Supplements that require at least “2 hours” between doses can prevent absorption.
Many people rely on supplements as a way to make sure they are getting the right amount of certain vitamins and minerals. Deficiency can become severe with long-term consequences. However, when adding them to your diet, there are potential side effects to watch out for.
In some cases, supplements can interact with each other, so it’s worth checking for any problems before taking them.
This applies to zinc and copper supplements, which are recommended by health authorities to be taken two hours apart.
Both are micronutrients, which means that the body only needs a small amount of them.
However, they are still vital to the functioning of the body. Zinc helps in making DNA, cell growth, and supporting the immune system.
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This is especially important during childhood, adolescence and during pregnancy as it helps cells grow and multiply.
Copper, on the other hand, helps the body produce energy and break down and absorb iron.
It also builds red blood cells and connective tissue and supports brain development.
Most people can get enough zinc and copper from food. However, some may require supplements due to absorption issues.
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In this case, it is recommended to take these supplements separately.
The Mayo Clinic says, “Don’t take zinc supplements and copper, iron, or phosphorus supplements at the same time.
“It’s best to split the doses of these products over two hours to get the most benefit from each nutritional supplement.”
This is confirmed by the health and wellness experts The Healthy. It states: “You can turn to the mineral for help in preventing or shortening the duration of a cold, but you should be aware that zinc interferes with the absorption of copper.
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“Some people need to take copper because of conditions that cause copper deficiency.
“If you must take copper and also take zinc, space them out by at least two hours,” says Dr. Cooperman.
“High doses of zinc taken over the long term (50 mg or more per day for 10 weeks or longer) can also cause copper deficiency.”
The Harvard School of Public Health also warns against taking too much zinc. “Excess zinc can interfere with the absorption of iron and copper,” it says.
“High doses can also cause nausea and even vomiting.
“Therefore, it is important not to take zinc supplements unless the diet is known to be low in zinc-containing foods or a zinc deficiency is confirmed.”
Copper deficiency symptoms include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Weak and brittle bones
- Memory and learning problems
- Difficulty walking
- Sensitivity to cold
- Pale skin
- Loss of vision.
Signs of a zinc deficiency include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Wounds that won’t heal
- Lack of vigilance
- Decreased sense of smell and taste
- Loss of appetite
- Open sores on the skin.
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