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Zinc

  • Zinc Bisglycinate - 120 tablets
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    Zinc Bisglycinate - 120 tablets

    GN Laboratories

    The essential trace element, which has numerous health benefits and is particularly important for athletes, in its most bioavailable...

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  • Asclepius Zinc Bisglycinate - 120 Tablets
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    Asclepius Zinc Bisglycinate - 120 Tablets

    Gods Rage

    Asclepius Zinc provides you with this vital trace element that brings countless health benefits and is essential for fighting strength and performance....

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  • Zinc Citrate - 120 tablets
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    Zinc Citrate - 120 tablets

    GN Laboratories

    Zinc Citrate Health Line GN Laboratoris Zinc Citrate is a zinc dosage form that provides a very high bioavailability to...

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  • Zinc Bisglycinate - 150 tablets
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    Zinc Bisglycinate - 150 tablets

    Big Zone

    Half a tablet of Big Zone Zinc Bisglycinate provides 25mg of pure zinc! What is zinc? Zinc is an essential trace element. This means that d...

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  • Zinc chelate - 180 capsules
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    Zinc chelate - 180 capsules

    PEAK

    Zinc Chelate - Peak Performance Brief Description of Zinc Chelate Zinc is a vital trace element that has a very comprehensive functional...

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  • Zinc Chelapro - 60 capsules
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    Zinc Chelapro - 60 capsules

    Blackline 2.0

    Zinc is involved in many functions of the body. Particularly interesting for athletes is the contribution to maintaining a normal level of muscle a...

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  • ZMB6 - 60 capsules
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    ZMB6 - 60 capsules

    SCITEC Nutrition

    Zinc, Magnesium & Vitamin B6 ZMB6 is an essential mineral/vitamin combination that provides zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. Zinc and magnesi...

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    Zinc - 100 tablets

    SCITEC Nutrition

    ESSENTIAL MINERAL Zinc is a mineral that plays a role in numerous bodily functions and it is the only metal that is present in all enzyme...

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  • ZMB - 60 capsules
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    ZMB - 60 capsules

    Biotech USA

    Why do we recommend ZMB capsules? To regulate hormone activity1 To maintain normal levels of testosterone in the blood2 To reduce...

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  • Zinc + Chelate - 60 tablets
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    Zinc + Chelate - 60 tablets

    Biotech USA

    Zinc + Chelates - Biotech USA Amino acid with chelated (bisglizinate) formula Well-utilizable formula 24 mg of zinc in the daily serving Why is Zi...

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  • Zinc - 120 capsules
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    Zinc - 120 capsules

    Zec+

    Zinc capsules for dietary supplementation Whoever takes a dietary supplement with zinc, ensures the coverage of needs with this essential...

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  • Chela - 30 tablets
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    Chela - 30 tablets

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    Chela-Zinc™ - food supplement in capsules with easily absorbable zinc bisglycinate (zinc amino acid chelate Albion™). Zinc contributes to the maintenance ...

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In its pure form, zinc is a bluish shiny heavy metal that is relatively brittle under normal conditions and therefore difficult to work. In the periodic table of the elements, it has the atomic number 30. Its chemical symbol is Zn. Heated above 120° C, however, it can be processed very well, e.g. rolled into sheets. It does not occur in nature in elemental form. The main ores in which it occurs are zinc blende (zinc sulfide) and zinc spar (zinc carbonate). It was first described in detail in our culture in 1740 by the physician Johann Friedrich Henckel (1678-1744). Its first production was achieved in 1746 by the Berlin chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf (1709-1782). Zinc is used in technology as brass (copper-zinc alloy), for galvanizing iron sheets and for the production of dry batteries (coal-zinc element, coal-manganese element). It is also used as zinc dust in paints as a rust inhibitor and in the form of zinc oxide as a white pigment.

Zinc is used medicinally in the form of zinc oxide or zinc sulfate in ointments, pastes or shaking mixtures for the treatment of wounds or damaged skin areas (especially also for diaper dermatitis). The astringent effect of the above-mentioned zinc compounds is utilized here. By precipitating or fixing proteins, astringents lead to membrane formation and thus have an anti-inflammatory, drying and hemostatic effect, as well as being bacteriostatic.

