Zinc is a mineral.


It is essential for good health but excess can cause problems. It is required for metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The body needs it for the formation of tissues, (kidney, liver, skins, bones and others) and proper actions of many body hormones (such as insulin, sex hormones).

Symptoms of Deficiency

Skin problems, diarrhea, recurrent infections, hair loss, anemia, changes in taste, vision disturbance.


Causes of Deficiency

Rare but poor diets will be main cause of deficiency.


Natural Sources

Oysters, pecans, whole grains, potatoes, almonds, beans, peas.


Discuss the dosage and duration of use with the pharmacist before taking the medication. It can be taken with other medications for other conditions on the advice of a pharmacist or a doctor.


Upper Limit:

  • 0-6 months 4 mg/day
  • 7-12 months 5 mg/day
  • 1-3 years - 7 mg/day
  • 4-8 years - 12 mg/day
  • 9-13 years - 23 mg/day
  • 14-18 years - 34 mg/day
  • 19 years and older - 40 mg/day

If serious overdosage then contact the poison control center or emergency room. If you miss a dose then take it as soon as remembered, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose, and go back to the regular dosing regimen. If taken an extra dose by mistake then contact the pharmacist or a doctor.


Tell the pharmacist/doctor if pregnant or planning to become pregnant or if breast feeding.


Possible Side Effects

When starting to take any new medication, if one notices any side-effect, contact the physician or pharmacist:


Copper deficiency anemia, depressed immune functions, upset stomach and nausea.



This is not an all inclusive list, discuss it with the pharmacist: 


Tetracycline, diuretics, laxatives (prolonged use)



Store medication in a safe place at room temperature; away from heat, light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink or on top of the fridge. Out dated medications must be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal.



High fibre diets (fruits, whole grain) can sometimes reduce absorption of zinc.


Tell the pharmacist/doctor your complete medical history.


One must inform the pharmacist or doctor if taking any prescription medication, over the counter medication, herbal or alternative medications before starting any new medication, food supplement, herb or vitamin.