III. Physiology

  1. Absorbed in Small Intestine (jejunum)
  2. Functions
    1. Cofactor for polymerases and proteases
      1. Protein Synthesis
      2. Wound Repair
      3. Cell regeneration
    2. Cofactor for thymulin
      1. T-Cell maturation related Hormone
    3. Antioxidant
      1. Reduces Cytokine expression (associated with organ failure and Sepsis)

IV. Precautions

  1. Avoid intranasal zinc (risk of permanent Loss of Smell)

V. Adverse Effects: Supplementation

  1. Gastrointestinal effects
    1. Metallic Taste
    2. Nausea or Vomiting
    3. Abdominal cramping
    4. Diarrhea
  2. Genitourinary effects
    1. Urinary Tract Infection
    2. Nephrolithiasis
  3. Miscellaneous effects
    1. Decreased HDL Cholesterol

VI. Contraindications: Supplementation (aside from Zinc Deficiency)

  1. Pregnancy and Lactation in excess of RDA (unless significant deficiency)
  2. Copper deficiency
    1. High zinc levels inhibit copper absorption (competitively inhibits cation transporter)

VII. Preparations: Dietary Zinc Sources

  1. Human Breast Milk
  2. Meats
  3. Shellfish
  4. Chickpeas
  5. Cashews
  6. Pumpkin seeds

VIII. Preparations: Medications

  1. Zinc Acetate: 25 mg (7.5 mg elemental zinc), 50 mg (15 mg elemental zinc)
  2. Zinc Gluconate: 50 mg (7 mg elemental zinc), 100 mg (14 mg elemental zinc)
  3. Zinc Sulfate: 110 mg (25 mg elemental zinc), 220 mg (50 mg elemental zinc)
  4. Zinc Oxide: 100 mg (80 mg elemental zinc)

IX. Dosing: Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

  1. See Zinc Deficiency for dosing
  2. Age 0-6 months: 2 mg elemental zinc
  3. Age 7-36 months: 3 mg elemental zinc
  4. Age 4-8: 5 mg elemental zinc
  5. Age 9-13: 8 mg elemental zinc
  6. Age 14 and older: 11 mg (men) or 8 mg (women) elemental zinc
  7. Pregnancy and Lactation: 11-12 mg elemental zinc

X. Efficacy: Supplementation Possible Benefits (Aside from Zinc Deficiency)

  1. Pediatric Diarrhea
    1. Zinc 5-20 mg orally daily
    2. Lukacik (2008) Pediatrics 121(2): 326-36 [PubMed]
  2. Macular Degeneration (protection from oxidative stress)
    1. Grahn (2001) J Am Coll Nutr 20:106-18 [PubMed]
  3. Pediatric Pneumonia
    1. Zinc supplementation associated with decreased mortality, shorter hospitalizations and fewer treatment failures
    2. Greatest benefit appears to be in developing countries where Zinc Deficiency occurs frequently (30% of world population)
    3. Basnet (2012) Pediatrics 129(4): 701-8 [PubMed]
    4. Srinivasan (2012) BMC Med 10: 14 [PubMed]
  4. Pregnancy
    1. Zinc (25 mg) in Prenatal Vitamins
    2. Effects
      1. Increased birth weight and Head Circumference
      2. Resulted in birth at later Gestational age
      3. Resulted in shorter hospital stay
      4. Greatest benefit in thin women
    3. Goldenberg (1995) JAMA 274:463-8 [PubMed]

XII. Drug Interactions: Supplementation

  1. Copper absorption
    1. High zinc levels inhibit copper absorption (competitively inhibits cation transporter)
  2. Absorption decreased by zinc
    1. Penicillamine
    2. Tetracyclines
    3. Quinolones
  3. Interfere with zinc absorption (avoid within 2 hours of zinc dose)
    1. Iron supplements
    2. Grains or legumes (phytates)

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Related Studies

Cost: Medications

zinc (on 5/17/2017 at Medicaid.Gov Survey of pharmacy drug pricing)
ZINC OXIDE 20% OINTMENT Generic OTC $0.06 per gram

Ontology: Zinc (C0043481)

Definition (NCI) An element with atomic symbol Zn, atomic number 30, and atomic weight 65.39.
Definition (CSP) metallic trace element, atomic symbol Zn, atomic number 30; necessary in the diet, forms an essential part of many enzymes, and plays an important role in protein synthesis and in cell division.
Definition (MSH) A metallic element of atomic number 30 and atomic weight 65.38. It is a necessary trace element in the diet, forming an essential part of many enzymes, and playing an important role in protein synthesis and in cell division. Zinc deficiency is associated with ANEMIA, short stature, HYPOGONADISM, impaired WOUND HEALING, and geophagia. It is known by the symbol Zn.
Concepts Element, Ion, or Isotope (T196) , Pharmacologic Substance (T121)
MSH D015032
SnomedCT 350591008, 46856009, 387254007, 86739005
LNC LP14795-6, MTHU001006
English Zinc, Zn, zinc (medication), mineral supplements zinc, Zinc [Chemical/Ingredient], ZINC, zinc preparation, zn, Zn element, zinc, Zinc preparation (substance), Zinc preparation, Zinc product, Zn - Zinc, Zinc (substance), Zinc product (product), Zinc preparation, NOS, Zinc, NOS, Zinc product (substance)
Swedish Zink
Czech zinek
Finnish Sinkki
Spanish zinc (producto), producto con cinc (producto), zinc, producto con zinc, Zinc, producto con cinc, preparado de zinc, preparado de cinc, preparado de cinc (sustancia), Cinc, cinc (sustancia), cinc, producto (producto), cinc, producto (sustancia), cinc, producto, cinc, zinc, producto
Croatian CINK
Latvian Cinks
Polish Cynk
Norwegian Sink
French Zinc
German Zink
Italian Zinco
Portuguese Zinco