Lots of people have been taking supplemental zinc to boost their immune systems during the pandemic. It’s possible to get too much:
Signs of too much zinc include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and headaches. When people take too much zinc for a long time, they sometimes have problems such as low copper levels, lower immunity, and low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol).
Reductions in a copper-containing enzyme, a marker of copper status, have been reported with even moderately high zinc intakes of approximately 60 mg/day for up to 10 weeks.
The doses of zinc used in the AREDS [Age-Related Eye Disease Study] study (80 mg per day of zinc in the form of zinc oxide for 6.3 years, on average) have been associated with a significant increase in hospitalizations for genitourinary causes, raising the possibility that chronically high intakes of zinc adversely affect some aspects of urinary physiology .
What is high for you may not be high for someone else. Glancing at the RDA’s, anything over 11 mg/day doesn’t appear necessary and may be harmful – especially if taken repeatedly.