Skip to main content

Zinc is an essential mineral, especially during Covid-19. We all know that when the first Covid wave hit us – the mass hysteria and panic froze everybody’s minds. Experts and common people were trying everything to calm things down. Doctors and nutritionists did and are still doing their best to fight the coronavirus. Luckily, there are some simple solutions, easily accessible over the counter. For example vitamins and minerals, help us to improve the immune system during the flu and infection seasons. Like Zinc, for which studies are showing that it may have antiviral activity. 

Some experts say that the combination of Zinc and vitamin C may limit the severity and duration of the symptoms of a cold

Zinc reduces inflammation as it lowers the levels of some inflammatory proteins in our bodies. Also decreases oxidative stress, which usually leads to chronic inflammation and not only. Therefore taking Zinc is a good way to protect your cells from oxidative stress.

This mineral also boosts the immune system as it can reduce the risk of infections by stimulating particular immune cells. This effect occurs especially in combination with vitamin C.

Zinc boosts the wound healing process- zinc powder is commonly used in hospitals as a treatment for certain skin injuries and burns. The reason is that this mineral plays a major role in the function of our immune system and collagen synthesis. Due to its role in the inflammatory response – it is necessary for proper healing.

There are studies, searching right now for the connection between zinc deficiency and loss of smell (which is one of the Covid symptoms)

This mineral is important for healthy senses like taste and smell. One of the enzymes responsible for proper smell and taste depends on Zinc. In case you suffer from a deficiency of this mineral, that can reduce your ability to sense aromas and tasty flavors.

However, you should be cautious with its intake. The recommended daily allowance for adult women is 8 mg and 11 mg for men, according to the NIH (National Institutes of Health ). The tolerable upper level for zinc is 40 mg per day. It is an essential mineral, needed for immune and metabolism functions; growth and DNA synthesis, etc. Still, keep in mind that over-dosing with Zinc can lead to problems like copper deficiency; nausea or vomiting; headaches; anemia; loss of appetite, etc.


One of the essential minerals that we really need is zinc! We will share some benefits of taking it as a supplement or getting it from some foods naturally! If you really want to improve your life and to be healthy, don’t doubt it for a second! This mineral is something that your body craves! For example, zinc could change your life by improving your immunity! Don’t wait for a second and check out the information below that will help you to see how better your life could be!

Why we should watch what we eat?

Nowadays we are living in a world that offers us completely everything but some things are hard to find. For example, it’s very difficult to find food that is high in vitamins and minerals! The food that we consume is really important for our bodies and the way we feel! If we eat junk food all the time, we won’t get the nice stuff that our health needs! Most people work and this makes things harder!

We know that you work and most of the time fast foods are the easier choice, but wait a minute! Isn’t your health the most important thing in your life? Well, for sure you are a very smart person who can make the right decisions, so most likely you prefer to eat good food and you pick it carefully. But, let’s be honest we can eat healthy food but still some vitamins and minerals could be missing in our bodies! So, what we should do? We should think about which are the important minerals and vitamins.

Benefits of taking zinc

Zinc improves our immune system. It keeps our immunity strong. We need this mineral for stimulating immune cell function.  Zinc plays a role as an antioxidant. It is also has been linked to the reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

  1. You can treat diarrhea with zing. Most of the time diarrhea only lasts a few days but according to the World Health Organization, it kills around 1.6 million children under five every year.
  2. Zinc also plays an important role in collagen synthesis. That’s why it is used in many hospitals to treat burns and some skin injuries. If you have zinc deficiency then your wound may heal slower and you should take supplements to speed your skin recovery.
  3. Zinc supplements improve skin health. If you have problems with your skin, then you should know that this mineral is really useful if you want to promote your skin health.
  4. Nowadays one of the most common and serious eye diseases is macular degeneration. It leads to vision loss. Zinc supplements can slow the process of that disease and they also protect your vision from blindness.
  5. Zinc is also linked with the status of fertility. According to some studies, men who have zinc deficiency have problems with male infertility and low quality of sperm.
  6. If you want to keep your breath fresh then use dental products that contain zinc.
  7. This mineral also takes part in blood sugar control and improves the ability of your body to use insulin efficiently. So the levels of blood sugar are maintained properly.

