Do you need to supplement with zinc?

Zinc is often mentioned as a good supplement to take when you want to protect yourself from viruses – quite useful at the moment!

But do you really need to supplement with zinc? How do you know you need it? And if you do, how do you take it?

For me, food always comes first. If you eat a varied diet you’re probably fine with your zinc intake. You find a good amount of zinc in pulses, nuts, seeds, raw cacao, oats (and other whole grains), shellfish and meat. It’s best absorbed from meat.

Supplementing with zinc is possible and okay if you do it in low dosage (15 – 30 mg/day) for a couple of weeks max. Over-supplementing with any mineral can create an imbalance. For instance, too much zinc affects our copper metabolism!

Because we’re all different you might need more zinc than someone else. Maybe because you’re not absorbing it very well. In that case you can actually test if you need to supplement, using liquid zinc.

Here’s how testing your zinc levels works:
  • Buy some liquid zinc sulphate
  • Take a teaspoon of it.
  • If it doesn’t have a taste for you, you’re probably deficient. Same if you just taste it a little.
  • If you do taste it well – it’s not a great taste, metallic! – you’re probably fine.

Let me know the results in the comments!

Author: Eveline

I'm a functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner based in Findhorn, Forres, Moray Scotland UK

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