free

Cons

  • can be difficult to find at local drugstores

Best subscription-based zinc supplement

Care/of Zinc

  • Price: $
  • Form: zinc bisglycinate chelate
  • Dosage: 1 capsule per day

The Care/of site offers a quiz to help personalize the type and amount of micronutrients you receive.

It also lists a zinc capsule containing 15 mg of zinc bisglycinate chelate, a highly absorbable form of zinc, as well as 2 mg of copper sulfate.

High dose zinc supplements often contain copper because taking in high amounts of zinc can inhibit copper absorption (1).

Pros

  • affordable subscription-based service
  • vegan
  • gluten-free
  • non-GMO
  • third-party tested

Cons

  • requires a subscription

Best chelated zinc supplement

NOW Zinc Glycinate Softgels

  • Price: $
  • Form: zinc glycinate
  • Dosage: 1 softgel per day

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

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

Each softgel contains 30 mg of zinc glycinate, a form of zinc that older research studies suggest may be better absorbed than other types of zinc (5).

All NOW supplements are certified by Underwriters Laboratories and follow CGMPs to ensure their quality and accuracy.

Additionally, these supplements tend to be more affordable than many other high quality brands.

Pros

  • manufactured in third-party certified facilities
  • affordable

Cons

  • not suitable for vegans

Best vegan zinc supplement

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc

  • Price: $$
  • Form: zinc from brown rice chelate
  • Dosage: 2 capsules per day

While it’s not always obvious, some supplements can contain animal-derived ingredients, making the product unsuitable for vegans.

Some commonly used ingredients that aren’t vegan-friendly include digestive enzymes like lipase, caprylic acid from milk, gelatin, and magnesium stearate, which is often pork-derived.

Garden of Life is a whole foods-based supplement brand with products that are certified organic and non-GMO verified.

Vitamin Code Raw Zinc is a good option for vegans, as it’s third-party tested to ensure the product is vegan, as well as gluten-free.

In addition to providing 30 mg of plant-based zinc, each serving also contains vitamin C, a raw organic fruit and vegetable blend, and live probiotics and enzymes to support healthy digestion.

It’s recommended that adults take one serving of 2 capsules per day with or without meals.

For people who have difficulty swallowing pills, the capsules can also be opened to pour the contents into a glass of water or another beverage.

Pros

  • certified organic
  • certified vegan
  • certified gluten-free
  • non-GMO verified

Cons

  • expensive
  • not third-party tested for purity and potency

Best liquid zinc supplement

Metagenics Zinc Drink

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: zinc sulfate
  • Dosage: 1 teaspoon (5 mL) per day

Metagenics is a supplement company devoted to transparency and quality.

Each ingredient and supplement batch is tested for quality. You can even access a detailed testing report for the specific supplement you’re looking to buy.

As part of its quality assurance, all Metagenics supplements are United States Pharmacopeia (USP) verified and meet NSF and TGA safety and quality regulations.

USP is an organization that sets strict standards for the quality and purity of dietary supplements.

The company’s Zinc Drink liquid supplement contains only water and 15 mg of zinc sulfate per serving, making it free of any additives and preservatives.

For best results, take 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of the Zinc Drink per day, between meals. While you can take the supplement on its own, you can also mix it into a glass of water.

Pros

  • USP verified
  • meets NSF and TGA safety and quality regulations
  • non-GMO
  • gluten-free
  • vegetarian

Cons

  • expensive

Peak Performance Raw Liquid Zinc

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: zinc sulphate
  • Dosage: 15 drops (0.5 mL) per day

Peak Performance supplements are made in the United States and developed for busy athletes and professionals.

In addition to being free of major allergens, including soy, dairy, wheat, egg, shellfish, and peanuts, Peak Performance Raw Liquid Zinc is also vegan-friendly.

The company claims that since the zinc is run through a high pressure, low heat process, the particles in this liquid supplement are very small in size, which may make it easier for your body to absorb.

One full dropper provides 15 mg of zinc sulfate, a form of zinc that has been shown to help prevent zinc deficiency, reduce symptoms of severe acne, and possibly help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (6, 7).

All Peak Performance supplements undergo third-party testing for quality and accuracy. They’re also manufactured following CGMP regulations and standards.

Adults should take 1 full dropper (1 mL) once a day on an empty stomach or use as directed by a doctor.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • vegan
  • major allergen-free
  • gluten-free
  • non-GMO

Cons

  • expensive

Best zinc lozenges

Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges

  • Price: $$
  • Form: zinc acetate
  • Dosage: 1 lozenge per day

Zinc lozenges are small tablets that are meant to dissolve slowly in your mouth. They’re typically taken for short periods to help reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold.

