Do Zinc Supplements Have Any Dangerous Side Effects?

Zinc supplements, when used improperly, have extremely dangerous side effects. Zinc is a tricky vitamin because it is vital to your health and well being, but it is also detrimental if it is over-used or under-used. The recommended daily zinc requirement is 8 mg for adult women and 11 mg for adult men. Whether your zinc intake is provided by the foods you eat or the vitamins you take, there is such a thing as too much zinc.

How Much Is Too Much Zinc?

In order to achieve 8 mg or 11 mg of zinc per day, you actually need to consume more than that because your body absorbs approximately 20%-40% of the zinc it digests. It is safe to take zinc supplements with an approximate 40 mg – 50 mg zinc content on a daily basis. Do not exceed that amount unless you have consulted a physician! If you consume 100 mg – 500 mg per day, you will experience serious side effects. The longer you “overdose” on zinc, the worse your side effects will be.

Zinc Supplement Side Effects

The problem with consuming too much zinc is that, while the proper amount of zinc aids your metabolism, too much zinc actually prohibits your metabolism from absorbing the other vitamins and minerals your body needs. It seems unfair, but too much zinc can actually cancel out your smart nutritional choices and block your body from reaping the benefits. The most important vitamins and minerals that will not metabolize when you have too much zinc in your system are iron, copper, and magnesium. Zinc toxicity also lowers your body’s immunity and good cholesterol levels.

Zinc Deficiency

While a lot of people consume and absorb the proper amount of zinc without ever trying, even more people are unaware that they are suffering from a zinc deficiency. Whether or not you are zinc deficient, you have definitely displayed the symptoms at some point in your life because they are rather ambiguous. Some signs that you might need more zinc include:

  • white spots or bands under your fingernails
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • reduced sense of taste or smell

If you think you might be zinc deficient or if you are a vegetarian, it is important to consult a doctor to decide if you should use zinc supplements. Fish oil supplements are also a good alternative to zinc supplements because they contain zinc in addition to other essential vitamins and minerals and their fatty animal proteins promote your body’s zinc absorption.

Benefits of Proper Zinc Dosage

Once you begin using zinc supplements, some of the benefits you will notice are:

  • more energy
  • healthy skin
  • better night vision
  • better digestion
  • thicker, stronger hair and healthy nails

The dangers involved with zinc supplements are easy to avoid as long as you monitor your intake. Developing a toxic level of zinc in your system takes time, so take a moment to evaluate your intake and decide whether or not you are in danger. Zinc is essential to your mind, body, and health, so no matter how you get your zinc, do not forget that without it, you probably would not have made it out of bed this morning!


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  • Victor

    I Just started taking Zinc supplement for my allergies and it worked the very first day. I only took one 50 mg pill. It stopped my sinus attacks completely. The only problem was I took it on an empty stomach the third morning and had to vomit. Tomorrow I will take it after lunch and see how it goes. Could be I don’t need the full 50 mg. I am just happy it stopped 4-5 days of sinus attacks.



  • Leo Posillico

    Could taking 50 mg of Zinc supplement cause a urithial infection?

  • r beattie

    i to had a stomach upset imay have double dosed by mistake 50mg two 5omg is usually okay so long

  • maria aleman


  • Toni Johns

    Please get back to me and let me know if too much zinc can cause a slightly metallic, and tingling sensation in the tongue, and also if it could be the reason I’ve had really crazy dreams since I started taking it. Thanks so much!

  • Chuck Parson

    I read where by if you take zinc in very large doses it will clean out your arties and veins. Is this true?





  • jay dapil

    i use to wake up at night chocking with dried throat, no energy and a really bad sinus in the morning. I took a chance with Zinc i read so much good things about it and it did really work for me. I dont wake up anymore at night and works a little on my energy and sinus just come and go, not everyday anymore which is over all ill give it an 8 out of 10. I took 50mg M~F

  • l l

    Zinc is not a vitamin .. zinc is a mineral

  • Dale Stringer

    Where is the answers to the questions pepole are asking? My coment is. My brother told me that people that use dandruf shampo will have tingeling in there hands. I have this problem, at night mostly, my hands go to sleep to the extent it hurts, i have to get up, walk around shake my hands to get the sirculation back in my hands. This happens about 6 to 10 times a night. I stoped useing dandruf shampo but have no releif can you help? Sure would be nice to get a good night sleep Thanks

  • Roland Ramirez

    My wife and I are trying for a baby. OBGYN recommended me to take a semen analysis. First one came out low, so he recommended zinc. I took a 100mg. of zinc with some multivitamis that included an extra 15mg of zinc. After a month and a half I took another analysis and the results were worse they were almost undetectable. Could this be because of the zinc? Can it be reversed?

