By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

A player of ubiquitous biological roles in the mind and body.

Zinc modulates brain excitability and plays an important role in Neuroplasticity. Zinc is found in virtually every tissue in the body and plays a role in up to 300 different types of chemical reactions in the body.

Scientific Research
Empowering Neuroplasticity
Zinc Deficiency
Stressed out?
Food Sources
Testosterone Promoter
Recommended Daily
Side Effects
Zinc Videos

This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Zinc and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.

 Scientific Research

It's one of the most studied nutrients on the planet, on Pubmed you can find over 43,000 scientific articles of human research and over 2000 clinical trials. That's an impressive body of research!

 Empowering Neuroplasticity

A 2009 University of Calgary study, published in Brain research reviews stated:

...evidence gathered from electrophysiological, behavioural, and anatomical experiments are utilized to argue for a role of zinc in cortical plasticity.

This means that Zinc is an essential driver of Neuroplasticity in our minds. Neuroplasticity is the scientific term that covers virtually all domains of personal development:

  • Learn new career skill sets.
  • Playing a musical instrument.
  • Changing behavioral patterns in your interpersonal relationships.
  • Learning a new language.
  • Recovery from brain damage.

Cognitive Enhancer

A 2007 paper, published in The Journal of international medical researchThe influence of micronutrients on cognitive function and performance stated:

The searches confirmed that the water-soluble vitamins (B group and C), together with the minerals, calcium, magnesium and zinc, are most relevant to cognitive performance.

For Immunity

Zinc is hands down one of the best, if not the best, immune-hacking supplements. If you read the medical literature, this is one modality that has been shown to work over and over again. (p.630)

 Zinc Deficiency

According to a 2007 University of Colorado paper, Zinc deficiency is a global problem, even in developed countries, and results in anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, hyperactivity, irritability, schizophrenia, autism, and low libido. The deficiency also manifests itself physically as stunted growth in children, diarrhea, hair loss, and dry skin. Vegetarians are at the highest risk for Zinc deficiency but it's also a problem for alcoholics and women on birth control.

A Swiss paper called Zinc "the brain's dark horse" and went on to say about it:

Thus, zinc homeostasis is integral to normal central nervous system functioning, and in fact its role may be underappreciated.

The paper went on to describe how Zinc plays a critical part in the chemical-electrical signal being sent from one part of the body to another.

 Stressed out?

Zinc minimizes oxidative stress that causes you to age prematurely and feel overwhelmed. Jonathan and Woody discuss Zinc and other stress-busting nutrients in Podcast #13 Life Hacking Stress.


Microzinc by NootropicsDepot.comZinc supplementation is a great idea for anybody whose profession places high cognitive performance demands on them; accountants, bankers, surgeons, day traders, programmers, executives, or professionals who just need to remember a lot of mission-critical data.


Feeling under the weather? Here's why Zinc Lozenges are a great idea...

While zinc itself is essential for immune function, zinc lozenges, which are best if you’re trying to stave off or shorten a cold, appear to work through a different mechanism entirely. When you pop a zinc lozenge into your mouth, it begins to release ionic zinc, which is the key to its antiviral activity. Dissolving a lozenge slowly in the mouth provides a steady release of free ions into the pharyngeal region in the nasal cavity, which can have a greater effect on reducing respiratory and nasal symptoms associated with sickness than taking a zinc capsule or tablet. In fact, studies have shown that zinc lozenges can decrease the duration of a cold by five to seven days (if you think about how long a cold usually lasts, that’s almost getting rid of the cold!). (p.631)

Downloadable Zinc?

You may be interested in taking it as an infoceutical - a non-pharmacological, side-effect-free version of the supplement that takes advantage of the phenomenon of water memory - which is imprinted on water via quantum collocation and electromagnetism using this device...

Infocueticals typically have 1/3 or half the effect of the actual medicine being imprinted. If you're skeptical of Infopathy that's understandable, it's a game-changing application of a little-known scientific phenomenon. But I'd urge you to evaluate the scientific evidence (presented in my biohacker review) that downloadable medicine is no longer science fiction...

Boundless bookConfused as to which form is best?

Ben Greenfield clarifies in Boundless...

 Zinc picolinate, a more bioavailable form of zinc, is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-system-boosting mineral that also helps improve memory, mood, and neuronal growth. (p.170)

To make things easy, when trying to choose the better-absorbed forms of most vitamins and nutrients if you don't have the time to really do your research, anything ending in -ate is a good bet. Picolinate, glycinate, chelate - you get the idea.

 Food Sources

Zinc is synonymous with a high-protein diet; especially red meats and seafood, some great sources include salmon, lamb, eggs, and beef. As such vegetarians and vegans should supplement or at least eat a bunch of pumpkin seeds!


A 6 week, double-blind Tehran University study of 44 children demonstrated Zinc as statistically effective in treating ADHD. To quote the study:

This double-blind, placebo-controlled study demonstrated that zinc as a supplementary medication might be beneficial in the treatment of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

 Testosterone Promoter


Zinc is a major component of maintaining healthy testosterone for men. A 2006 Turkish study of wrestlers demonstrated that oral Zinc supplementation was beneficial. This drastically affects many dimensions of the male experience:

  • Physical performance and energy
  • Building muscle and strength
  • Ambition and productivity
  • Sex drive
  • Stress management


More good news, it's also a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and is particularly good at detoxifying the brain from heavy metals like iron. A Saudi Arabian study demonstrated an anti-aging effect of Zinc wherein the nutrient played a beneficial role in diminishing cumulative oxidative changes.


  • It's a particularly good idea to take Zinc with water-soluble B Vitamins.
  • A report on Longecity.org about Zinc+Lysine: "I'm quite surprised with the noticeable effects on cognition... Really gives me a calm and sharp boost throughout the day for some reason."
  • It's a good idea to take a copper supplement to balance Zinc supplementation if you don't eat liver regularly.

 Recommended Daily

15 Milligrams. WebMD.com does not advise more than 40 Milligrams per day.

 Side Effects

More than 40 Milligrams can result in fever, coughing, stomach ache, and fatigue.

Conflicts: Not recommended with certain antibiotics (Quinolone & Tetracycline)




Zinc as a Nootropic: Benefits, Sources, Dosage, Side effects and Supplements

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