Zinc supplements can shorten colds and reduce the progression of advanced macular degeneration, among other uses. But a new report by ConsumerLab.com shows that not all supplements are free of contamination and provide a dosage that has been proven effective.
Lozenges providing thirteen to twenty-three milligrams of zinc have been shown to reduce the duration and symptoms of a cold if taken every two hours during the day. However, among four marketed zinc lozenges tested by ConsumerLab.com, only one provided the proven dosage. Two products contained just five milligrams of zinc and a third suggested using only one to two lozenges per day.
Zinc supplementation may be useful in other conditions including acne, depression, and anorexia nervosa, as well as to prevent and correct zinc deficiency. ConsumerLab.com found that most general use zinc supplements met quality standards, but one was contaminated with lead.
A specific formula of zinc with anti-oxidants is known to reduce the progression of advanced macular degeneration, as demonstrated in the large Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). ConsumerLab.com found that two of the purchased products met this specification.
“Our report on zinc supplements will help guide consumers to products that are properly made and deliver the correct dosage for specific uses,” said Tod Cooperman, MD, President of ConsumerLab.com. He cautioned that people should also avoid taking too much zinc over long periods of time, as it can have adverse effects, including immune suppression, and reduce copper absorption.
The new report, Product Review of Zinc Supplements (Including Pills, Liquids, Lozenges and Vision Formulas), is available at http://www.consumerlab.com/reviews//zinc/. Brands covered in the new report include Cold-Eeze, Country Life, ICAPS (Alcon), Karuna, Natural Vision Care (Drinkables), Nature’s Bounty, Nature Made, Nature’s Way, NOW, Ocuvite (Bausch & Lomb), Puritan’s Pride, Sundown, Sunkist, Ultimate Nutrition, Vitamin World, Walgreens, and Zand. The report also includes extensive information about how to buy and use these supplements and potential side effects.
Reviews of other popular types of supplements are also available at www.consumerlab.com. Product Reviews to be released in coming months cover CoQ10, multivitamins, as well as supplements for bone health (calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K), joint health (chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM), prostate health and weight loss.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated with PharmacyChecker.com, an evaluator of online pharmacies, and MedicareDrugPlans.com, which reviews and rates Medicare Part D plans. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online. For group subscriptions or product testing contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at [email protected].