Is Zinc Salts compatible with breastfeeding? Do we have alternatives for Zinc Salts?

Zinc Salts

October 9, 2016 (Very Low Risk)

Zinc (Zn) is an essential element for nutrition. It is present in many foods.
Recommended daily allowance of Zn is 8 to 15 mg. (Moran Hall 2010). Millions of people worldwide are Zn-deficient.
It is used as a treatment for Wilson's disease and Acrodermatitis Enteropathica.

Zn is involved in the regulation process of lactation (Lee 2016).
Pasteurization of the milk does not affect the concentration of Zn and other trace elements (Mohd Taufek-2016).

The average concentration of Zn in breastmilk is 4 to 16 mg / L (Picciano 1976, Hannan 2005, Dórea 2012) which is independent of plasma levels and maternal daily intake (Krebs 1995, Chierici 1999, Hannan 2009).
Intestinal absorption of zinc is almost doubled during pregnancy and lactation (Fung 1997).
Zinc levels in the infant are dependent on Zinc levels in the breast milk (Dumrongwongsiri 2015)
With a varied and balanced diet, an extra intake of minerals is not needed. Excessive intake of Zinc may cause gastrointestinal problems and Pancytopenia (Irving 2003).


We do not have alternatives for Zinc Salts since it is relatively safe.

Very Low Risk

Compatible. Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Low Risk

Moderately safe. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use a safer alternative. Read the Comment.

Very High Risk

Not recommended. Cessation of breastfeeding or alternative.


  • Zinc Acetate
  • Zinc Chloride
  • Zinc citrate
  • Zinc Gluconate
  • Zinc Lactate
  • Zinc Sulfate


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  2. Mohd-Taufek N, Cartwright D, Davies M, Hewavitharana AK, Koorts P, McConachy H, Shaw PN, Sumner R, Whitfield K. The effect of pasteurization on trace elements in donor breast milk. J Perinatol. 2016Abstract
  3. Gibson RS, King JC, Lowe N. A Review of Dietary Zinc Recommendations. Food Nutr Bull. 2016Abstract
  4. Abe SK, Balogun OO, Ota E, Takahashi K, Mori R. Supplementation with multiple micronutrients for breastfeeding women for improving outcomes for the mother and baby. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016Abstract
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  8. Dórea JG. Zinc and copper concentrations in breastmilk. Indian Pediatr. 2012Abstract
  9. Izumi Y. Can mothers with Wilson's disease give her breast milk to their infant? Teikyo Med J. 2012;35:17-24. 2012 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Ejezie F, Nwagha U. Zinc Concentration during Pregnancy and Lactation in Enugu, South-East Nigeria. Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2011Abstract
  11. Hall Moran V, Lowe N, Crossland N, Berti C, Cetin I, Hermoso M, Koletzko B, Dykes F. Nutritional requirements during lactation. Towards European alignment of reference values: the EURRECA network. Matern Child Nutr. 2010Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Hannan MA, Faraji B, Tanguma J, Longoria N, Rodriguez RC. Maternal milk concentration of zinc, iron, selenium, and iodine and its relationship to dietary intakes. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2009Abstract
  13. Hannan MA, Dogadkin NN, Ashur IA, Markus WM. Copper, selenium, and zinc concentrations in human milk during the first three weeks of lactation. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2005Abstract
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  20. Picciano MF, Guthrie HA. Copper, iron, and zinc contents of mature human milk. Am J Clin Nutr. 1976Abstract