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Liverwort (Hepatica ssp.)

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Also listed as: Adam's needle
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • A-84, Articulin-F, atomic number 30, Ayurvedic zinc tablet, elemental zinc, Herpigon, Indian tin, jasad bhasma, Labcatal®, MezincT, Orazinc®, pewter, Solvezink®, sodium zinc metasilicate, Virunderim Gel®, Zicam®, zinc acetate, zinc acexamate, zinc aspartate, zinc bacitracin, zinc carbonate, zinc chewing gum, zinc chloride, zinc citrate, zinc dithionite, zinc gluconate, zinc hyaluronate, zinc lozenges, zinc methionate, zinc methionine, zinc methionine sulfate, zinc monomethionine, zinc oxide, zinc oxide dressings (MezincT), zinc oxide oil, zinc picolinate, zinc pythione (ZPT), zinc stearate, zinc sulfate, zinc sulphate, Zincaps, Zincolak®, Zincomed, Zineryt® lotion, zink, Zinklet tablets, ZN, Zn, ZnSO4.
  • Selected combination products: Acexamate®, Aquaphor®, Nel's Cream®, Oxyrich, Zeta N®, Zicam® Nasal Gel, Zineryt®, Zincovit, Zinvit-C250.

Background
  • Zinc is a trace mineral that is needed for many important functions in the body. The human body contains approximately 2-3 grams of zinc, mostly in the skeletal muscles and bones. Zinc is also found in the kidney, pancreas, retina, teeth, hair, skin, liver, blood cells, prostate, and testes.
  • Zinc is available through foods such as beef, pork, shellfish, peanuts, and legumes. Severe zinc deficiency may still be found in developing countries. Deficiency may cause problems with growth, diarrhea, hair loss, and immune function. Although it is rare in developed countries, some cases may be found in elderly and pregnant people. Mild zinc deficiency may be overlooked, since symptoms are not always obvious and may include loss of hair, appetite, weight, and the senses of taste and smell.
  • Zinc has been found to be effective for treating diarrhea, stomach ulcers, and zinc deficiency. There is good evidence to support its use for acne, ADHD, herpes simplex virus, immune function, and sickle cell anemia. Zinc has also been studied for Wilson's disease (excessive copper in the body), although results are mixed. Zinc has gained popularity for preventing the common cold, but research is still unclear.
  • There is still controversy on the role of zinc for many other diseases. Much evidence is conflicting or unclear.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Studies in developing countries found that zinc may reduce the severity and duration of diarrhea in poorly nourished children, especially those with low zinc levels.

A


The healing process of stomach ulcers may be enhanced through treatment with zinc, although more studies are needed to more clearly determine its effects. Most studies report few or no side effects associated with its use.

A


Zinc deficiency is caused by inadequate intake or absorption, increased zinc excretion, or increased bodily need for zinc. Zinc deficiency symptoms include growth and development problems, hair loss, diarrhea, impotence, eye and skin conditions, and loss of appetite. Other symptoms may include weight loss, delayed wound healing, taste changes, and mental slowness. Zinc can be measured in plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and hair.

A


Zinc taken by mouth or applied to the skin seems to be a safe and effective treatment for acne. However, some results are conflicting, and many studies used combination treatments. More research on the effects of zinc alone are needed.

B


Early studies report that zinc may benefit children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Zinc may reduce hyperactive, impulsive, and social problems. Zinc may be more effective for older children with higher body mass index (BMI) scores. Further research is required.

B


Early research has looked at the use of zinc for herpes types 1 or 2. Several studies used combination treatments, so the exact role of zinc is unclear. However, most results suggest that zinc may be a safe and effective alternative treatment for herpes types 1 and 2.

B


Zinc appears to be essential for the immune system, but research on its impact on immune function is limited. Zinc gluconate may benefit immune cells. There are few studies on zinc levels and zinc use in elderly people. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

B


There is good evidence to suggest that zinc may help manage or reduce symptoms of sickle cell anemia. Most of these studies reported increased height, weight, immune system function, and testosterone levels, and decreased numbers of complications following zinc treatment.

B


Early research suggests that zinc treatment may be effective in the management of Wilson's disease. More studies are needed to confirm these early results. Galzin® (zinc acetate) is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug used to block the absorption of copper in people with Wilson's disease. It is meant to be an additional treatment to standard therapy.

B


Most studies have found a lack of positive effect of zinc on macular degeneration. However, some high-quality research has found that zinc may help prevent the disease. Since study results are conflicting, more research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


In early research, supplementation that included zinc in HIV-infected children improved appetite. However, the effects of zinc alone cannot be determined at this time. More studies using zinc alone are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Chewing gum containing zinc or rinsing out the mouth with a solution containing zinc seemed to reduce bad breath in early studies. More research is needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Limited research has found that children with beta-thalassemia who took zinc supplements by mouth for 1-7 years increased in height more than those who did not take zinc. More studies are needed to confirm these findings.