What is the recommended daily intake of zinc?

The recommended daily intake of Zinc depends on your age and gender. You should be careful not to overdose, as you will experience bad side effects. It is hard however to do that if we get our daily intake only from food. The people who take supplements should be aware of the dangers of overdosing with Zinc so that they don’t exceed the daily recommendation on purpose. So what is the recommended daily dosage?

  • Infants age 0–6 months: 2 milligrams (mg)
  • Babies age 7 months – 3 years: 3 mg
  • Children  age 4–8 years: 5 mg
  • Kids age 9–13 years: 8 mg
  • Girls age 14–18 years: 9 mg
  • Boys age 14–18 years: 11 mg
  • Women 19+: 8 mg
  • Men 19+: 11 mg
  • Pregnant teenagers: 12 mg
  • Pregnant women above 19 years: 11 mg
  • Breastfeeding teenagers: 13 mg
  • Breastfeeding women above 19 years: 12 mg
  • Possible Side effects of too much zinc

Possible side effects of overdosing with Zinc

You can experience quite many side effects if you exceed the recommended daily intake of zinc. It should be safe for you to take this mineral, however, some people can not handle it and side effects occur even when they take moderate doses of zinc. Here are what the side effects can be:

  • headaches
  • stomachache
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting

There is such thing as chronic zinc toxicity, which happens, when you take too much of the mineral, over long periods of time. However, that is not so common, as the side effects will occur almost right after you overdose. Zinc toxicity can cause decreased immune function, low levels of high-density lipoprotein, and more.

In case you think you took too much zinc or have been overdosing for some time, you should consult with a doctor. There is something at home that could help you ease the symptoms of zinc overdose. A  glass of milk could help because it contains phosphorus and calcium. This way, your stomach won’t absorb as much zinc, as it would have on an empty stomach.

People who SHOULD NOT TAKE Zinc

If you have some kind of open wound or broken skin, zinc can actually make things worse. In this case, it will cause itching, tingling, and sometimes even burning. You shouldn’t take zinc also if you have problems with alcoholism. In this case, your body is not able to absorb zinc the way it has to. If you suffer from diabetes, you also should not take too much zinc. It can lower their blood sugar levels when taken in high doses. 

Foods that contain Zinc

Which foods are high in Zinc? In one of our previous articles – “Meet the Zinc – an essential mineral”, we took a look at its benefits. However, we should know what is the recommended dosage if we take it in the form of food supplements. In this article, we will inform you on the subject. Let’s see which foods are high in Zinc which is one of the essential minerals, that our body needs. Regardless of how useful the food supplements are, the best way to intake important vitamins and minerals – is through healthy meals. Our bodies do not store Zinc, so it is recommended to eat foods containing it. This way we can get enough of the daily requirements naturally.

Here is a shortlist of foods high in zinc.

1.   Oatmeal and whole grains – like oats, rice, quinoa, and wheat, contain some zinc.

Keep in mind that grains contain phytates, which bind to Zinc and decrease its absorption. However, they are beneficial for a healthy diet and a good source of many important nutrients like vitamins from the B group, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.

2.  Seeds and nuts

For example cashew – one small package or roughly 60 grams, and contains 3 mg of Zinc. Also, 30 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of hemp seeds contain 31% and 43% of the recommended daily intake for men and women. Other seeds that contain significant amounts of Zinc are squash, sesame, and pumpkin seeds.

3.  Chickpeas and legumes – including nuts, again, but also some beans contain high amounts of zinc.

4. Shellfish and seafood such as crabs, oysters, and lobster

One serving of cooked Alaskan king crab (3 ounces) has 6.48 milligrams of zinc, and one small lobster – about 5 mg of it. But in that food group – oysters are the winner when it comes to zinc contain. Six medium oysters provide 32 mg.

If you’re not sure that you are getting enough Zinc through your diet – consult with your healthcare provider about the possibility of taking a supplement.

Dr. Disha Trivedi

Author Dr. Disha Trivedi

Dr. Disha Trivedi is PhD in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology. She is working as a medical writer and researcher at MVS Pharma GmbH.

More posts by Dr. Disha Trivedi

Leave a Reply