Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays a vital role in cellular metabolism. Research has found numerous health benefits of Zinc, including strengthening the immune system, aiding DNA synthesis and cell division, antioxidant activities, bone maintenance, wound healing, and more.
While Zinc is available in various foods and supplemental forms, some forms of Zinc are more easily absorbed by the body. Among the many forms of Zinc available, ionic Zinc sulphate is relatively speaking, less common. In this article, we’re going to compare the benefits of Ionic Zinc with other Zinc forms.
Ionic Zinc vs Chelated Zinc
Many people are more familiar with chelated forms of Zinc than ionic forms of Zinc. So, what is the difference between ionic Zinc and chelated Zinc?
Chelated Zinc refers to forms of Zinc that have undergone chelation, a process in which Zinc ions are combined with organic molecules, such as an amino acid. Chelation is said to increase the bioavailability of Zinc, but the degree of effectiveness depends on the chelating agent used. Popular forms of chelated Zinc include:
- Chelated Zinc – This form of Zinc has undergone chelation, a process in which organic molecules are electrically charged in order to attract Zinc ions.
- Zinc Orotate – Zinc that has been chelated to orotic acid, the same material as the body’s cellular membranes, which is said to increase absorption efficiency.
- Zinc Picolinate – Zinc that has been chelated to picolinic amino acids. This form has a long history of use as a supplement and has thus been featured in more clinical studies.
- Zinc Gluconate – One of the most popular forms of supplemental Zinc, zinc gluconate is created by fermenting glucose. This form of Zinc has very low bioavailability.
- Zinc Acetate – Considered more absorbable than Zinc gluconate, this form of Zinc is created by adding acetic acid to zinc carbonate or Zinc metal.
Ionic Zinc refers to pure Zinc ions that are water-soluble and non-chelated. Ionic Zinc is already in the charged form that your body utilises in its cells; its bioavailability is not dependent on a chelating agent but your stomach contents, such as digested amino acids from proteins.
Dietary Zinc is also available in non-chelated and inorganic forms. The two most common types of non-chelated Zinc are:
- Zinc Oxide – Most common in topical ointments and sunscreens, Zinc Oxide, is an inorganic compound that is used to address minor skin conditions, such as irritation or burns. It is easily absorbed by the body.
- Ionic Zinc Sulphate – The form of Zinc Sulphate that is water-soluble and non-chelated. The body can easily absorb and metabolise this form of Zinc.
So, which is the better form of Zinc?
There are two pathways through which the body can absorb minerals. In higher concentrations, the body obtains minerals through paracellular absorption, such as crossing the epithelium between cells. At lower dietary concentrations, the body relies on trans-cellular absorption to meet its mineral needs, crossing directly through cell membranes.
An important factor in determining mineral absorption is the size of the mineral atom and its electrical charge. With ionic Zinc, the zinc particles meet the size and electrical charge requirements to be absorbed.
Organic agents in chelated Zinc can increase bioavailability for paracellular absorption, but ionic Zinc may be more bioavailable to the body via both paracellular absorption plus transcellular absorption. In a liquid base, such as reverse-osmosis water, ionised Zinc particles are readily absorbable by cells in animals and plants.
While the chelated Zinc contains organic compounds which need to be broken down before the supplemental Zinc can become ionised, ionic Zinc is already in its digested form. As long as you have food digesting in your stomach (it's best to take it in a glass of juice - don't take on an empty stomach), the ionic Zinc is readily bioavailable.
Ionic Zinc sulphate benefits
Zinc sulphate is on the World Health Organisation’s List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system. Ionic Zinc’s electrical charge may give it an antiviral effect by attaching to receptors in nasal epithelial cells and blocking their effects.
According to a 2020 study on Zinc sulphate and Covid-19, researchers have provided ‘the first invivo evidence on the efficacy of zinc sulphate in addition to hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients.’ The findings suggest that Zinc sulphate when combined with a Zinc ionophore, may have a protective effect if used early on in cases of Covid-19.
Ultra Concentrated Ionic Zinc
At Nature Provides, our Nutritionist and CEO, Rachel Aceso has developed a high-strength, ultra concentrated and highly bioavailable formula of ionic Zinc in liquid form. Our product contains only Ionised Zinc sulphate and reverse osmosis water – no preservatives, no colourings, no flavourings, no sweeteners.
Nature Provides ionic Zinc is manufactured in the UK and bottled in Miron glass for maximum UV protection; naturally prolonging the life of this essential mineral.
Ionic Zinc by Nature Provides is a concentrated formula that should be diluted before taking. For optimal absorption it is best taken in the evening and close to a meal. It will work best if taken with food or drinks that do not hinder Zinc absorption such as foods rich in copper for example.
Order your ionic Zinc by Nature Provides and support your immune system.