Functions in the body

Zinc is an essential trace element for most living beings, and in the human body, along with iron, the most abundant. Thereby, higher concentrations of zinc are found in red blood cells, eyes, skin and hair, as well as in the prostate and liver. Zinc is a cofactor of numerous enzyme systems, and plays a role in vitamin A, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Furthermore, zinc is essential for the function of various hormones, such as insulin, the thyroid hormones, sex hormones and the growth hormones.

Zinc also fulfills important tasks in the metabolism of nucleic acids (carriers of genetic material) and proteins. For example, it serves to stabilize the DNA and RNA structure, but is also a component of key enzymes in nucleic acid synthesis (e.g. DNA polymerases).

Zinc is involved in cell growth and cell differentiation. Zinc is also required for a functioning immune defense, namely for the cellular and humoral immune response, as well as for T-cell differentiation. Furthermore, zinc plays a role in taste perception, although the factors involved are not known in detail.

Food containing zinc

Since the various foods sometimes contain very different amounts of zinc, attention should be paid to a varied diet for an optimal supply of the trace element.

Animal foods, including fish and seafood, often contain larger amounts of zinc compared to plant foods, with offal in particular being very high in zinc. Of the marine animals, interestingly, oysters are characterized by very high amounts of zinc. Cow's milk contains relatively small amounts of zinc, but among dairy products, some types of cheese, such as Camembert, processed cheese or Emmental, contain quite high amounts. From the group of cereal products, oat flakes, millet, cornflakes, whole wheat flour and wheat germ are very good sources of zinc. Although many vegetables are not as rich in zinc, the consumption of green peas, dried lentils, and soybeans also provide relatively high levels of zinc. Furthermore, brewer's yeast, cocoa, and most nuts contain high levels of zinc. It should also be mentioned that some kitchen spices contain a lot of zinc, including basil, tarragon, cumin, cloves, ginger, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and sage.

Potential health benefits of zinc

Zinc is critical to many aspects of health and is associated with a number of health benefits, which we will briefly discuss below.

Zinc can improve immune function

Many over-the-counter medications and natural remedies contain zinc because of its ability to improve immune function and fight inflammation.

Zinc can alleviate oxidative stress and improve immune function by increasing the activity of T cells and natural killer cells, which help protect the body from infection (20).

Indeed, a study review showed that zinc lozenges containing 80 to 92 mg of zinc could reduce the duration of a common cold by up to 33% (1). A study conducted with 50 older adults concluded that 45 mg of zinc gluconate per day over a one-year period could reduce several markers of inflammation and decrease the incidence of infections (4).

Zinc could promote blood sugar control

Zinc is known for its role in blood sugar control and insulin secretion (5). Insulin is the hormone responsible for transporting sugar from the bloodstream to body tissues.

Some research suggests that zinc may help keep blood sugar levels stable and improve the body's insulin sensitivity.

One study review concluded that zinc supplements are effective in improving short-term and long-term glycemic control in diabetic patients (6). Another study showed that zinc may help reduce existing insulin resistance, which may improve the body's ability to use insulin efficiently to maintain normal blood glucose levels (7, 8).

Zinc can help fight acne

Zinc supplements are commonly used to promote skin health and treat skin conditions such as acne (9). Zinc sulfate has been shown to be particularly effective in reducing symptoms of severe acne (10). A three-month study of 332 people found that 30 mg of elemental zinc - a term that refers to the actual amount of zinc contained in a supplement - was effective when it came to treating inflammatory acne (11).

Zinc supplements are often preferred to other treatments because they are inexpensive, effective, and also associated with fewer side effects (12).

Zinc could improve heart health

Heart disease is responsible for about 33% of all deaths worldwide (13). Some studies show that zinc supplementation could reduce several risk factors for heart disease and even lower triglyceride levels and blood cholesterol levels. A review of 24 studies found that zinc supplements helped lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, which could potentially help prevent heart disease (14).