C


Studies suggest a potential role for zinc supplementation in aceruloplasminemia, a blood disorder in which iron builds up in the brain. Further research is required before conclusions may be made.

C


In early research, boils in people treated with zinc did not reappear. More studies are needed to confirm this potential benefit.

C


Studies of zinc sulfate supplements given to burn victims to increase healing rate have found mixed results. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Early research reports that people undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancers had a better outcome after taking zinc than those who did not take zinc. More high-quality research is needed to confirm these findings.

C


Zinc sulfate has been studied for the treatment of canker sores. However, the results are conflicting, and a clear conclusion may not be made at this time.

C


Early studies suggest a lack of effect of zinc supplements for people with celiac disease that did not respond to other treatment. More research is needed in this area.

C


Early research suggests that zinc may have benefits on some side effects of chemotherapy. However, further study is needed before firm conclusions can be made.

C


Early studies indicate that zinc supplementation may enhance recovery in people with closed head injuries. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

C


Early studies indicate that daily supplementation with zinc may be of limited usefulness for improving cognition in adolescent girls and lead-exposed children. Further research may be needed in this area.

C


Early studies report that zinc supplementation in people under 70 may benefit cognitive function. More studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Available studies report conflicting results on the impact of zinc on the common cold. Overall, studies suggest that if taken when symptoms begin, zinc may help treat cold symptoms. Effects are strongest in adults. Zinc gluconate is not recommended for sore throats. Further research is needed to clarify which zinc formulas are effective for reducing symptoms. More studies are needed before a firm conclusion may be drawn.

C


Zinc supplementation lacked effect on the nutritional status of people receiving CAPD in early studies. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

C


Zinc is required for a functional immune system. In non-critically ill people, zinc supplementation has been linked to improved immune function. Further research is required in people with critical illness before conclusions may be made.

C


Early studies suggest that injecting zinc sulfate into lesions in people with leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease caused by a sandfly bite, may help improve symptoms. However, results are mixed, and more research is needed in this area.

C


Zinc supplementation does not seem to benefit lung function in children with cystic fibrosis. Further research is needed to confirm available study results.

C


Shampoo containing 1 percent zinc pyrithione has been shown to reduce dandruff in some people. More high-quality research is needed in this area.

C


In a small study, zinc supplementation lacked an effect on mental function in adults with senile dementia. Larger, more well-designed trials are needed.

C


Diabetic people typically have lower zinc levels when compared with healthy people. According to early high-quality studies, zinc supplementation in type 2 diabetics may improve zinc level and blood sugar control. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Zinc taken by mouth may improve blood sugar control and nerve pain. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Zinc may reduce the incidence of diaper rash and have a preventive effect. More well-designed trials are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


In several studies, zinc supplements seemed to benefit children with Down's syndrome. However, zinc seems to lack an effect on depressed immune systems. Additional research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.

C


Zinc may benefit children with shigellosis, a bacterial infection, as an addition to standard therapy. More well-designed trials are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


There are mixed results on the effects of zinc for treating ear infections. More research is needed in this area.

C


Zinc may help treat symptoms of anorexia in young adults. More research is needed to confirm these results.

C


There are conflicting results on the link between zinc levels and eczema. Early study suggests that zinc may actually increase itching after several weeks of supplementation. Additional information is needed to help clarify these results.

C


Zinc may improve exercise performance in athletes with low serum zinc or zinc deficiencies. Additional evidence is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Gilbert's syndrome may lead to yellow of the skin and is more common in men. Zinc sulfate supplementation was found to have benefits in early research. Further study is needed to confirm these results.

C


Zinc supplementation may affect thyroid hormone profiles in people with goiter. More research is needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Studies looking at the effects of zinc on growth have found conflicting results. More research is needed in this area.

C


A few studies have reported a significant reduction in plaque following treatment with zinc rinses. Early research suggests that zinc citrate may reduce the severity of hardened plaque on the gums. However, more studies are needed to confirm such benefits. More research may help to determine zinc's potential effectiveness for other aspects of dental health.

C


Early studies on the use of zinc in treating hair loss have found conflicting results. Additional information is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Early studies looking at zinc for hepatic encephalopathy have found conflicting results.

