Which zinc picolinate is best?

Zinc is an eternally popular nutritional supplement, loved for its immune-boosting and enzyme-enhancing properties. Zinc picolinate, a form of zinc easily absorbed by the body, is becoming more and more popular. Zinc is a trace mineral, naturally found in meat, seeds, nuts and grains, and most people with a balanced diet get enough of it. But many people lack that nutritionally balanced diet, and zinc picolinate supplements are perfect for them. 

A top zinc picolinate supplement is the Thorne Research 15 Milligram Zinc Picolinate, a low-dose, high-quality zinc picolinate supplement from a trusted brand. 

What to know before you buy zinc picolinate

Zinc vs. zinc picolinate

Zinc picolinate differs from traditional zinc supplements primarily in how the body absorbs it. Zinc’s absorption process is long and complicated, passing through the digestive system before it’s absorbed by the bloodstream. Zinc picolinate is an acid form that speeds up this process, making for more streamlined and efficient mineral absorption. 

Benefits of zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral, and has a number of potential health benefits, particularly in zinc picolinate form. It can help improve the texture and quality of skin and hair, and the National Institutes of Health say it prevents inflammation and acts as an antioxidant. But its most common use outside of mineral deficiency is as an immune booster. Users take it alongside other supplements and vitamins during cold and flu season, and many swear it prevents all kinds of seasonal illnesses. Evidence is slim, but a regular dose of zinc has few side effects.

Zinc deficiency

This is a common mineral deficiency, most often seen in children, the elderly and those suffering from chronic immune conditions. It’s most commonly caused by malnutrition, but can have various other causes as well. 

What to look for in quality zinc picolinate


Zinc usually comes in either capsule or tablet form. Tablets are typically higher in concentration, and may be lower in price as they are cheaper to produce. Tablets are also more likely to be vegetarian, as no gelatin is involved. Capsules are easier to swallow and don’t have a strong flavor like tablets often do, though they are often made with gelatin, making them unsuitable for vegetarians. Both contain binders and other additives.


The recommended daily dose of zinc is quite low, and many high-dose options have possible side effects or can even be dangerous if taken in excess or over a long period of time. It’s best to stick to lower-dose zinc picolinate supplements, ideally no higher than 15 or 20 milligrams at most. For children, the recommended intake is even lower. Recommended zinc intake varies based on biological state, diet, health and many other factors. It’s not an exact number, and can differ from person to person.

How much you can expect to spend on zinc picolinate

Zinc picolinate is not expensive, and will generally cost between 8-15 cents per capsule, depending on the concentration, purity and source. 

Zinc picolinate FAQ

Is zinc picolinate safe?

A. Yes, as long as it’s taken properly. The recommended daily dose for adults of zinc usually doesn’t exceed 11 milligrams a day. Higher doses are usually meant for those with a mineral absorption issue, and aren’t helpful with immune boosting or treating other conditions. Too much zinc can cause copper deficiency when taken over a long period of time at high doses as it interferes with the body’s ability to absorb copper. 

Rarely, zinc can interact with medications such as antibiotics, blood pressure medication and arthritis drugs. It’s best to check with a medical professional before adding a new supplement to your diet or regimen, particularly at a high dose. 

Does zinc prevent colds?

A. There’s no definitive evidence that anything can prevent the common cold, but having proper zinc levels helps the immune system function properly. There is some evidence that use of zinc helps shorten the length of cold symptoms, and having low levels of zinc can be problematic for the immune system. 

What’s the best zinc picolinate to buy?

Top zinc picolinate

Thorne Research 15mg Zinc Picolinate

Thorne Research 15 Milligram Zinc Picolinate

What you need to know: Thorne supplements are highly trusted, and their zinc picolinate is no exception. Even at a low dose, it’s easily absorbed by the body.

What you’ll love: This is one of the only supplements that contains a safely low level of zinc for those without mineral deficiencies. 

What you should consider: Like most Thorne supplements, it’s expensive, particularly for a typically affordable supplement. 

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb

Top zinc picolinate for the money

NOW Foods 50mg Zinc Picolinate

Now Foods 50 Milligram Zinc Picolinate

What you need to know: This is a highly affordable high-dose zinc picolinate supplement perfect for cold and flu season.

What you’ll love: It comes in large bottles at high doses. 

What you should consider: A dose of zinc picolinate this high can be problematic. Zinc products at this potency are intended for use by people with mineral deficiencies. 

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb

Worth checking out

Country Life 25 mg Zinc Picolinate

Country Life 25 Milligram Zinc Picolinate

What you need to know: Free of not only common allergens but also grains, this zinc picolinate supplement is also certified kosher and halal. 

What you’ll love: It has fewer additives than many other brands, and lacks many allergens. 

What you should consider: It’s sold in tablet form, and even though they’re coated, tablets can have more of a flavor than capsules. 

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.