ConsumerLab finds contamination, low dosage in zinc tablets

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Immune system

Zinc supplements are the latest target by testing body ConsumerLab, which found that many of these did not contain significant dosages to help with the common cold.

The group’s new report - Product Review of Zinc Supplements (Including Pills, Liquids, Lozenges and Vision Formulas) – ​also found one supplement product to be contaminated with lead.

“Our report on zinc supplements will help guide consumers to products that are properly made and deliver the correct dosage for specific uses,”​ said Tod Cooperman, MD, president of

Contamination found that most general use zinc supplements met quality standards, but one was contaminated with lead.

The contaminated product – Ultimate Nutrition Zinc – was found to contain 1.98mcg of lead per daily serving.


When it came to dosage, Copperman did note that all products contained the levels of zinc that they claimed to contain on their labels.

However, only one out of four marketed zinc lozenges tested by ConsumerLab, was found to provide the dosage proven to help reduce the duration and symptoms of a cold.

These levels are between 13 to 23 mg of zinc taken every two hours during the day, indicated Cooperman.

Two products tested contained only 5mg of zinc and a third suggested using only one to two lozenges per day.


Zinc is one of the most plentiful trace elements in the body – second only to iron – and mediates many physiological functions.

It is believed to be essential for maintaining a healthy immune system; recent science suggests the mineral could also influence memory, muscle strength and endurance in adults. Zinc nutrition in very young children has been related to motor, cognitive and psychosocial function.

Studies published in the past year have found that zinc may also help children with acute diarrhea. Other potential benefits include supporting prostate health, boosting cancer patient survival, and protective benefits against malaria.

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