Another study conducted with 40 young women showed that higher zinc intake was associated with lower systolic blood pressure values (the upper value) (15). Overall, however, there are few studies on the effects of supplements on blood pressure. Another study suggests that low serum zinc levels may be associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease, but these results are inconclusive (16).

Zinc can reduce inflammation

Zinc can act as an antioxidant, thereby helping to reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes (2, 3). Zinc reduces oxidative stress and reduces levels of certain pro-inflammatory proteins in the body (17).

Oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, a contributing factor in a wide range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and mental decline (18). In a study conducted with 40 older adults, those who took 45 mg of zinc per day experienced greater reductions in inflammatory markers than those who received only a placebo (19).

Zinc could reduce the risk of certain age-related diseases

Zinc could reduce the risk of certain age-related diseases such as pneumonia, infections, and age-related macular degeneration.

Older adults who supplement zinc show a better response to influenza vaccination, a reduced risk of pneumonia, and increased mental performance (21, 22, 23).

In fact, one study concluded that 45 mg of zinc per day reduced infection rates in older adults by nearly 66% (24).

Zinc can accelerate wound healing

Zinc is used in hospitals to treat burns, certain ulcers, and other skin injuries (25).

Because zinc plays a critical role in collagen synthesis, immune function and the inflammatory response, it is essential for wound healing. In fact, the skin contains relatively high amounts of zinc - about 5% of the total amount of zinc in the body (26).

While a zinc deficiency can slow wound healing, zinc supplementation can speed wound healing.

A 12-week study of 60 patients suffering from diabetic foot ulcers concluded that those treated with 200 mg of zinc per day showed significant reductions in ulcer size compared with the placebo group (27).

Zinc can slow down macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is a common eye disease and one of the leading causes of vision loss worldwide (28).

Zinc supplements are commonly used to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and prevent vision loss and blindness.

A study conducted with 72 patients suffering from macular degeneration showed that taking 50 mg of zinc sulfate per day for a period of 3 months could slow the progression of the disease (29).

In addition, a large-scale study involving 4,200 participants showed that daily intake of an antioxidant supplement - vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene - in combination with 80 mg of zinc can reduce vision loss and lower the risk of macular degeneration progression (30).

A review of 10 studies reported that supplementation with zinc was effective in reducing the risk for progression to advanced macular degeneration (31).

However, other studies in the review suggested that zinc supplementation alone may not be sufficient to significantly improve vision, so it should be combined with other treatments to maximize results.

Deficiency symptoms

The concentration of zinc can be determined in the blood. If serum is used, zinc values should be between 0.7-1.3 mg/l for adults and between 0.75-1.0 mg/l for children. When zinc is measured in whole blood, values of 4.0-7.5 mg/l are considered normal.

Zinc deficiency may cause the following symptoms:

  • Lack of drive, depression, concentration problems, learning difficulties
  • increased susceptibility to infections and reduced resistance to environmental toxins
  • Growth disorders and impaired sexual development
  • Impairment of sensory perception, e.g. night blindness, taste and smell disorders
  • Damage to the oral mucosa, delayed wound healing and increased fungal skin infections
  • thinning hair to hair loss, as well as brittle and white-spotted nails
  • the often observed in strength athletes

Strain Overdose and PoisoningIn the past, acute zinc poisoning has occasionally occurred due to the consumption of acidic foods or beverages stored in galvanized containers for extended periods of time. Furthermore, acute zinc poisoning can result from inhalation of zinc vapor or zinc dust during work in foundries or the use of smoke bombs.

The symptoms of acute poisoning are discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and a metallic taste. Furthermore, accelerated breathing, circulatory weakness, and even coma may occur. If zinc dust or zinc vapors have been inhaled, the so-called pouring or metal fever may additionally occur, which is also known for the inhalation of other metals.

In chronic poisoning, which may be due to prolonged intake of zinc, other symptoms are more prominent. Due to the interactions between copper and zinc during absorption, a chronic overdose of zinc results in copper deficiency. The copper deficiency, in turn, can cause hypochromic anemia, a form of anemia in which the erythrocytes contain too little hemoglobin.

