5

votes

Metallic taste in mouth post-zinc: Am I replete or deficient?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 04, 2011 at 4:13 AM

I know there have been other threads in which this has come up, but I've seen some conflicting answers. I've been experimenting with (re)introducing zinc supplementation. I took 30 mg of zinc a couple of hours ago (about an hour or two before dinner) and now have a distinct metallic taste in my mouth. I also noticed this the last time I took this particular brand. I've also taken ZMA in the past and never noticed this (though I might have just slept through it).

Does this mean I'm topped off, or is it a sign that my levels are marginal? And, if I'm topped off, am I in any way risking toxicity by continuing to supplement what seems like a pretty modest dose of zinc?

I think I'm more likely to be replete than deficient (I eat a lot of red meat), but I also lift heavy regularly, which I understand can increase zinc losses.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on February 09, 2012
at 12:07 AM

I was taught using aqueous zinc, so I'm not sure, but I think the results would likely be different.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on February 07, 2012
at 07:54 PM

Can I just add a capsule of zinc picolinate to distilled water and do this test or do I have to buy a special water suspension?

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 11, 2011
at 07:33 AM

@Jay: Serum zinc is basically useless. If its low it can well be that you have a storage problem and high tissue levels, if its high the opposite can be the case... that being said, the "taste test" certainly is not more reliable :) only in March 2011 an article in a German medical journal (Classen HG, Gröber U, Loew D, Schmidt J, Stracke H. Zink-Mangel: Symptome, Ursachen, Diagnose und Therapie: MMP 2011; 3: 87-95.) mentions that with the execption of full-blown deficiency serum zinc tests are of little diagnostic value

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 06, 2011
at 12:06 AM

I question the reliability of the zinc taste test. There is only one study confirming some association with serum zinc, which isn't a great measure of zinc status anyway.

B4dc3806d38a2de3f6809f3452290d4a

on December 04, 2011
at 05:22 PM

zinc gluconate, and i took it with 2 mg copper. that is interesting about the zma having no taste (though zinc gluconate sounds like it might also be chelated).

164ed7cd8d84c926bc66f366619bf853

(495)

on December 04, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Yep... this one!

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6 Answers

7
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on December 04, 2011
at 05:21 AM

I do a zinc taste test to discover if a client is sufficient in zinc...they swish aqueous zinc for thirty seconds, and if it tastes disgusting, they don't need zinc, if there is no taste, or barely a taste, they are deficient. Doing this test periodically during supplementation will let us know when the person becomes sufficient in zinc.

164ed7cd8d84c926bc66f366619bf853

(495)

on December 04, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Yep... this one!

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on December 06, 2011
at 12:06 AM

I question the reliability of the zinc taste test. There is only one study confirming some association with serum zinc, which isn't a great measure of zinc status anyway.

0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 11, 2011
at 07:33 AM

@Jay: Serum zinc is basically useless. If its low it can well be that you have a storage problem and high tissue levels, if its high the opposite can be the case... that being said, the "taste test" certainly is not more reliable :) only in March 2011 an article in a German medical journal (Classen HG, Gröber U, Loew D, Schmidt J, Stracke H. Zink-Mangel: Symptome, Ursachen, Diagnose und Therapie: MMP 2011; 3: 87-95.) mentions that with the execption of full-blown deficiency serum zinc tests are of little diagnostic value

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on February 07, 2012
at 07:54 PM

Can I just add a capsule of zinc picolinate to distilled water and do this test or do I have to buy a special water suspension?

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on February 09, 2012
at 12:07 AM

I was taught using aqueous zinc, so I'm not sure, but I think the results would likely be different.

2
17a97e09a1b23bc733ae22880a961b59

on February 07, 2012
at 07:52 PM

While serum zinc may be of little use in determining if you are replete, if the level is too far one way or the other from 110 then you have a good reason to start digging further. I appear to have caused a major copper depletion issue for myself just by taking zinc 30mg/day.

2
0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 04, 2011
at 11:24 AM

what form of zinc is it you are taking? The taste test won't work with the Zinc in ZMA, which - bound to aspartate (if original ZMA) - has no taste at all... and YES you can (I suppose a lot of people actually do) create profound copper / iron imbalances by taking too much zinc chronically.

Cell Biochem Funct. 2009 Apr;27(3):162-6. Effect of zinc supplementation on the antioxidant, copper, and iron status of physically active adolescents. de Oliveira Kde J, Donangelo CM, de Oliveira AV Jr, da Silveira CL, Koury JC. Source

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Qu??mica, Departamento de Bioqu??mica, Brazil. Abstract

Puberty associated with intense physical activity results in oxidation stress. Zinc supplementation may benefit antioxidant capacity although it may also affect iron and copper status. This study evaluated the effect of zinc supplementation on antioxidant, zinc and copper status of physically active male football players (13 years +/- 0.4 years), divided in two groups and studied during 12 weeks: Zn-supplemented (Zn-SUP, 22 mg Zn d(-1) as zinc gluconate, n = 21) and placebo (PLA, n = 26). At baseline, there was no significant difference in biochemical indices between the two groups. After treatment, plasma zinc and erythrocyte iron increased in both groups (p < 0.001); urinary zinc increased (p < 0.001) only in Zn-SUP, and erythrocyte zinc decreased (p = 0.002) only in PLA. Plasma iron and copper decreased (p = 0.01 and p = 0.015, respectively) only in Zn-SUP. Plasma ferric-reducing ability and plasma conjugated dienes increased, and erythrocyte osmotic fragility decrease in both groups, although the latter two were significantly lower in Zn-SUP compared to PLA (p < 0.01). In conclusion, our study indicates that the use of 22 mg d(-1) of supplemental zinc during 12 week in adolescent athletes did not affect growth, improved markers of antioxidant status but reduced plasma iron and copper. Therefore, it appears that the use of zinc supplementation by healthy adolescent athletes benefits their antioxidant capacity but impairs copper and iron nutritional status.

2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

B4dc3806d38a2de3f6809f3452290d4a

on December 04, 2011
at 05:22 PM

zinc gluconate, and i took it with 2 mg copper. that is interesting about the zma having no taste (though zinc gluconate sounds like it might also be chelated).

0
A6b7afacdb512b861716bca9e9226ad3

(333)

on August 12, 2013
at 08:28 PM

50 mg was pretty high, IMO. I know this was a long time ago, but I hope you're feeling better. Do you get copper from your diet? Beans, beer, shrimp, etc.?

0
3fa1f4163f75a7f8a7618e00ba2fcc1e

(5)

on April 24, 2012
at 11:33 PM

I also experience something similar, I've had a metallic taste in my mouth for the past 3 days and I think it might be due to zinc supplementation; I've been taking 50mg everyday for the past week. I'll stop tomorrow and see if it gets better.

Still, I'm wondering, do you think it is due to excess zinc or to copper deficiency, since zinc apprently competes with copper?

0
7bad6c4e7d681fab6a4aa4580f442e0c

(707)

on December 04, 2011
at 09:29 PM

This is strangely connected to a recent situation of mine- I was eating dark chocolate a little too often, and I think it was throwing off my copper/zinc balance. My skin was looking awful, I felt tired, my knuckles were red and cracked, and whenever I'd eat the chocolate my teeth would feel sensitive and I had this funny metallic taste in my mouth. I stopped eating chocolate a week and a half ago, and I feel 100% improved and my skin is back to its glowing self...

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