Monday, June 29, 2009
Optimizing Zinc Supplementation
These are some general rules for giving zinc. Because zinc supplementation can be an ongoing process to get levels up to normal values, here are some strategies that can be implemented:
Give individual zinc supplements (not zinc included in a multi-mineral) between meals twice daily or at bedtime. In some individuals zinc can cause some nausea so taking with a small amount of food can prevent this.
Avoid giving zinc at the same time as phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylserine supplements. Also, do not take supplements with calcium, iron or folate products (folic acid, folinic acid, etc).
Periodically, a child will have a negative reaction to zinc which can manifest as agitation, irritability, sleeping problems, etc. This is uncommon, but can happen. In most cases the reaction is not from the zinc itself, but something in the zinc supplement. Worsening of behavior could be related to low copper levels as zinc and copper oppose one another. Giving additional zinc could lower copper even more. This phenomenon is usually rare as most individuals with autism have high normal or elevated copper levels. If needed, trying a different type of zinc supplement will help sometimes in resolving adverse reactions.