Symptoms of zinc toxicity include (32):

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headache
  • Reduced immune function
  • Reduced levels of "good" HDL cholesterol

The therapy of zinc poisoning may consist in the administration of D-penicillamine, which binds zinc in the body.

Safety and side effects

When used properly, zinc supplements can be a safe and effective way to increase daily zinc intake and improve various aspects of health. However, these supplements can also cause undesirable side effects in some cases, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain (33, 34).

Exceeding a daily intake of 40 mg of elemental zinc can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, headache, and fatigue (35). In addition, too much zinc may also interfere with the body's ability to absorb copper, leading to potential deficiency of this key trace element over time (36). Furthermore, zinc has been shown to interfere with the absorption of certain antibiotics, thereby reducing their effectiveness, when both are taken at the same time (37). To reduce the risk of undesirable side effects, zinc should be taken at the recommended dosage and an upper intake of 40 mg of elemental zinc per day should not be exceeded unless otherwise prescribed by a physician.

If any undesirable side effects occur after taking zinc supplements, it is recommended to reduce the amount taken and consult a doctor if the symptoms persist.

Interactions

The simultaneous intake of supplements containing iron or copper decreases the absorption of zinc into the body. Zinc, in turn, worsens the absorption of copper, which is supplied with food.

Contraindications

In case of severe kidney damage or acute kidney failure, do not take zinc supplements.

Demand

The daily requirement of zinc for adults and adolescents is 7-10 mg. Pregnant women are recommended to take about 10 mg daily and nursing mothers about 11 mg.

A 2005 study presented at a conference of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences in San Diego suggests that children who receive adequate daily zinc (20 milligrams) experience significant improvement in mental performance. Zinc improved visual memory, performance on a word-finding test and the ability to concentrate. It is especially important to ensure a regular dietary intake of zinc because the trace element apparently cannot be stored in the body. Thus, a drastic reduction in zinc intake leads relatively quickly to a zinc deficiency.

Zinc is absorbed into the blood from the middle section of the small intestine (jejunum). In addition to the passive transport of zinc through the intestinal mucosa, there also appears to be active transport with the aid of certain proteins. In the blood, zinc is bound to proteins, primarily to albumin and to alpha-macroglobulin. The absorption of zinc, i.e. its uptake from the intestine, is promoted by a variety of organic compounds, such as citrate, cysteine and glutamate. A high content of phytic acid, on the other hand, reduces absorption. Phytic acid is a plant storage form for phosphorus and inositol and is able to bind zinc in a complex-like manner. The absorption-reducing effect of phytic acid is additionally enhanced by a high calcium content in the diet. Zinc-calcium-phytate complexes are formed, which are particularly difficult to dissolve. Since plant foods contain high concentrations of phytate, a purely vegetarian diet may result in zinc deficiency. In a normal diet, zinc intake is usually sufficient.

Approximately 90% of zinc is excreted in the stool.

Increased demand

Due to some circumstances, there may be an increased need for zinc, or a zinc deficiency:

  • when taking certain medicines,
  • in persons with an unbalanced diet, e.g. vegans (vegetarians who do not eat eggs or dairy products) and persons who are fed parenterally with zinc-free nutrient solutions over a long period of time.
  • due to a reduced absorption of zinc after operations or in intestinal diseases
  • as a result of various diseases, such as acquired immune deficiency (AIDS), acne, allergies, diabetes, neurodermatitis, cancer, liver and kidney diseases, acute or chronic infections, etc.
  • during pregnancy and lactation
  • in growth
  • in competitive athletes and bodybuilders.

Demand in sport

The results of a study by Brilla and Conte, has demonstrated a significantly higher increase in strength as well as an increase in testosterone levels of up to 30% in football players when they received 30mg of zinc daily as a dietary supplement. At the same time, the level of IGF-1, which is also anabolic, remained constant when zinc was taken, while it dropped by more than 20% in the placebo group. My recommendation is to take a dose of 30-50mg a day, with meals.

