Zinc is an essential trace element necessary for the functioning of approximately 100 different enzymes in the body. It plays a vital role in many biological processes, such as the maintenance of protein structures, the regulation of gene expression and the metabolism of hormones. Zinc is abundant in red meats, certain seafood and whole grains 1.
Zinc is regarded as relatively safe and generally well tolerated when taken as a supplement at recommended amounts. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of 15 mg zinc for adults and children 4 or more years of age (21CFR101.9). RDIs are a set of dietary references for essential vitamins and minerals that are considered amounts sufficient to meet the daily requirements of healthy individuals. RDIs serve as the basis for calculating the percent daily value (%DV) amounts found on dietary supplement and food labels.
Zinc gluconate is a form of chelated zinc in which a zinc ion is bound to gluconic acid. It is used as a source of the essential mineral zinc in dietary supplements, and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA (21 CFR 182.8988).