Product Reviews
Zinc Supplements and Lozenges Review
 

Initial Posting: 10/6/17 Last Update: 4/3/20

Choose the Best Zinc Supplement and Lozenge

Have a Cold? See CL's Top Picks Among Zinc Supplements and Lozenges

COVID-19 UPDATE: Does Zinc Help? Get the Facts.
Zinc Supplements and Lozenges Reviewed by ConsumerLab.com
Zinc supplements and lozenges compared in this review
Bronson Laboratories Zinc Lozenges KAL Dinosaurs Zinc Elderberry Rexall [Dollar General] Zinc
Cold-Eeze - All Natural Cherry Flavor Natural Factors Zinc Citrate Shaklee Zinc Complex
Country Life Zinc Nature Made VitaMelts Zinc - Honey Lemon Solgar Zinc Picolinate 22mg
Designs for Health Zinc Challenge Nature's Bounty Zinc Swanson Zinc (Gluconate)
Dr. Mercola Zinc Complex Nature's Plus Source of Life Animal Parade Kid Zinc Up & Up [Target] Zinc Cold Remedy
Finest Nutrition [Walgreens] Zinc Nature's Way Zinc Lozenges Echinacea & Vitamin C Vitacost Zinc 50 mg
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc NOW Zinc 50 mg Zand Lemon Zinc Herbalozenge
GNC Zinc 30 mg Pure Encapsulations Zinc 15 Zicam Cold Remedy Ultra Crystals
Bronson Laboratories Zinc Lozenges Cold-Eeze - All Natural Cherry Flavor Country Life Zinc Designs for Health Zinc Challenge Dr. Mercola Zinc Complex Finest Nutrition [Walgreens] Zinc Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc GNC Zinc 30 mg KAL Dinosaurs Zinc Elderberry Natural Factors Zinc Citrate Nature Made VitaMelts Zinc - Honey Lemon Nature's Bounty Zinc Nature's Plus Source of Life Animal Parade Kid Zinc Nature's Way Zinc Lozenges Echinacea & Vitamin C NOW Zinc 50 mg Pure Encapsulations Zinc 15 Rexall [Dollar General] Zinc Shaklee Zinc Complex Solgar Zinc Picolinate 22mg Swanson Zinc (Gluconate) Up & Up [Target] Zinc Cold Remedy Vitacost Zinc 50 mg Zand Lemon Zinc Herbalozenge Zicam Cold Remedy Ultra Crystals
Make sure the zinc supplement or lozenge you take passed our quality review and is right for you!
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Summary:
  • What is it? Zinc is an essential mineral, one of the few nutrients for which a mild deficiency is not uncommon. (see What It Is). Zinc is naturally found in meats and other foods (see Getting Zinc -- From Food)
  • What does it do? Zinc supplements (typically taken in pill form) can reverse or prevent zinc deficiency (which can otherwise impair the immune system, cause diarrhea, reduce taste, etc.) and help slow advanced macular degeneration of the retina. Zinc is also taken as a lozenge (or other orally dissolving formulation) to act locally on the throat to reduce the duration of a cold. (See What It Does).
    • COVID-19 UPDATE: Zinc lozenges are being promoted to help prevent or treat COVID-19, the infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There is no direct evidence proving that zinc lozenges can do this, although supplementing with appropriate amounts of zinc may benefit people deficient in zinc. See the COVID-19 section for details.
  • How much to take, and which form? The daily requirement for zinc ranges from 3 mg for children to 14 mg for lactating women (see Dosage). No form is particularly better absorbed than another and zinc gluconate is typically the least expensive. To reduce the duration of a cold, take a lozenge (or other orally dissolving formulation providing 9 to 23 mg of zinc as either zinc gluconate or zince acetate) every 2 to 3 hours during the day, allowing it to fully dissolve in the mouth: Limit treatment to a week because chronic intake of too much zinc (see upper intake levels) can reduce copper absorption, leading to copper deficiency that can impair the immune system.
  • Best zinc? Among supplements that passed testing, we identified our Top Pick for Pills, Top Pick for Lozenges, and Top Pick for Other Orally Dissolving Formulations. We found that you can pay as little as 1 cent or more than $1 to get an equivalent dose of high quality zinc — there is no need to overspend.
  • Cautions: As noted above, don't take too much zinc and don't take with fiber, which inhibits absorption of zinc. Be aware of drug interactions with zinc, particularly for certain antibiotics. (See Concerns and Cautions).
In this comprehensive review of zinc supplements and zinc lozenges, you'll get test results and quality ratings for 24 zinc products (including 8 that passed our voluntary Quality Certification Program). You'll learn:
    • Which zinc supplements passed testing, which failed, and which were selected as CL's Top Picks for providing the right ingredients and the best value   
    • Which zinc lozenges provide a dosage known to work -- and which do not
    • What zinc can and cannot do for your health  
    • If certain forms of zinc, like zinc gluconate, zinc acetate, and zinc citrate are better absorbed than others  
    • The zinc dosage to treat conditions including colds, macular degeneration, and zinc deficiency 
    • What the "zinc challenge" is and whether or not it is a reliable method for determining zinc deficiency or adequacy
    • The potential side-effects of zinc and other concerns with zinc, including drug interactions 
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Learn More About Zinc Supplements and Lozenges