C


Zinc may improve blood cholesterol levels in people undergoing treatment for kidney disease. There is some evidence that zinc may improve the ratio of HDL ("good cholesterol") to LDL ("bad cholesterol"), which would be considered a positive effect. More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


People with HIV/AIDS, especially those with low zinc levels, may benefit from zinc supplementation. Early studies found fewer infections, weight gain, and enhanced immune function. However, findings are conflicting. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Early research did not report a benefit of zinc in people with high prolactin levels. Further research is required before conclusions may be drawn.

C


Early research suggests that zinc supplementation may improve thyroid hormone levels in women with reduced thyroid function. More studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Although zinc is frequently thought to have positive effects on incision wound healing, few studies have looked at this use. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Clinical trial results suggest a lack of positive benefit from zinc on the mental and physical development of infants. More studies on zinc therapy alone are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Zinc may decrease incidence of infection, although this may depend on the type of infection. More research is needed in this area.

C


Many studies report benefits of zinc supplements on infertility, although this effect may depend on the cause of infertility. More information is needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn.

C


Studies of zinc supplementation for inflammatory bowel disease have had mixed results. Some research reports positive effects for people with Crohn's disease, while others found a lack of improvement. More research is needed to confirm these results.

C


Early studies show potential improvement in people with kidney dysfunction taking zinc supplements. Zinc supplementation may be suggested only in people with proven zinc deficiency, but for all people with chronic kidney failure, it is questionable. Further research is needed to confirm available study results.

C


Short-term zinc supplementation may increase weight gain and decrease infections, swelling, diarrhea, anorexia, and skin ulcers in children with extreme malnourishment. More research is needed in this area.

C


There are conflicting findings regarding the potential benefit of zinc for healing leg ulcers. All studies, however, reported a lack of or few adverse effects. The healing process of leg ulcers may be enhanced through treatment with zinc, although further studies are needed to determine to which extent zinc may benefit people with leg ulcers.

C


A few studies have examined the use of zinc for leprosy. Studies of zinc taken by mouth have reported positive results, while other research on zinc applied to the skin has reported negative results. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


People with alcoholic liver cirrhosis may be deficient in zinc. Early studies suggest that zinc may benefit these people. Further evidence is needed to confirm these findings.

C


Early studies have shown that zinc in combination with interferon, or interferon and ribavirin, for hepatitis C viral infection lacked significant benefits. Further research may be needed in this area. Recent high-quality evidence suggests that supplementation with polaprezinc may decrease damage to liver cells.

C


Studies suggest that supplementation with zinc may reduce lower respiratory infections in children. Some studies suggest that these effects are apparent only in boys and not girls. Due to conflicting results, further research is needed before a conclusion can be made. Future studies could examine whether adult populations have a similar response.

C


Results are conflicting for the effect of zinc on malaria symptoms. Some high-quality studies suggest a lack of effect of zinc supplementation on the severity of malaria. Other studies suggest that zinc supplementation may reduce the number of stays in the hospital and the death rate. Further research is needed.

C


Zinc has been studied for its effects in malnutrition with mixed results on weight gain. Some research found that zinc supplementation may help prevent diarrhea, pneumonia, and stunting, with conflicting effects on growth.

C


Early research suggests a possible role for zinc supplementation in menstrual cramps. Additional research is needed to confirm these findings.

C


Zinc supplementation may improve mood states in young women. More research is needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Zinc sulfate may help improve symptoms of inflammation in the mouth and throat. Further study is required in this area.

C


Radiation may cause the side effect of inflammation inside the mouth, nose, and throat. Research suggests that zinc may lower the degree of inflammation in people undergoing radiation. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

C


Evidence from available studies found a lack of association between zinc supplementation and the risk of death among children. Additional research is needed in this area.

C


Zinc supplementation may improve muscle cramps in people with liver scarring. Further research is needed to confirm available study results.

C


Zinc sulfate injected into the lesions has been found to benefit people with leishmaniasis. Zinc may decrease the severity of parasite infection and reinfection, but seems to lack effect on initial infection. More research is needed to examine how zinc affects parasite life cycles. Recent high-quality studies have found that zinc and vitamin A may reduce infection rate and duration in children. Due to conflicting results, more research is needed before zinc can be recommended for the treatment of parasites.

C


A combination of spirulina extract plus zinc may be useful for the treatment of arsenic poisoning. More research is needed to confirm the effects of zinc alone.

C


Evidence is lacking to suggest that zinc offers benefits during pregnancy, although there is a possible reduction in labor complications and early deliveries. However, other results suggest a possible benefit of zinc on blood pressure during pregnancy. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Zinc supplementation may improve blood sugar tolerance in people with liver scarring. More research is needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Early studies suggest that zinc supplements taken with antibiotics may be more effective than antibiotics alone in reducing pain, urinary symptoms, quality of life, and pressure in people with long-term prostate inflammation. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

C


There are only a few studies that examined zinc treatment on symptoms of psoriasis. Although some evidence shows a reduction in pain and joint swelling, other studies found a lack of effect. Further research is needed to clarify these results.