Zinc as aromatase inhibitor

Zinc, just like letrozole for example, blocks the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen. Good results are achieved with 75-150mg of pure zinc per day. However, it should be noted that zinc is stored in the body and withdraws copper from it. Therefore, the application should not exceed the cure and weaning period. In addition, it must be mentioned that zinc in lower doses tends to promote the development of estrogens. Compared to other aromatase inhibitors, zinc is downright cheap and preferable for a mild course of treatment.

Different types of zinc supplements

If you look at zinc supplements available on the market, you will find different forms of zinc. These different forms can affect health in different ways.

Here are some of the most common forms of zinc:

  • Zinc Gluconate: This is one of the most common zinc dosage forms, often found in cold medications such as lozenges and nasal sprays.
  • Zinc Acetate: Zinc acetate, like zinc gluconate, is often added to cold medications to reduce cold symptoms and speed healing (38).
  • Zinc Sulfate: In addition to helping prevent zinc deficiency, zinc sulfate has been shown to alleviate acne (39).
  • Zinc Picolinate: Some research suggests that zinc picolinate is better absorbed by the body than other zinc dosage forms including zinc gluconate and zinc citrate (40).
  • Zinc Orotate: This form of zinc is bound to orotic acid and is one of the most widely used zinc supplements on the market.
  • Zinc citrate: one study concluded that this zinc dosage form is absorbed as well as zinc gluconate, but has a less bitter and unpleasant taste (41).
  • Zinc Bisglycinate: This zinc dosage form boasts a 40% higher bioavailability than zinc gluconate and zinc citrate and is one of the best forms of zinc available. Zinc is available in capsule, tablet and lozenge form. Nasal sprays containing zinc should be better avoided because they have been associated with loss of sense of smell (42, 43).

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28515951
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15451058/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1734450
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26365743
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22515411
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4360427/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27587022
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29193602
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120804
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11586012
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29193602
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5408160/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4523910/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796663/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4738046/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6288/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2869512/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2702361/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18341424
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20041998
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4321209/
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649098/
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4413488/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793244/
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28395131
  28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20887239
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25393287
  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23644932
  31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23652490
  32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17914213
  33. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1081/CLT-100102426
  34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22566526
  35. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9891606
  36. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26085547
  37. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/
  38. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5410113/
  39. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC412080
  40. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3630857
  41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24259556
  42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15283486
  43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16467707

Further sources:

  • Micheletti A, Rossi R, Rufini S. Zinc status in athletes: relation to diet and exercise. Sports Med 2001;31(8):577-82
  • McDonald R, Keen CL. Iron, zinc and magnesium nutrition and athletic performance. Sports Med 1988 Mar;5(3):171-84.
  • Prasad AS, Mantzoros CS, Beck FW, Hess JW, Brewer GJ. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition 1996 May;12(5):344-8
  • Om AS, Chung KW. J Nutr. Dietary zinc deficiency alters 5 alpha-reduction and aromatization of testosterone and androgen and estrogen receptors in rat liver. 1996 Apr;126(4):842-.
  • Ibs KH, Rink L. Zinc-altered immune function. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5):1452S-6S.
  • Lonnerdal B. Dietary factors influencing zinc absorption. J Nutr 2000 May;130(5S Suppl):1378S-83S.
  • Ott ES, Shay NF. Zinc deficiency reduces leptin gene expression and leptin secretion in rat adipocytes. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2001 Oct;226(9):841-6
  • Navarro M, Wood RJ. Plasma changes in micronutrients following a multivitamin and mineral supplement in healthy adults. J Am Coll Nutr 2003 Apr;22(2):124-32.
  • Beutler KT, Pankewycz O, Brautigan DL. Equivalent uptake of organic and inorganic zinc by monkey kidney fibroblasts, human intestinal epithelial cells, or perfused mouse intestine. Biol Trace Elem Res 1998 Jan;61(1):19-31.
  • Barrie SA, Wright JV, Pizzorno JE, Kutter E, Barron PC. Comparative absorption of zinc picolinate, zinc citrate and zinc gluconate in humans. Agents Actions. 1987 Jun;21(1-2):223-8
  • Abdallah SM, Samman S. The effect of increasing dietary zinc on the activity of superoxide dismutase and zinc concentration in erythrocytes of healthy female subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 1993 May;47(5):327-32.