Side Effects When taken by mouth: Zinc is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in amounts not larger than 40 mg daily. Routine zinc supplementation is not recommended without the advice of a healthcare professional. In some people, zinc might cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, metallic taste, kidney and stomach damage, and other side effects. Zinc is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in doses greater than 40 mg daily, especially when these doses are taken only for a short period of time. There is some concern that taking doses higher than 40 mg daily might decrease how much copper the body absorbs. Decreased copper absorption may cause anemia. Taking high amounts of zinc is LIKELY UNSAFE. High doses above the recommended amounts might cause fever, coughing, stomach pain, fatigue, and many other problems. Taking more than 100 mg of supplemental zinc daily or taking supplemental zinc for 10 or more years doubles the risk of developing prostate cancer. There is also concern that taking large amounts of a multivitamin plus a separate zinc supplement increases the chance of dying from prostate cancer. Taking 450 mg or more of zinc daily can cause problems with blood iron. Single doses of 10-30 grams of zinc can be fatal. When applied to the skin: Zinc is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when applied to the skin. Using zinc on broken skin may cause burning, stinging, itching, and tingling. When inhaled: Zinc is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when inhaled through the nose, as it might cause permanent loss of smell. In June 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers not to use certain zinc-containing nose sprays (Zicam) after receiving over 100 reports of loss of smell. The maker of these zinc-containing nose sprays has also received several hundred reports of loss of smell from people who had used the products. Avoid using nose sprays containing zinc. Special Precautions and Warnings Infants and children: Zinc is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately in the recommended amounts. Zinc is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in high doses. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Zinc is LIKELY SAFE for most pregnant and breast-feeding women when used in the recommended daily amounts (RDA). However, zinc is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in high doses by breast-feeding women and LIKELY UNSAFE when used in high doses by pregnant women. Pregnant women over 18 should not take more than 40 mg of zinc per day; pregnant women age 14 to 18 should not take more than 34 mg per day. Breast-feeding women over 18 should not take more than 40 mg of zinc per day; breast-feeding women age 14 to 18 should not take more than 34 mg per day. Alcoholism: Long-term, excessive alcohol drinking is linked to poor zinc absorption in the body. Kidney disease: Low zinc in the diet increases the risk of getting kidney disease. Also, people with kidney disease on hemodialysis are at risk for zinc deficiency and might require zinc supplements. Vegetarianism: Vegetarian diets are often linked with lower zinc absorption. So this type of diet is considered a risk factor for zinc depletion. But the body adapts over the long term. It becomes better at absorbing zinc and reducing zinc loss.
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Uses of Zinc - Strengthens immune system - Improves wound recovery - Reduces risk of age-related diseases e.g. Pneumonia, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), infections - Treats acne Side effects of Zinc - Nausea and vomiting - Metallic taste - Diarrhea - Kidney dysfunction - Stomach dysfunction Interactions of Zinc - Cephalexin - Penicillamine - Quinolone antibiotics - Tetracycline antibiotics - Atazanavir - Cisplatin - Drugs for HIV - Drugs for Diabetes Dosage of Zinc Adult men = 11 mg Adult women = 8 mg Pregnant women = 11 mg Breastfeeding women = 12 mg Warning! Excessive intake for 2-3 years increases risk of prostate cancer.