In fact, one review found that consuming a dosage of 80–92 mg of zinc from zinc lozenges per day helped reduce the duration of the common cold by up to 33% (8).

Life Extension has been making high quality supplements for more than 40 years.

In addition to being manufactured in an NSF-registered GMP facility, each product has a certificate of analysis (COA) that’s available for consumers to confirm the quality and accuracy of a specific product.

Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges contain 18.75 mg of zinc acetate, a form of zinc that has been shown to shorten the duration of colds by up to 40%, though the research is mixed (8, 9).

Adults can take 1 lozenge every 2 hours up to eight times per day.

However, it’s not recommended to consume these lozenges for more than 3 days in a row. Also, note that taking this supplement eight times per day will greatly exceed the daily UL of 40 mg.

Also, these lozenges contain 4 grams of added sugar, which equates to 1 teaspoon of sugar per lozenge — a significant amount for a dietary supplement.

Pros

  • COA available
  • gluten-free
  • non-GMO
  • vegetarian

Cons

  • contains 4 grams of added sugar per serving

Best organic zinc supplement

NutriGold Zinc Gold

  • Price: $$
  • Form: zinc from an organic food blend
  • Dosage: 1 capsule per day

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

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

Additionally, NutriGold is approved by ConsumerLab, a company that tests supplements and verifies the accuracy of supplement manufacturer claims.

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

Adults should take 1 capsule daily or as directed by a doctor.

Pros

  • ConsumerLab approved
  • third-party tested
  • certified organic
  • certified vegan
  • non-GMO verified

Cons

  • expensive

Best gluten-free zinc supplement

Pure Encapsulations Zinc

  • Price: $
  • Form: Zinc picolinate
  • Dosage: 1 capsule per day

If you’re looking for a gluten-free zinc supplement, Pure Encapsulations is one of your best options.

This product is not only made in a facility that’s NSF-registered GMP but also certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.

Plus, it contains zinc picolinate to help optimize digestion and absorption.

For optimal results, it’s recommended to take one 30-mg zinc picolinate capsule daily with food.

Pros

  • manufactured in a third-party certified facility
  • testing exceeds standards set by USP
  • certified gluten-free
  • non-GMO
  • vegan
  • affordable

Cons

  • difficult to find in local drugstores

Best zinc supplement for athletes

Klean Athlete Zinc

  • Price: $
  • Form: zinc citrate
  • Dosage: 1 chewable per day

Klean Athlete was founded in 2012 by athletes, for athletes.

The company’s supplements meet the high standards of NSF International’s Certified for Sport program, which verifies that products don’t contain unsafe levels of contaminants, prohibited substances, or masking agents.

Furthermore, the entire line of Klean Athlete products is free from wheat, gluten, and artificial colors, flavorings, and sweeteners.

Klean Athlete’s zinc supplement is one of the best for athletes of all levels because of the company’s commitment to optimizing health and sport performance.

However, the supplement does contain sugar alcohols, which may cause bloating and other gastrointestinal issues in some people (10).

Pros

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • affordable
  • non-GMO
  • vegan
  • gluten-free
  • chewable form
  • manufactured in a CGMP-compliant facility

Cons

  • relatively low dose
  • difficult to find in drugstores

Best budget-friendly zinc supplement

Nature Made Zinc

  • Price: $
  • Form: zinc gluconate
  • Dosage: 1 tablet per day

NatureMade has been around since 1971 and claims to be the #1 pharmacist-recommended brand across nine product categories. Furthermore, NatureMade’s expert staff includes PhDs, registered dietitians, and naturopathic doctors.

Consumers can trust that these products are high quality and backed by science.

NatureMade Zinc is USP-verified for product potency and purity. It’s also a good option for anyone limited by cost.

One serving provides 30 mg of zinc gluconate. Adults should take 1 tablet per day with water and a meal, or as directed by a healthcare professional.

Pros

  • USP verified
  • gluten-free
  • no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • easy to find at drugstores
  • affordable

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly

Best eco-friendly zinc supplement

MegaFood Zinc

  • Price: $$
  • Form: fermented zinc bisglycinate
  • Dosage: 1 tablet per day

MegaFood is a Certified B Corporation that claims to meet rigorous social and environmental standards of performance, accountability, and transparency.

As an added benefit, MegaFood’s zinc supplement provides an immune-supporting phytonutrient blend composed of organic spinach, parsley leaf, carrot, broccoli, and beetroot.

