Q. Some years ago, I read about the benefits of zinc in reducing the frequency of respiratory tract infections. I have been taking 100 mg of the mineral daily ever since, along with 1,000 mg vitamin C.
I used to get frequent, severe and long-lasting colds. Since I began taking the zinc and C combo, I’ve had fewer and milder colds.
I read recently about people experiencing zinc toxicity from denture creams. Am I asking for trouble?
A. It is possible to develop copper deficiency as a reaction to taking in zinc at a level of 100 to 300 mg per day over a long period of time (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Feb., 1990). You may be flirting with copper deficiency. Have your blood tested and consider cutting back to under 50 mg of zinc daily. The recommended dietary allowance of zinc for an adult man like you is 11 mg per day.