ConsumerLab.com Answers -- for Zinc Supplements and Lozenges Review
Question:
Are supplements with amino acid chelated minerals better than those with other forms of minerals? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do zinc supplements contain lead? Get the answer >>

Question:
Is it okay to take a zinc supplement while I am on an antibiotic for a respiratory infection? Get the answer >>

Question:
Is it true that NAC can help clear nasal passages? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do any supplements help for tinnitus? Is it true that some supplements can cause tinnitus? Get the answer >>

Question:
I take estrogen replacement (Vagifem), to help relieve the symptoms of menopause. Are there supplements I should avoid, or be taking, due to this drug? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which supplements are helpful for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Get the answer >>

Question:
Are there negative interactions between the following supplements I take twice each day, as well as 60 mg of beta-sitosterol with dinner: Vitamin C (500 mg), CoQ10 (100 mg), grape seed extract (100 mg), fish oil (500 mg), vitamin D3/calcium/magnesium/zinc (200 IU/333 mg/113 mg/5mg)? Get the answer >>

Question:
Are lozenges and sublingual pills considered dietary supplements? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which supplements can help with indigestion and/or heartburn? Get the answer >>

Question:
Does taking zinc help with sleep? Get the answer >>

Question:
Can lysine, vitamin B-12, or other vitamins or minerals help prevent or reduce canker sores? Get the answer >>

Question:
Does taking vitamin C (1,000 mg) deplete copper in the body? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which dietary supplements and health foods contain high levels of lead? Get the answer >>

Question:
Can supplements with antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamins A and E cause you to die sooner? Get the answer >>

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Do any supplements help for hair loss? Get the answer >>

Question:
Are the "% DV" numbers on vitamin supplement labels really based on what I need? Get the answer >>

Question:
The vision supplement I take is based on the AREDS2 formula, but it contains a lot of zinc -- 80 mg in the recommended daily serving. Is it necessary, and safe, to take this much zinc every day? Get the answer >>

Question:
I've heard that soaking dried beans for 24 hours reduces the phytate level, allowing for greater access to nutrients. Is this true? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which supplements can cause diarrhea? Get the answer >>

Question:
Does taking a laxative interfere with the absorption of vitamins or minerals? Get the answer >>

Question:
Can vitamins or other supplements cause a change in the ability to taste, or even a loss of taste? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do any supplements help for flu? Get the answer >>

Question:
Is it better to get vitamins from foods or supplements, and are natural vitamins better than synthetic vitamins? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which vitamins and supplements are good for acne, and are there any that make it worse? Get the answer >>

Question:
What are the health benefits of stevia? Is it safe? Get the answer >>

Question:
What are natural remedies for coronavirus (COVID-19)? Do supplements like zinc, vitamin C, or herbals work? Get the answer >>
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