Penn Herb Wellness Guide

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Zinc: Main Image

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.

  • 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:

Used for AmountWhy
Acne Vulgaris
60 to 90 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
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.
30 to 150 mg per day under a doctor's supervision3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with the correct amount of zinc can completely resolve hereditary acrodermatitis enteropathica
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Use 13 to 25 mg as gluconate, gluconate-glycine, or acetate in lozenges every two hoursas Zinc Lozenges3 stars[3 stars]
Zinc lozenges used at the first sign of a cold have been shown to help stop the virus and shorten the illness.
Down Syndrome
1 mg per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight daily3 stars[3 stars]
Zinc may improve immune function, reduce infection rates, and stimulate growth. Take under a doctor’s supervision.
Male Infertility
60 mg (plus 2 mgof copper, to prevent depletion) daily 3 stars[3 stars]
Zinc deficiency leads to reduced numbers of sperm and impotence in men. Taking zinc may correct this problem and improve sperm quality.
Night Blindness
If deficient: 15 to 30 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg copper daily, to prevent depletion)3 stars[3 stars]
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.
Wilson’s Disease
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with zinc may help reduce dietary copper absorption.
Wound Healing
30 mg daily (with 2 mg copper daily to prevent depletion), or apply topical zinc preparations regularly3 stars[3 stars]
Zinc is a component of enzymes needed to repair wounds, and even a mild deficiency can interfere with optimal recovery from everyday tissue damage.
Acne Rosacea
23 mg three times per day for three months2 stars[2 stars]
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.
Alcohol Withdrawal
Take under medical supervision: 135 to 215 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with zinc may correct the deficiency common in alcoholic liver cirrhosis and may correct the impaired taste function that people with cirrhosis often experience.
50 mg a day (with 1 to 3 mg copper daily, to protect against depletion)2 stars[2 stars]
People with anorexia may be deficient in zinc, in which case supplementing with the mineral can restore levels and improve symptoms.
Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder
If deficient: 15 mg per day2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, children with ADHD who received zinc showed significantly greater behavioral improvement, compared with children who received a placebo.
Birth Defects
15 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
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.
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
People with bulimia may be deficient in zinc, in which case supplementing with the mineral can restore levels and improve symptoms.
Canker Sores
150 mg daily plus 1 to 2 mg of copper per day to prevent copper deficiency 2 stars[2 stars]
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.
Celiac Disease
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
The malabsorption that occurs in celiac disease can lead to multiple nutritional deficiencies. Supplementing with zinc may correct a deficiency.
Cold Sores
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
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.
Common Cold and Sore Throat
For prevention: 15 mg daily; for treating colds: 30 mg daily at the onsetas Zinc Oral2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, oral zinc supplementation significantly reduced both the incidence and duration of the common cold.
Crohn’s Disease
25 to 50 mg of zinc (with 2 to 4 mg of copper to avoid depletion) per day 2 stars[2 stars]
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.
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In a preliminary study, eczema severity and itching improved significantly more in the children who received zinc than in the control group.
Genital Herpes
Apply a topical preparation containing 0.025 to 0.9% zinc several times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Applying zinc topically may help prevent outbreaks and has been shown to stop the pain, burning, and tingling of a herpes outbreak.
Regularly use a mouthrinse or toothpaste containing zincas Zinc Chloride2 stars[2 stars]
Zinc is able to reduce the concentration of volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth, thus lessening halitosis.
Hepatitis and Hepatitis C
Take zinc L-carnosine supplying 17 mg zinc twice per day2 stars[2 stars]
In a preliminary trial, supplementing with betaine improved signs of liver inflammation in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a type of liver inflammation.
HIV and AIDS Support
12 to 45 mg daily 2 stars[2 stars]
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.
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
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.
Infectious Diarrhea
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
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.