zinc nooroots nootropic supplement

Zinc: Nootropic Spotlight

Expert Writer
About the Author

Ben was awarded a Master of Science in Regenerative Medicine from Imperial College London. He is currently completing a PhD at Imperial. 



  • What is Zinc?
  • Zinc Deficiency
  • Zinc Benefits
  • Zinc Mechanism of Action
  • Zinc Side Effects


Zinc: A Health Guide to Safe and Effective Supplementation


zinc nooroots nootropic supplements


What is Zinc? 

The first usages of zinc are believed to date all the way back to ancient times1,but it was not until the 1900’s that its nutritional relevance to humans was identified. Debate raged over the necessity of zinc, despite its first links to disease in 19392. It was not until 1974 that zinc was recognised as an essential nutrient for humans3,4.

Zinc is a trace element, meaning we only need small amounts in our diet, but do not underestimate its importance5,6.


Zinc Deficiency

Despite its importance, zinc cannot be stored well within the body7. Inadequate intake of zinc can therefore present issues, including7,8:
  • Weight loss
  • Low energy
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Rashes
  • Sensory problems
  • Impotence



Zinc Benefits

Zinc supplementation is multifactorial in its benefits, including:
  • Boosted immunity: studies have shown that providing patient with zinc can aid recovery from the common cold, shortening its duration and speeding up recovery9,10
  • Reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration: zinc has been shown to reduce both the risk of this visual condition as well as its severity11,12
  • A healthier heart: zinc works favourably for cardiovascular health, with research showing that it lowers cholesterol and associates with reduced blood pressure13,14
  • Brain boosting: zinc helps facilitate communication between nerves in the brain and reduce inflammation, aiding with its functioning15


Zinc Mechanism of Action

The importance of zinc has become ever clearer throughout the past century. It can act in a variety of ways:
  • It is an integral part of zinc enzymes, proteins which are crucial to nearly every biological process that happens in human cells5,16. Without enzymes, these reactions would likely occur too slowly to facilitate life!17
  • Nerves ‘talk’ to each other via junctions known as synapses. Zinc has been found to regulate this process between nerves in the hippocampus, a key part of our cognitive functioning15,18
  • Zinc helps both promotes the functioning of antioxidants and reduces the activity of pro-oxidants19. This reduces oxidative stress, a factor which is known to have a role in neurodegeneration20.


Zinc Side Effects

Unfortunately, you really can have too much of a good thing. But don’t be alarmed, the following side effects are only seen with extremely high doses of zinc:
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea



  1. Meulenbeld GJ (Gerrit J. A history of Indian medical literature. Groningen: Forsten;
  2. George W, Eggleton E. The zinc content of epidermal structures in beriberi. Biochem J. 1939 Apr 1;33(4):403.
  3. Sandstead HH. Zinc Nutrition from Discovery to Global Health Impact. Adv Nutr. 2012;3(5):718.
  4. Prasad AS. Discovery of Human Zinc Deficiency: Its Impact on Human Health and Disease. Adv Nutr. 2013 Mar;4(2):176.
  5. King JC. Zinc: an essential but elusive nutrient. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug 1;94(2):679S-684S.
  6. Zinc | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 14]. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/zinc/
  7. Maxfield L, Shukla S, Crane JS. Zinc Deficiency. StatPearls. 2022 May 8;
  8. Zinc Deficiency, Excess and Supplementation - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment | Patient [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 14]. Available from: https://patient.info/healthy-living/zinc-deficiency-excess-and-supplementation-leaflet
  9. Hemilä H, Fitzgerald JT, Petrus EJ, Prasad A. Zinc Acetate Lozenges May Improve the Recovery Rate of Common Cold Patients: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. Open forum Infect Dis. 2017 Mar 1;4(2).
  10. Hemilä H. Zinc lozenges and the common cold: a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage. JRSM open. 2017 May;8(5):205427041769429.
  11. Newsome DA, Swartz M, Leone NC. Oral zinc in macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol (Chicago, Ill 1960). 1988;106(2):192–8.
  12. Aoki A, Inoue M, Nguyen E, Obata R, Kadonosono K, Shinkai S, et al. Dietary n-3 Fatty Acid, α-Tocopherol, Zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C, and β-carotene are Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Japan. Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 5;6.
  13. Kim J. Dietary zinc intake is inversely associated with systolic blood pressure in young obese women. Nutr Res Pract. 2013 Oct;7(5):380.
  14. Ranasinghe P, Wathurapatha WS, Ishara MH, Jayawardana R, Galappatthy P, Katulanda P, et al. Effects of Zinc supplementation on serum lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2015 Aug 4;12(1).
  15. Pan E, Zhang X an, Huang Z, Krezel A, Zhao M, Tinberg CE, et al. Vesicular Zinc Promotes Presynaptic and Inhibits Postsynaptic Long-Term Potentiation of Mossy Fiber-CA3 Synapse. Neuron. 2011 Sep 22;71(6):1116–26.
  16. Jurowski K, Szewczyk B, Nowak G, Piekoszewski W. Biological consequences of zinc deficiency in the pathomechanisms of selected diseases. J Biol Inorg Chem. 2014 Apr 19;19(7):1069–79.
  17. The Central Role of Enzymes as Biological Catalysts - The Cell - NCBI Bookshelf [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 15]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9921/
  18. Anand K, Dhikav V. Hippocampus in health and disease: An overview. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2012 Oct;15(4):239.
  19. Choi S, Hong DK, Choi BY, Suh SW. Zinc in the Brain: Friend or Foe? Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 1;21(23):1–24.
  20. Kim GH, Kim JE, Rhie SJ, Yoon S. The Role of Oxidative Stress in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Exp Neurobiol. 2015;24(4):325.
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