C


Evidence suggests a possible role for zinc supplementation as an additional therapy for the treatment of tumor growth in the air passages. Further investigation is needed.

C


Studies on the effects on zinc on upper respiratory tract infections have produced mixed results. More studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Early studies found that zinc supplementation lacked benefit in people with rheumatic disease. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Most trials did not show significant improvements in arthritis symptoms following zinc treatment. More studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.

C


Studies on the effectiveness of zinc in treating ringing of the ears have found conflicting results. Further research is necessary before a conclusion can be made.

C


Several studies have been conducted in men on long-term kidney disease treatment who have sexual disorders. However, the results are conflicting. More studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Early evidence suggests that applying zinc oxide oil to the skin may help manage skin damage in people with urine leakage. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

C


Zinc may help reduce stress in the elderly. More trials are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Results from studies investigating the potential role of zinc in treating taste and smell disorders are conflicting. More research is needed to determine if zinc contributes to the treatment of taste and smell disorders.

C


Results from studies investigating the potential role of zinc in treating taste and smell disorders in people with cancer or kidney disease are mixed. Recent studies showed a lack of benefit of zinc supplementation on taste changes in people undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. Well-designed research is needed in this area.

C


Zinc pyrithione shampoo may be an effective treatment for tinea versicolor. Side effects were not noted in available research. Additional research is needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Zinc hyaluronate may help heal foot ulcers in people with diabetes. More studies are needed before a conclusion may be made.

C


Little research is available on the use of zinc for the treatment of trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) causing inflammation of the vagina. A zinc sulfate douche and the prescription antibiotic metronidazole may help treat people with this condition. However, more research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.

C


Early research suggests that zinc sulfate may be effective for viral warts. More studies are needed to clarify early study results.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Aging (frailty), alcoholism, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic (skin), asthma, birth control, bone diseases, bowel disorders (short bowel syndrome), cleansing (douching), clogged arteries, diabetic eye disease, energy (children), enlarged prostate, eye disorders, human papilloma virus (HPV), Huntington's disease, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels), hypoxia (lack of oxygen), menopause, mental disorders, osteoarthritis, pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation), Parkinson's disease, poisoning (nickel), postpartum depression, schizophrenia, seizures, skin disorders, spleen disorders, toxicity, tuberculosis, wound healing (general wounds).

