When it comes to zinc supplements, people ask a lot of questions. What is it good for? Can I get it from food? Which zinc supplement is the best? However, there’s another question that’s often a bit more difficult to address. If you’ve found yourself asking, “How much zinc should I take?”, it’ll depend on several factors. Read on to discover your perfect dose.
The Food and Drug Administration’s Recommended Daily Allowance
The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has determined the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for almost every vitamin and mineral in the human diet. These numbers are based on a 2000-calorie diet for people who are otherwise healthy. When it comes to zinc, the FDA recommends that healthy men consume 11mg per day, while healthy women should consume 8mg per day. There are some exceptions to this rule, however. Pregnant women, for example, should consume 11mg of zinc per day, and teenagers need to consume about 2mg more zinc per day than adults based on their genders.
Tolerable Upper Intake Levels
Now that you understand what the FDA recommends as far as zinc dosage, it’s important to also learn more about the tolerable upper intake levels, referred to as ULs, associated with zinc. Studies have shown that adults age 19 years and older can safely consume up to 40mg of zinc per day without any long-term or particularly dangerous adverse effects. Keep in mind that the UL for zinc when it comes to children aged one to three years, which represents the most common age group among accidental poisonings in the United States, is only 7mg per day. This is why it is so very important to keep zinc out of the reach of children and pets.
Are You Getting Enough?
According to studies out of the University of Oregon, there may be as many as two billion people worldwide dealing with zinc deficiency. The symptoms of zinc deficiency range from hearing and vision loss to cravings for particularly sweet and salty food. Some people even notice that wounds are slow to heal and that their bodies have difficulty fighting off infections. Deficiency has also been linked to stunted growth, sexual dysfunction, and even difficulty concentrating. If you notice these symptoms, you may not be getting enough zinc in your diet.
The Right Zinc Dosage
How much zinc should I take? To answer this, it’s important to remember that the FDA guidelines above apply to the zinc you get from your diet as well as in supplements. You should also keep in mind that the bioavailability of a zinc supplement ranges from 50% to about 60%. This means that anywhere from 40% to 50% of that zinc doesn’t make its way into the bloodstream. As such, if you aren’t consuming at least the RDA of zinc each and every day, you should take a supplement. The 15mg supplement will perfectly compliment most healthy and rounded diets.
How much zinc should I take? It depends on your gender, your age, and your diet. For most people, a 15mg supplement provides all of the exogenous zinc necessary to fight the symptoms of deficiency, boost the immune system, and improve their overall health and wellbeing.