While this product is tested for herbicides and pesticides, it is not third-party tested for purity and potency.

Pros

  • NSF certified gluten-free
  • certified vegan
  • non-GMO verified
  • glyphosate residue free
  • Certified B Corporation
  • certified kosher

Cons

  • expensive
  • not third-party tested for purity and potency
  • not suitable for those with a yeast allergy

Here’s a quick look at our picks of the best zinc supplements:

Price rangeTypeForm% of the DVThird-party testedAdditional benefits
Care/of Zinc$capsulezinc bisglycinate chelate136%yes• vegan
• gluten-free
• non-GMO
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc$$capsulezinc from brown rice chelate273%no• organic
• vegan
• gluten-free
• non-GMO
Klean Athlete Zinc$chewablezinc citrate91%yes• vegan
• gluten-free
• non-GMO
Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges$$lozengeszinc acetate170%yes• vegetarian
• gluten-free
• non-GMO
MegaFood Zinc$$tabletzinc bisglycinate205%no• vegan
• gluten-free
• kosher
• non-GMO
• glyphosate residue free
• eco-friendly B Corp
Metagenics Zinc Drink$$$liquidzinc sulfate100%yes• vegetarian
• gluten-free
• non-GMO
NatureMade Zinc$tabletzinc gluconate273%yes• gluten-free
• no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
NOW Zinc Glycinate Softgels$softgelzinc glycinate273%yes• kosher
• halal
• gluten-free
• made with pumpkin seed oil
NutriGold Zinc Gold$$capsulezinc from an organic food blend136%yes• organic
• vegan
• non-GMO
Peak Performance$$$liquidzinc sulfate136%yes• vegan
• gluten-free
• non-GMO
• major allergen-free
Pure Encapsulations Zinc$capsulezinc picolinate136%yes• vegan
• gluten-free
• non-GMO
Thorne Zinc Picolinate$capsule zinc picolinate273%yes• gluten-free
• dairy-free
• soy-free

What are zinc supplements good for?

Studies suggest that zinc supplements may help support wound healing and immune response, improve certain aspects of skin health, reduce the length and severity of respiratory infections, and lower markers of oxidative stress (11, 12, 13, 14, 15).

However, while zinc supplements may be helpful for some people, most healthy adults can meet their zinc needs through diet alone.

What is the best form of zinc to take as a supplement?

Currently, there’s a lack of recent studies investigating the absorbability of zinc supplements.

However, older research suggests that certain forms, including zinc picolinate, zinc bisglycinate, and zinc citrate, may be better absorbed than others, such as zinc oxide (3, 4, 5).

Which form of zinc is best for immune health?

There’s a lack of recent research investigating which form of zinc is best for immune health.

One meta-analysis from 2017 concluded that lozenges containing zinc acetate were effective at shortening the duration of cold symptoms by nearly 33% (8).

Nevertheless, the evidence is mixed and insufficient to determine which form of zinc is best for immune health.

Is it OK to take zinc every day?

When taken in supplement form at doses of less than 40 mg daily, zinc is unlikely to cause negative or harmful side effects.

However, daily zinc supplementation at moderate or high doses over longer periods has been associated with low copper status, reduced immune function, and altered iron function (1).

Signs of excess zinc intake may include decreased appetite, nausea or vomiting, headaches, upset stomach, and diarrhea. This can occur in either an acute or chronic time frame depending on the dosage (1).

Zinc is found in foods such as beans, nuts, fortified cereals, grains, and dairy products (1).

It’s important to consult a qualified health professional to assess your overall diet quality before starting zinc supplementation.

How much zinc is too much?

The UL for zinc is currently set at 40 mg per day. Avoid consuming more than 40 mg per day unless under medical supervision (1).

Taking too much zinc can cause negative side effects, such as decreased immune function, low copper levels, and reduced HDL (good) cholesterol levels (1).

What are the potential side effects of zinc supplements?

Taking too much zinc from high dose zinc supplements can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and headaches.

Additionally, taking in too much zinc over longer time periods can cause negative side effects such as decreased immune function, low copper levels, and reduced HDL (good) cholesterol levels (1).

Useful supplement shopping guides

Check out these two articles to help you make supplement shopping a breeze:

Zinc is an essential nutrient that you need to get enough of in your diet. Certain populations may benefit from zinc supplements.

Of course, not all supplements are created equal. It’s important to look for high quality products that have been tested to ensure quality and accuracy.

If you’re concerned about your zinc intake, talk with a healthcare professional to see whether a zinc supplement is a good option and to find an optimal dose.