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to zinc compounds.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Zinc is likely safe when taken by mouth in food, at levels commonly found in foods, or at levels lower than the tolerable upper level (UL). The UL for zinc is 4 milligrams daily for infants up to six months, 5 milligrams daily for infants 7-12 months, 7 milligrams daily for children 1-3 years, 12 milligrams daily for children 4-8years, 23 milligrams daily for children 9-13 years, 34 milligrams daily for children 14-18 years, and 40 milligrams daily for adults 19 and older.
  • Zinc is possibly safe when levels higher than the UL are used under the guidance of a physician.
  • Zinc may cause anorexia, asthma-related symptoms, blood disorders, changes in attention, changes in copper metabolism, changes in iron levels, changes in skin pigmentation, changes in thyroid function, changes in zinc levels, bad or different taste, bloating, changes in cholesterol levels, constipation, decreased zinc absorption, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth or nose, fatigue, feeling of burning or tingling, genital or urinary complications, headache, hormone changes, immune changes, increased risk of cancer, increased risk of lung or breathing disorders or infections, increased zinc in the urine, indigestion, kidney inflammation, liver failure or inflammation, loss of smell, mouth ulcers, nausea, skin symptoms, stomach cramps or bleeding, throat irritation, tingling in the nose, tissue death, and vomiting.
  • Zinc may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in people with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
  • Zinc may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or low blood sugar, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Use cautiously in people with or at risk of blood disorders, cancer, copper deficiency, genital or urinary conditions, heart disease, immune disorders, iron deficiency, kidney disorders, liver disease, lung disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, nervous system disorders, skin disorders, stomach disorders, and thyroid disorders.
  • Use cautiously in people who are taking ACE inhibitors, agents that affect the immune system, agents that promote urination, antibiotics, anticancer agents (cisplatin), bromelain, caffeine, calcium, cholesterol-lowering agents, chromium, citric acid, copper, corticosteroids, dairy foods, deferoxamine, dexrazoxane, disulfuram, EDTA chelation, estrogens and phytoestrogens, ethanol, fiber, folic acid, histamine-2 (H(2) blocker cimetidine (Tagamet®), iron, magnesium, penicillamine, phenytoin, phosphorus, phytic acid, propofol, proton pump inhibitors, sugar and sugar alcohols, tartaric acid, thyroid hormones, valproate, and zidovudine.
  • Avoid in amounts exceeding the UL with a doctor's care. The UL for zinc is 4 milligrams daily for infants up to six months, 5 milligrams daily for infants 7-12 months, 7 milligrams daily for children 1-3 years, 12 milligrams daily for children 4-8 years, 23 milligrams daily for children 9-13 years, 34 milligrams daily for children 14-18 years, and 40 milligrams daily for adults 19 and older.
  • Avoid using Zicam® products applied to the nose. These zinc-containing formulas have been withdrawn from the U.S. market.
  • Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to zinc compounds.
  • Avoid in people who are at risk for hemochromatosis (a metabolic disorder involving iron-containing pigments in the tissues).
  • Avoid using for longer than 6-8 weeks for the common cold.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Zinc is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts generally found in foods (or as part of a multivitamin/multimineral compound) at levels less than the UL in non-allergic women.
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc during pregnancy and breastfeeding is as follows: for pregnant women 19 years old and older, 11 milligrams daily; for pregnant women 14-18 years of age, 13 milligrams daily; for breastfeeding women 19 years of age and older, 12 milligrams daily; and for breastfeeding women 14-18 years of age, 14 milligrams daily.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Zinc may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Zinc may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Zinc may also interact with acetazolamide, agents that affect the immune system, agents that are used for the blood, agents that are used for the liver, agents that are used for mental disorders, agents that are used for osteoporosis, agents that promote urination, agents that treat retrovirus infections (HIV), agents that treat ringing in the ears, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or receptor blockers, anti-acne agents, anti-arthritis agents, antibiotics, anticancer agents, antidiarrheals, antifungal agents, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-malaria agents, anti-parasite agents, anti-seizure agents, antiulcer agents, antivirals, aphrodisiacs, blood pressure-lowering agents, caffeine, calcium salts, carbenoxolone analog (BX24), central nervous system stimulants, cholera vaccine, cholesterol-lowering agents, cognitive agents, cold and flu agents, corticosteroids, deferoxamine (Desferal®), dental agents, dexrazoxane, disulfiram, ethambutol, ethanol (alcohol), exercise performance enhancement agents, eye agents, fertility agents, fluoroquinolones, H2 blockers, hormonal agents, kidney agents, methylphenidate, nervous system agents, niacin, pain relievers, pancreatic enzyme replacements, penicillamine (Cuprimine®), phenytoin, propofol, proton pump inhibitors, sickle cell agents, skin agents, stomach agents, thyroid hormones, tricyclic antidepressants, trientine, vaccines, wound-healing agents, and zidovudine.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Zinc may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
  • Zinc may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
  • Zinc may also interact with anti-arthritis herbs and supplements, antibacterials, anticancer herbs and supplements, antidepressants, antidiarrheals, antifungal herbs and supplements, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, anti-malaria agents, antioxidants, anti-parasite herbs and supplements, anti-seizure herbs and supplements, antiulcer herbs and supplements, antivirals, aphrodisiacs, ascorbic acid, athletic performance enhancers, blood pressure-lowering herbs and supplements, bromelain, caffeine, calcium salts, carotene, cat's claw, chelation therapy, cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, chromium, citric acid, cognitive herbs and supplements, cold and flu herbs and supplements, copper, dental herbs and supplements, ethanol (alcohol), fatty acids, fertility herbs and supplements, folic acid, Hemidesmus indicus, herbs and supplements believed to have estrogenic properties, herbs and supplements that affect the immune system, herbs and supplements that affect the thyroid, herbs and supplements that promote urination, herbs and supplements used for acne, herbs and supplements used for the blood, herbs and supplements used for the eyes, herbs and supplements used for the liver, herbs and supplements used for the lungs, herbs and supplements used for mental disorders, herbs and supplements used for osteoporosis, herbs and supplements used for retrovirus infections, herbs and supplements used for ringing in the ears, herbs and supplements used for the skin, hormonal herbs and supplements, IP-6 (phytic acid), iron salts, magnesium, manganese, mushroom extracts, nervous system herbs and supplements, niacin, nicotinamide, pain relievers, pancreatic enzyme replacements, phosphorous, resveratrol, riboflavin, selenium, sickle cell herbs and supplements, stimulants, stomach herbs and supplements, sugar alcohols, tartaric acid, vitamin A, vitamin D, and wound-healing herbs and supplements.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
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Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


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