7 Common Types of Zinc Explained

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on


Zinc is an essential mineral contributing to our total physical and mental well-being. It is a key player in the optimal functioning of the reproductive organs, and an important element involved in basic cellular function. Zinc also aids to strengthen the human immune system and deter common skin conditions. It acts as a cofactor with more than 300 different enzymes, boosting the functioning of many of the body’s most basic chemical processes.

Types of Zinc

Zinc is not easily absorbed in the body unless first attached to another substance. For this reason, many zinc manufacturers have “chelated” zinc to organic and amino acids. Supplemental zinc is also available in inorganic form, and non-chelated, usually called zinc sulfate or zinc oxide. Research studies on these forms of zinc show mixed results as whether they are beneficial to the human body.

1. Chelated Zinc

This form of zinc has undergone a process called chelation, whereby the organic molecules have been given an electrical charge that allows them to positively attract the charged mineral (in this case zinc). This creates a temporary increase in the complexity and concentration of the mineral within the molecule.

In other words, each molecule packs more concentrations of zinc via a process of attaching the mineral to something else, such as an amino acid. The belief is that this helps the body better absorb the mineral. There is much debate as to whether the process actually increases absorption. Dr. Gabe Mirkin from the Baylor University School of Medicine feels that chelating minerals has an insignificant effect on absorption when compared to the general conditions in the digestive system.

2. Zinc Orotate (best)

Zinc that has been chelated to orotic acid. The human body’s cellular membranes most readily absorb this type of zinc. Research from Dr. Hans Nieper has found that orotate forms of zinc were more neutrally charged, as compared to other types of zinc. This allowed them to pass through the membranes of cells easily, and thus offered the highest amounts of accompanying mineral atoms into the cells, leading to higher tissue concentrations of zinc. Zinc orotates contain many antioxidant properties that can help protect your health, while offering your cells the most readily-absorbable form of zinc on the market today.

3. Zinc Picolinate

A form of zinc that has been chelated to picolinic amino acids.

4. Zinc Gluconate

One of the most popular forms of dietary zinc, zinc gluconates are created by a process of industrial manufacturing. This process essentially ferments glucose, offering a supplemental product with an extremely long shelf-life. Unfortunately, gluconate supplements are just a chemical substitute for actual zinc.

Sadly, the body absorbs very little of this processed form, as the bioavailability of these chemicals is virtually none.

5. Zinc Acetate

Another chemically-altered form of zinc, acetates are considered to be more absorbable than glutconates. This form of zinc, also known as zinc salt dihydrate and zinc diacetate, is created by adding acetic acid to zinc carbonate or zinc metal. I would not recommend this form of zinc although scientific studies do show that this form can aid in reducing the duration of the common cold, as well as offer relief for Wilson’s disease, a genetic disorder whereby the body stores toxic levels of copper.

6. Zinc Oxide

This inorganic compound of zinc is most commonly used in topical ointments for addressing minor skin conditions such as burns and irritation. It is also a common ingredient in sunscreens. This type is a non-chelated, inorganic form of zinc. Studies show mixed results on the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize this form of inorganic zinc.

7. Zinc Sulfate

Water-soluble and non-chelated, this is an inorganic form of zinc. Studies show mixed results on the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize this form of zinc.

Taking a Zinc Supplement

Although there are many types of zinc, for supplementation, I only recommend zinc orotate. Its main benefit over other forms of zinc is that it is neutrally charged, and is able to pass through the membranes of cells easily.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Laura

    Wow! I knew that zinc was a little rough on your body, but I didn’t realize there were so many options! I’ve found, personally, that my body takes zinc better when it’s tied to magnesium….

  • Boro

    What about Zinc angstrom?

  • naturopath

    Zinc is essential too for a healthy thyroid, am I right?


    Thanks for the article!

  • natural zinc

    i have never heard about such a wonderful information about zinc. But i am aware of health benefit of zinc. thanks for sharing

  • Christine

    You did not mention zinc-carnosine andI am very curious about it’s bioavailability. I tested as deficient in zn, have stomach/intestional issues. Other forms of zn makes me very nauseaus and I usually can not even keep it down. Zn-C does not have that affect on me. The one I just started taking is actually a mildly sweet chewable and supplies 16mg Zn (from 75 mg of Zn-C). Do you have any info?

  • Philip

    Any information about this zinc glycerate and zinc monomethionine? Anyway i have found out that there’s a strong relationship exists between zinc and copper. Too much of one can cause a deficiency in the other. Long-term use of zinc (including zinc in a multivitamin) should be accompanied by copper.

  • Redkister


    could you please verify the following information for me… I only have 2 forms available in my country, Chelated Zinc and Zinc Gluconate. However, i am not sure, whether or not this product actually IS chelated zinc. It says on it :

    Amount Per Serving:
    • Zinc (as 50% zinc arginate, 25% zinc histidinate & 25% zinc glycinate) 15mg
    • Copper (as 50% copper lysinate & 50% copper glycinate) 2mg

    Is this Chelated Zinc ? Is it a good product ? Or will at least make a difference compared to Gluconate form ?

    Hoping on your reply,


  • i find this article rather lacking. The only form that is shown as “best” is orotic acid. (which i can not find).

    I have no idea if Picolinate is any good? or better than gluconate?

    You dont mention citrate, aspatate, or several others i see for sale…

  • reyblas


  • Jeremy

    This whole page seems like just an advertisement to sell zinc orotate from GHC.

  • Richard Menzies

    That is preposterous for you to say. You have no idea how your body is actually metabolizing anything. You would have to actually look at individual cells in your body and read the zinc level before and after and time the process and the depth of infusion into the cells.

    Besides that hard research has shown over and over the overall effect of Zinc intake was a highly significant decrease of Magnesium
    absorption and of the Mag. balance.

