Best Supplements for Zinc Deficiency

Zinc is a vital micronutrient that serves many purposes within the human body. This trace mineral is integral to cell division, DNA and protein synthesis, and immune function. Although it’s possible to get zinc from many food sources like shellfish and meat, some individuals aren’t consuming enough for one reason or another (medications, pregnancy, illnesses, etc.).

The breakdown below explains the zinc supplement side effects, benefits, usage, cost, and more. These supplements are best taken one hour before or two hours after a meal. Here are the top picks based on consumer reviews, safety, ingredients, and brand reputation.

1. Thorne Zinc Bisglycinate 15 mg

Thorne Research is at the top of the list of reputable brands that produce zinc supplements. The company has a host of dedicated research facilities and labs filled with scientists that work for the consumer.

Thorne Zinc Bisglycinate 15 mg
Thorne Zinc Bisglycinate 15 mg

Thorne is the only supplement manufacturer collaborating with the Mayo Clinic for wellness content and research. According to Thorne, these zinc capsules have been certified by NSF International for sports usage. The company also says the capsules are free from artificial flavor, soy, gluten, and dairy. 

Thorne offers 15 mg of zinc bisglycinate, which is an optimally absorbed form that supports immune system functionality, overall wellness, healthy connective tissue, and skin, as well as eye and heart health.

The 60 capsules within this bottle can last for one to two months, depending on usage. It is recommended to take one to two capsules each day. 

Zinc supplement side effects include diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, headaches, and vomiting. Anyone who takes zinc should consult with a physician first to ensure that it won’t negatively interact with other medications currently prescribed. This supplement costs around $12-$18 per bottle.

2. Pure Encapsulations Zinc

Pure Encapsulations is amongst the best options for anyone who wants a pure zinc supplement without unnecessary additives. Aside from this product being manufactured in an NSF-registered facility, it has also been certified gluten-free. 

What makes this brand stand out is that the company tests all ingredients for potency and purity with rigorous standards to ensure excellence. It also contains zinc picolinate, which is conducive to optimal digestion and absorption.

Pure Encapsulation is a trustworthy brand that only uses the finest ingredients backed by science. It is included in over 50 peer-reviewed journals and clinical studies. 

Zinc benefits include immune support, a boosted metabolism, fetal and reproductive development support, and more. Common side effects apply, so anyone who takes this capsule should consume a meal beforehand if an upset stomach occurs.

The manufacturer recommends taking one capsule per day. The price of these zinc pills is $8-$12 per bottle.

3. Thorne Zinc Picolinate

Thorne Research not only offers zinc tablets in the form of bis-glycinate but zinc picolinate as well.Although zinc bis-glycinate offers better absorption when compared to picolinate, this form provides a more extensive history when used as a supplement. Therefore, there are more research and clinical studies focused on this form of zinc. 

The choice of which form works best varies from person to person, but both are suitable options. The side effects of picolinate are relatively the same, as vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea are the most commonly reported issues.

It is best to order the supplement online, as sometimes it’s challenging to find the product in local drugstores. This essential mineral offers the same benefits as zinc bisglycinate, which boosts the immune system, regulates blood sugar, fights acne, supports bone health, and improves eye and heart health. 

This zinc supplement dosage is one pill per day. A bottle of Thorne Zinc Picolinate costs between $12-$18 on average, depending on the capsule count.

4. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc

Many supplements contain some ingredients derived from animals, which means the product will not be suitable for vegans. With Garden of Life, the raw zinc supplement is entirely vegan, featuring all-natural ingredients that consumers can trust. 

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc

This whole foods-based brand is also third-party tested to ensure that it is gluten-free and safe for vegans and vegetarians alike. The 30 mg of zinc provided in this supplement comes from brown rice chelate. 

There’s also vitamin C in this product, which adds to the zinc pill benefits. Additionally, this elemental zinc supplement contains a raw vegetable and organic fruit blend and live enzymes and probiotics to support a functional digestive system. 

Adults should consume two capsules each day with or without food. Anyone that has difficulty swallowing pills can opt to open the capsule and pour the powder into a beverage of choice. 

Common effects of zinc, such as an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea, are generally mild but typically won’t occur with the average consumer. The Garden of Life zinc supplements cost $13-$20 per bottle.

5. Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges

Life Extension is a trustworthy brand that has consistently created high-quality zinc supplements for over four decades. The zinc lozenges from this company are small and easily dissolve in the mouth. In general, usage is short-term, meant to help reduce the length of the common cold and other uncomfortable cold symptoms.

Every product from Life Extension comes with a certificate of analysis that allows consumers to verify the accuracy and quality of the purchased product. Life Extension zinc lozenges contain zinc acetate (18.75 mg), one of the more easily absorbable types of zinc that can shorten the common cold by up to 40 percent. 

The recommended dosage for adults taking zinc lozenges is one tablet every two hours, no more than eight times daily. Most people should not take this supplement for more than three consecutive days. Also, this product includes four grams of sugar in each lozenge, which is high for a dietary supplement. 

Zinc vitamin side effects include vomiting, nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, a metallic taste, and so on. These side effects are usually mild and subside by themselves. This supplement costs between $9-$12 per bottle for various capsule counts. 

