What should I know before taking zinc?

You should know that zinc is the second most common mineral in body (next to iron) and is responsible for many bodily processes. That said, an adult only needs about eight to 11 mg. of zinc a day.

Certain medical conditions and medications may increase your risk for complications associated with zinc. It may affect certain conditions adversely because of poor absorption. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking zinc for conditions, such as colds, macular degeneration, sickle cell disease, weakened immune system, stomach ulcers, acne, ADHD, herpes, Wilson's disease, HIV/AIDS, acrodermatitis enteropathica, cirrhosis, alcoholism, celiac disease, kidney disease, high or low cholesterol, copper metabolism, thyroid function, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic conditions, high blood pressure and pregnancy. Medications that may interfere with zinc include: blood pressure medications, penicillamine, amiloride, certain antibiotics, ACE inhibitors, cisplatin, immunosuppressant medications, deferoxamine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and thiazide diuretics. You may also experience some side effects with your zinc supplement. These side effects include: hallucinations, stomach upset, dizziness, headaches, weakened immune system, cholesterol changes, alcohol intolerance, nausea, increased perspiration, vomiting, a metallic taste in your mouth, loss of coordination and anemia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.