  • bee

    Zinc gluconate isn’t absorbed?…. Then why was it found the help with acne and the immune system?

    Plus an actual scientific study stating gluconate has an absorption rate of over 60%!

  • Edward Group

    Here’s one that suggested its absorption was less than great-


  • James Geiger

    No mention of Zinc Citrate???

  • James Geiger

    Re-read the article – There was a small, insignificant rise in serum zinc during zinc picolinate, zinc citrate and placebo supplementation.

  • Jaime Wells

    My doctor prescribed picolinate for hashimoto’s. Is there a reason to stick with picolinate?

  • Picolinate isn’t bad, there are definitely worse choices. I prefer orotate.

  • disqus_f23yWYhDc9

    This article is dumb. You’re just promoting your own products. Duh. GET A REAL JOB, WHITE SCUMBAG.

  • Pingback: Cold’s are Old | nutritioner()

  • Pingback: Top 10 Zinc Supplements - Best of 2016()

  • Pingback: The Benefits Of Zinc Orotates | | Quantum Reality()

  • Pingback: The Benefits Of Zinc Orotates - Alternative Report()

  • Pingback: 7 Common Types of Zinc Explained – onewaterdrop()

  • Pingback: 8 Foods High In Zinc – What Are Their Benefits? | | Quantum Reality()

  • Pingback: 8 Foods High In Zinc – What Are Their Benefits? - Alternative Report()

  • Pingback: Zinc and B6 affect dream recall()

  • Vernie

    Where does zinc carnosine fit in the zinc lineup?

  • Matt Ziegler

    This article needs removed as it has many contradictions and no scientific references to support the statements made. No references=garbage. I am not sure there is one true statement in this whole article, especially about zinc gluconate. My guess is that this guy sells zn orotate. Best look elsewhere for advice.

  • 『VAPORWAVE』Specialist

    Obvious spam article trying to sell their zinc orotate product.

    Scientfic studies have shown that zinc picolinate is the best absorbed. Funny how this spam article didn’t mention that….

  • Pingback: 9 Common Types Of Magnesium Explained – Revere Radio Network()

  • Pingback: 9 Common Types Of Magnesium Explained | | Quantum Reality()

  • Pingback: 9 Common Types Of Magnesium Explained - Alternative Report()

  • Pingback: 9 Common Types Of Magnesium Explained - Alternative Report()

  • Pingback: Zinc Supplement Ed – Tom B Fisher()

  • sam

    What is zinc citrate ??? thx

  • sam

    and what about also Zinc L-monomethionine and Zinc MonoMethionine?

  • DoubtingThomas

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

    That, and more, available at Google.

  • chipmunkis

    The information presented here appears to have more to do with sales of a particular product than reality… My son has a rare metabolic disorder which requires zinc supplementation for life, and zinc gluconate has proven to be effective for his condition. Without appropriate and effective supplementation, my son would at best become very ill and at worst die. I am more inclined to trust what I have seen evidence of, and the experts in their field who have medical backgrounds in the field of biochemical/ metabolic disease than someone who is a chirpractor, naturopath and(mainly) businessman out to make money.

  • 88kenb

    Thanks for the information. gluconate is the worst and actually causes infections instead of curing them!

  • Pingback: What is Manganese? The Benefits of This Essential Mineral - Alternative Report()

  • redstarrise

    nothing on asportate?

  • Mynickelsworth

    I’m not in the medical field but have been investigating use of zinc to protect the Prostate. One source says that taking 45 mg of zinc per day will stop the body from converting testastarone into something that acts as a female hormone. I had been taking zinc Gluconate for years at 50 mg/day which obviously had no effect. I tried zinc picolinate at 50 mg/day and it worked a bit better but I find that orotate at 45 mg and sustained release work fine. I have more energy, more muscle without a lot of exercise.

    I am 86 (2 days ago) and been through the medical mill for prostate problems. Have been on Avodart for years. Will see my urologist shortly and I expect him to take me off of the medication.

  • Christy

    I’ve tried zinc prorate and picolinate. Both forms cause diarrhea, even when taken with food. Strangely, I don’t notice a problem when the zinc is in a multi mineral supplement. My zinc levels are very low though and need to target it alone for a bit. Is there a better form for me?

  • Cfam Sweeps

    I remember reading about one form that was dangerous in that it damaged the nerve cells lining the nose and sinuses and therefore damaged one’s sense of smell and taste. I thought it was zinc acetate, but came here to try and verify that. Do you have any info on that risk and what form to avoid? Thanks.

  • Aimee Watkins

    really helpful. what research information are you basing your information on?

  • Glen Lasta

    Contact me for a chance to gain health that never deteriorates. -Isaiah 33:24.
    (504) 655-2539

  • mude

    you mentioned 7 types of Zinc. I want to use supplement. what is the ideal daily dose (mg) as supplement for each type of zinc?…. if i use Chelated Zinc as supplement, what could be the ideal daily dose (mg)?

  • Pingback: Boost Your Defences Against the ‘Flu | Vitality Magazine | Toronto Canada alternative health, natural medicine and green living – Vitality Magazine()

  • Pingback: 10 Best Zinc Supplements - Information and Zinc Product Listing for 2017()

Top Selling Supplements

Colon Cleanser Oxy-Powder® is the top quality colon cleanser. Promotes optimal colon health and regular bowel activity. Learn More

Liver Cleanse Kit This complete liver cleansing kit is a comprehensive approach to cleansing your liver. Learn More

Get to know Dr. Group

  Our Company




  • Global Healing Center
    2040 North Loop West, Ste. 234
    Houston, Texas 77018
    Telephone: 713-476-0016
    Toll Free: 1-800-476-0016
  • Contact Us