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Chelated and Non-Chelated Zinc Supplements

Updated on August 4, 2011

Choose the best zinc supplements for your needs

Is Chelated Or Non-Chelated Zinc Right For You?

Although zinc is found naturally in foods like oysters and spinach, some people turn to supplements for added health benefits like boosting the immune system and wound healing. Ironically, an overdose of zinc can also suppress your immune system, so it's important to know the zinc levels in your blood before you begin taking it. Zinc is available in chelated and non-chelated forms, and knowing the difference will help you make the decision that's best for you.

Chelated zinc is designed for faster absorption by increasing the concentration of zinc by electrically charging the organic molecules. Once this is done, the molecules are attached to the amino acid methionine.This helps your system absorb more of the mineral than it would with non-chelated zinc supplements. Taking both types of zinc in lozenge form is best for maximum absorption, however foods like whole grains and bran can inhibit absorption when eaten up to two hours after taking supplements.

According to, a dosage of 15mg of chelated zinc daily is recommended as a regular daily supplement. However 50mg of chelated zinc can be taken every eight to 12 hours, for four to five days, at the first signs of a cold or flu, any longer at these levels will put you at risk of zinc poisoning. Unchelated forms like zinc orotate, developed by Dr. Hans Nieper, can be taken at levels of 60mg daily with meals.

Nausea is a common side effect of taking zinc supplements. If you're taking a regular zinc supplement make sure to take it with plenty of water or take it with meals to help with symptoms of stomach upset. Also taking zinc at the same time every day helps maintain constant levels in your body, which will lessen nausea. Chelated zinc, however is absorbed faster and easier and nausea tends to be less.

Chelated zinc, which can be chelated to zinc picolonate or zinc acetate is meant to be taken orally and does not have a topical application as a supplement. Zinc oxide, however can be applied directly to the skin as a topical remedy for conditions like acne irritation and burns. This form of zinc is usually found in sunscreens. The production of sebum and oils can be impaired by zinc oxide, resulting in a reduction of skin conditions.

Elwin Robinson Talks About Zinc


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    • profile image

      galeo 4 years ago

      Is good in pregnance or no?

    • terryk99 profile image

      terryk99 6 years ago

      I just found out about zinc a while ago, and for anyone with stomach problems (nausea, etc.) it's worth checking out. Thanks for the comment.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Good article on Zinc. And the importance of knowing your blood levels BEFORE taking any supplement is always good advice.