Zinc is an essential mineral. Aside from iron, it is the most common mineral in our bodies found in each and every cell. Humans need zinc for immune system health, growth and development, a healthy reproductive system, for proper vision, healthy skin, and many other functions.
Zinc is known to support a variety of men’s health issues including prostate health, heart health, and fertility issues such as low sperm count.
The recommended daily allowance for adult men is 11 milligrams per day. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, our bodies absorb 20-40% of the zinc present in food. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, red meat, poultry, shellfish and cheeses. Plant-based zinc sources are not as readily absorbed but include legumes such as lima beans, soybeans and peanuts, as well as other foods such as sunflower seeds and mushrooms.
Zinc supplements contain a number of different zinc formulations—zinc oxide, zinc citrate and zinc sulfate to name a few—each of which has different rates of absorption, retention and antioxidant properties. Research has shown that zinc mono-L-methionine sulfate, also known as L-Optizinc, is superior to other forms of zinc in each of these categories.
In a human absorption study, nine subjects received 25 mg of zinc from either zinc methionine, zinc sulfate or zinc polyascorbate either alone, in a water solution or added to a standard meal. Zinc methionine was absorbed 16% more than zinc polyascorbate and 25% more than zinc sulfate when no meal was given.
An in vitro study showed that OptiZinc provided a significantly increased level of protection from free radical damage than zinc gluconate, zinc picolinate, zinc sulfate, zinc citrate and zinc oxide.