The human body needs certain micronutrients and macronutrients for optimal performance. Zinc is one such nourishing supplement that has antioxidant properties, aids with the absorption of vitamin A, and promotes healthy hormones and body tissue. Zinc acetate is a supplement that prevents a deficiency in zinc, and is used to treat Wilson's disease and other conditions. It is also called zinc salt dihydrate and zinc diacetate.
Zinc acetate must be taken with water, however; if it is also taken with food, it may reduce the likelihood of an upset stomach. Foods or drinks that are high in phosphorus or calcium work against zinc acetate. They actually prevent zinc from absorbing into the body; so, taking it with a glass of milk would render the supplement useless. Other alarming side effects include allergic reactions, problems breathing, ulcers, faintness, chest pains, and fatigue. It is important to consult a medical doctor for any of these severe side effects.
There is new research that supports the fact that zinc acetate will cause harm to a fetus. Consequently, women who are pregnant should either avoid taking it or discuss the side effects with a medical doctor. In addition, because it is secreted through breast milk, women are warned against breastfeeding a baby while taking it because of the potential harm that it can cause an infant. Also, it will prevent the absorption of antibiotics, so discuss all prescription and over-the-counter medications with a doctor before consuming zinc acetate.
Medical research indicates that zinc acetate lozenges may reduce the duration of the common cold. In one study, the research participants who took the lozenges had cold symptoms for 4.5 days versus 8.1 days, a less severe cough, and less nasal discharge. Although the study seems to show that the lozenges may be helpful, scientists still deem the results to be inconclusive. Future research studies may be more conclusive regarding the effect of the lozenges on the common cold.
One of the main reasons that zinc acetate is used is to treat individuals affected by Wilson's disease. This is a genetic disorder where the copper is not released, but stored, poisoning the body. The excess copper can cause fatally damage the eyes, brain, liver, and other organs. It affects one out of every 40,000 people, and affects women and men equally. Zinc acetate works to stop the absorption of copper into the body and is often used in combination with other prescription drugs.