  • Lila Loh

    To Roland Ramirez above, I believe there is a possibility indeed that the worse results you got is due to an Overdose of zinc. As mentioned in the article above, zinc overdose leads to many side effects, which could have led to your problem worsening. You might want to consider reducing your zinc intake to only 40-50mg of zinc daily as the article above suggests. But just to be safe, you should check with your doctor!

  • Barbara Workamn

    Is there blood work to tell if a person has too much Zinc in their body? When I go to bed at night, after about three hours, I wake up with a METALLIC SALTY TASTE IN MY MOUTH even on the roof of my mouth along with a TERRIBLE HEADACHE. I get out of bed and drink some water or Pepsi then go back to bed. This happens approximately three times during the night therefore I haven’t had a complete nights rest in a long time. I had my upper teeth pulled and tried wearing dentures using Fixodent cream for a long time then finally gave up. Please advise. Thanks!

  • Barbara Workamn

    Can you give me some guidelines what I need to do. Please advise. Thanks!

  • Chrissy

    I recently found out about zinc in denture cream. This information is seem on TV and the internet. There is a law suit that is taking place as of right now against fixodent and poligrip companies. The reason why my interest is becaue, I used fixodent about 7-years and during those years, I experenced numbeness, weakness in the facial muscles, hands, arms or legs, unexplained weakness in extremities, also unexplained tingling in the (arms, hand, legs and feet). As of right now, I do not use the fixodent anymore, however I am using the poligrip, which have no zinc. I have already contacted a lawyer.

  • JasonLKing

    Hi Chrissy,
    That’s true… in fact there are on going fixodent settlements in the court. And the recent studies proved that the more zinc consumption using denture cream zinc, the higher the risk of nerve damage.

  • Alejandro M Castro

    I take 75mg of Zinc daily. I suffer from Anemia. Could Zinc be the problem?

  • Kaz

    A single 50 mg dose of Zinc curing allergies? Sorry, not likely.

    You need a proper experiment with a large subject and control group to verify such a thing.

    You have no way to tell whether the symptoms might not just have gone away that day with or without the Zinc.

    You may be susceptible to a placebo effect, especially if there is any psycho-somatic component to your ailment.

  • Jaime

    I’ve been taking zinc for over 2 years and can tell you I haven’t had a cold or a flu or any infections of any type since.. If I do feel something coming on I will up my dose a little bit and it always work..
    Definitely do not take on an empty stomach it will make you sick.
    I’ve been preaching the benefits of this mineral for quite sometime .. Usually it falls on deaf ears..
    Oh well it’s worked for me.
    But you must be consistent with it’s use.

  • cassie

    Please I would like to know if taking 100mg zinc tablet is too strong, becuz I am nauseous and get stomach and bowel cramps along with a headache. Today I threw it away reluctantly becuz I know my body needs zinc ( Iam 60yrs female) but the side effects are too distressing. After vomiting today (very bitter taste) followed by bowel cramps I had a BM (very loose) was glad for this in a sense becuz I suffer with constipation. Now I am afraid to ever drink zinc again. What can I drink in its place. Thanks.

  • John Oda

    In response to Dale Stringers comment on 11/28/2010: I had the EXACT SAME problem with hands and fingers tingling at night. I just recently was diagnosed with carapal tunnel in my hands. Had surgery, and no more pain or sleepless nights!!!

  • Rick

    Why are you people continuing to ask if 75 mg – 100 mg is too much zinc to take when in the article above it states that 40 – 50 mg is the MAX intake for a person per day.

  • Emily

    Can it also me me grow taller?
    I’m 15, 5″1 and haven’t grown taller in over a year. (my parents are 5″6)
    Will the zinc help?

  • david

    if sick .. take 220 mg of zinc along with 1000mg of vit c broke up half for morn and half for night. do it for no long than 5 days … up to 2 times a year if sick.

    if you do more than that … you run the risk of depletion of red blood cells

    not good..

    info that was given to me by a chemist/dietician

  • Senthil

    I read that 100mg zinc supplement per day helps sperms count and fertility.. is it true?? Can i try or drop this idea??

  • Eric Pierce

    Zinc is a mineral, not a vitamin. Perhaps you would want to change that. It would give your writing more credibility.

  • Eddie

    Everything in excess is bad. Take everything in moderation. For zinc, I believe once or twice a week is enough for healthy person with healthy diet. Remember: multi vitamin pills shorten your life if consumed daily.

  • Marianne Alexander Odell

    They DO?!
    I’ve been a vegetarian for not quite a year,and I’m sure I’m missing out on a lot,especially B12 as my Dr identified me as being deficient BEFORE I stopped eating meat.