"do I really need to take a supplement as I eat well ?"

Jun 20, 2023

A question we get asked a lot is; "do I really need to take a supplement as I eat well ?"

The simple answer is, in that case no... but are you actually eating the right foods in the right amounts?

There are the 3-key nutrients (vitamin D, C and the trace mineral zinc) that appear to give our bodies a real leg up in fighting infections and reducing our susceptibility to illness. 

One of these nutrients, zinc, is a trace but vital mineral when it comes to a healthy immune reaction.

Despite only needing a small amount daily for health (for adult men around 9.5mg and for women around 7.0mg) can you really say that you are getting this from your diet.. and remember, these intake levels are the basic levels to prevent overt deficiency not support optimal health!

Zinc is available in the diet but not in many foods that we eat every day or at sufficient amounts every day.

Take a look at this list below and ask yourself if you are hitting your dietary targets for zinc;

  • Oysters 1 dozen raw = 78.7mg zinc
  • Sesame seeds 100g = 7.8mg zinc
  • Beef steak 155g = 7.0mg zinc
  • Crab 100mg = 5.5mg zinc
  • All bran 45g = 3.0 mg zinc
  • Chicken breast = 2.9mg zinc
  • Wallnuts 100g = 2.7mg zinc
  • Pork chop = 2.0mg zinc
  • Sardines (tinned) 70g = 2.0mg zinc
  • Brown rice 100g = 1.8mg zinc
  • Chickpeas 155g = 1.5mg zinc
  • Lentils 155g = 1.5mg zinc
  • Cheddar cheese 50g = 1.4mg zinc
  • Wholemeal bread 2 slices = 1.3mg zinc
  • Baked beans 200g = 1.0mg zinc

As you can see, you need to work at getting the 7.00 - 9.5mg needed for basic zinc requirements... so, in the case of zinc we do feel that a supplement might be a wise move but keep it at a sensible level. We suggest 15mg daily from a supplement for general health support increasing to higher levels when recovering from illness or if you appear especially vulnerable to opportunistic bugs.

Zinc should not be used in high doses for prolonged periods of time as there is a risk of developing a copper deficiency and it should not be taken along side immune suppressive drugs without clearing any interactions with your pharmacist or doctor.

A final caution about using zinc involves its interaction with certain antibiotics. We suggest that should you be prescribed antibiotics check its interactions with zinc and stop the supplement over the course. You can safely restant a day or so after the last dose. 

View the range of zinc products here