6. Metagenics Zinc Drink

Metagenics is a supplement company that’s dedicated to quality ingredients and transparency concerning those ingredients. Every component is tested for quality. Additionally, the company provides a detailed testing report for all products manufactured.

Metagenics’ abides by a quality assurance promise, and United States Pharmacopeia verifies all of Metagenics’ supplements to ensure that the ingredients meet NSF and TGA safety and quality regulations.

The drink contains over 100 enzymes associated with protein synthesis, energy metabolism, carbon dioxide transport, protein synthesis, heme biosynthesis, and several other biochemical reactions. 

Metagenics’ Zinc Drink liquid supplement contains 15 mg of zinc sulfate and water in each serving, making it free of preservatives and additives. However, there is still the risk of an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion when consumed. 

To get the best results, take one teaspoon of Zinc Drink daily between meals. Although it’s perfectly fine to take the supplement alone, mixing the liquid into a glass of water is a great choice too.

The Metagenics Zinc Drink is around $40 per bottle, one of the costlier zinc supplements on the list. 

7. NutriGold Zinc Gold

NutriGold Zinc Gold is among the best choices for an organic zinc supplement. The brand provides 15 mg of whole foods-based zinc in each capsule derived from a proprietary and organic blend. Moreover, the sprouted blend claims to be gentler on the stomach than competitors’ products.

NutriGold Zinc Gold
NutriGold Zinc Gold

NutriGold has approval from ConsumerLab, a business that tests supplements and vets the precision of supplement manufacturer claims. All products get third-party tested and vegan and non-GMO certified.

How much zinc per day should you take? Adults should take one capsule each day. This supplement costs between $15-$30, depending on the place of purchase. 

8. NOW Zinc Glycinate Softgels

Even though there are many chelated zinc supplements on the market, NOW Zinc Glycinate Softgels are one of the most popular options. Chelated zinc is a zinc supplement that utilizes a chelating agent to aid the body in absorbing zinc more efficiently.

Inside each softgel is 30 mg of zinc glycinate—a form of zinc that former studies suggest is easier for the body to absorb than other kinds of zinc. Zinc is also a mineral that supports a healthy prostate.

Every supplement from Now gets certified by Underwriters Laboratories and follows CGMPs to guarantee accuracy and quality. Also, these supplements happen to be more affordable than many of the other high-quality brands.

NOW Zinc Glycinate contains 250 mg of pumpkin seed oil. Zinc is a vital mineral cofactor in hundreds of enzymatic reactions concerning carbohydrate metabolism and protein, intercellular signaling, and RNA/DNA synthesis.

NOW recommends taking one softgel per day, with meals, to avoid side effects such as an upset stomach, vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea. It costs $8-$10 for one bottle of NOW Zinc Glycinate or a four-month supply with 120 capsules per bottle. 

9. Peak Performance Raw Liquid Zinc

Peak Performance supplements get manufactured in the United States and designed for busy professionals and athletes. Not only is Peak Performance free of significant allergens such as wheat, soy, dairy, shellfish, and peanuts, but the supplement is also vegan-friendly.

The company asserts that since the zinc goes through high-pressure, low-heat treatment, the particles are tiny and therefore make it easier for the body to absorb. Thus, Peak Performance Raw Liquid Zinc is faster-acting than zinc tablets. 

A full dropper contains 15 mg of zinc sulfate—a kind of zinc that has been proven to prevent zinc deficiency, support the immune system, reduce severe acne, improve brain, eye health, heart, and more. Zinc side effects include heartburn, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

This zinc supplement costs $16-$32, depending on the origin of the purchase. However, if taken correctly, Peak Performance Zinc lasts one to two months. 

What Is the Best Zinc Supplement To Take?

The best zinc supplement to take is the Thorne Research Zinc Bisglycinate 15 mg zinc capsules. This brand is known for focusing heavily on research and ensuring the finest quality for all dietary supplements manufactured.

There are 60 capsules within this bottle, which can last for one to two months, depending on usage. It is recommended to take one to two capsules each day, with or without meals. 

What Are the Benefits of Zinc Supplements?

Zinc supplements hold a crucial place in nutritional science. They aid in many of bodily functions, offering numerous benefits. One primary advantage is bolstering the immune system. It also accelerates wound healing, enhancing your body’s repair mechanism.

  • Improved immune system
  • Accelerates wound healing

How Much Zinc Supplementation To Take Daily?

How much zinc supplementation is required depends on the level of deficiency or current health problems. Various zinc products will contain different concentrations of the mineral, with the best zinc supplements containing a higher amount. According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily amount for adolescents is 8-11 milligrams

For effective usage, it’s vital to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Usually, Zinc supplements are best consumed with a meal to prevent an upset stomach. Dosage usually varies depending on the brand and the concentration. Factors like age, sex, dietary habits, and overall health play a role in determining the amount one should consume.

How long does it take for zinc supplements to work?

The time it takes for Zinc supplements to work varies. Factors such as individual health status and the specific reason for supplementation play significant roles. However, for noticeable improvements in immune function, it could take a few weeks.

Remember, patience is key when starting any new supplement regimen. Consistent use over time, in adherence with recommended doses, typically yields the most beneficial results.

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research


The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.