• If you have stomach discomfort (ulcers, H. pylori infection, or gastritis and can only afford one supplement, I would recommend zinc carnosine. It is one of the best supplements for stomach issues.
  • Zinc is a trace mineral that can decrease wound healing time, is important for maintaining the integrity of the immune system, and much more.
  • Zinc is used by the body for testosterone production.
  • Carnosine is both an amino acid and antioxidant.
  • Carnosine is believed to protect organs from oxidative stress and advanced glycation end product damage (diabetic neuropathy).
  • Rarely, high doses of zinc carnosine over a long period may cause zinc toxicity and lowered immune system functioning.
  • My top two recommended brands of zinc carnosine are Peptic-Care ZC and Doctor’s Best PepZin GI.

Quite a few people ask me if they could only afford one supplement to help with stomach discomfort (ulcers,1 H. pylori infection,2 or gastritis3) what supplement would I suggest them to use for their troubles? If I had to choose one digestive supplement that could handle those multiple stomach issues and more it would be zinc carnosine. It is one of the best supplements for stomach issues. Zinc carnosine is the chelation of the mineral zinc and the amino acid carnosine.4


Zinc is an important trace mineral that can decrease wound healing time5 and is important for maintaining the integrity of the immune system.6 Zinc is used by the immune system to help develop and maintain function of neutrophils, macrophages, killer cells, and B / T cells.7 Zinc is also a crucial component in the production of the antioxidant enzyme CuZnSOD. 8 Copper and zinc combine with the superoxide dismutase enzyme to produce CuZnSOD. CuZnSOD is a chelated enzyme that has both strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities.9 Zinc in studies has also been known to shorten the duration of childhood diarrhea infections. The mechanism of action of shortening diarrhea infections is that the zinc increases immune system functioning and facilitates toxin elimination.10

Finally, zinc is used in the body in the production of testosterone (limits the amount of DHEA in males that becomes estrogen),11 growth hormones, and insulin-like growth factor-1.12 Zinc is very important for males to supplement in their daily lives. If you do not have stomach issues I would recommend taking fifteen mg of Now L-Optizinc daily, to ensure proper testosterone production.

Different Forms of Zinc

Recommended Forms of Zinc

Zinc L-monomethionine

Zinc L-monomethionine is the form of zinc that I recommend the most (yes, even more than zinc glycinate). Zinc L-monomethionine is a highly absorbed form of zinc with multiple benefits. Zinc L-monomethionine is highly absorbed because it is bounded with the l isomer of methionine. Methionine is an essential amino acid, which means your body cannot produce this amino acid, and it must be supplemented through the diet. Methionine has two isomers (an isomer are molecules with the same molecular formula, but different chemical structures) D and L. The D isomer is synthetic and is created during supplement production. The L isomer is natural and is what the body recognizes as methionine. Therefore, the L isomer has a higher absorption. The extra methionine provided by the zinc supplement is used in the body to make cysteine, carnitine, taurine, lecithin, SAM-e, and phosphatidylcholine.

Methionine, when converted into SAM-e eventually degrades into a byproduct known as homocysteine (excess homocysteine has been linked to being a possible factor in developing heart disease). Homocysteine then is immediately inactivated and turned into either the amino acid cysteine or methionine in the body before any damage can be done as long as adequate B12 and glycine are provided. Methionine is beneficial to the body in supplemental form as long as you take a good B vitamin complex or take a supplement that contains the amino acid glycine. I recommend the Optizinc brand of L-methionine supplements.

Zinc Glycinate

Zinc glycinate is a zinc supplement that is chelated with the amino acid glycine. Glycine reduces anxiety in the body and promotes a feeling of well-being. Check your supplement to see if your glycinate chelate in your supplement is made from the TRAACS Albion process of manufacturing chelates (the supplement should have the TRAACS or Albion logo). Choose a glycinate product that uses TRAACS so you can get the best quality glycinate available.

Zinc Monomethionine

Zinc monomethionine is the brother of Zinc L-methionine and also has great absorption. Zinc monomethionine is not absorbed as well in the human body compared to L-methionine because it contains both of the D and L isomers. When using this supplement a B vitamin complex supplement or glycine supplement may be needed as well to help with absorption and monomethionine regulation. I recommend the Optizinc brand of monomethionine supplements.

Zinc Picolinate

Zinc picolinate is a zinc supplement that is chelated with picolinic acid. Picolinic acid is a compound that is an isomer of niacin and is a carbolite of the amino acid tryptophan. Zinc picolinate has superior absorption and picolinate absorption is superior to even gluconate chelates.


A great form of zinc that also includes magnesium chelates from all of the Krebs cycle: citrate, fumarate, malate, succinate, and alpha-keto-glutarate. ZMK is great for athletes and is very good for recovery. A ZMK supplement should be taken before bed.

Zinc Gluconate

A form of zinc that is chelated with gluconic acid which occurs from the natural fermentation of glucose. Zinc gluconate has above average absorption in the body. Zinc gluconate is the type of zinc that is found in products like throat lozenges and nasal spray that are used to shorten the duration of the common cold. The zinc gluconate nasal sprays have been linked to permanent loss of the sense of smell in some people and should be avoided.

Zinc Orotate

Like magnesium orotate, zinc orotate is one of the least known forms of supplemental zinc. The extra orotate will help with muscle regeneration and repair. Women should avoid itt if they are or are trying to become pregnant since it may be mutagenic (only found as a possibility in rats in vivo; and rats are biologically different than humans, therefore it might be safe after all.)

Garbage Forms of Zinc

Zinc Citrate

Zinc citrate is zinc chelated with citric acid. Zinc citrate has an average rate of absorption and can increase stomach acid levels. An animal study showed that the citric acid in the zinc citrate supplement can offset some of the absorption problems if the zinc supplement is taken with a meal high in phytic acid. Citrate may interfere with ceruloplasmin production.

Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide has a poor absorption rate in the human body. Zinc oxides poor absorption properties is why it is used as a sunscreen and a skin protectant. I only recommend the use of zinc oxide skin care products, but limit the products made with nano zinc oxide which can be absorbed and nano zinc oxide safety has not been fully studied yet.

Zinc Aspartate

The average absorption of zinc aspartate is not worth the extra aspartic acid. Too much aspartic acid may be neurotoxic. This recommendation includes ZMA supplements.

Zinc Pyrithione

Zinc pyrithione is mainly used in anti-dandruff shampoos. Its mechanism of action for eliminating yeast is that it disrupts the yeast’s membrane transport by blocking the proton pump that energizes the transport chain. Zinc pyrithione can cause irritation and allergies, and its use should be limited.


Carnosine is both an amino acid and antioxidant. Most carnosine in the diet comes from the ingestion of red meat. Carnosine is believed to protect the organs from oxidative stress and advanced glycation end products (AGE’s). 13 AGE’s are produced during the break-down of glucose, fructose, and galactose by the body for assimilation. Excess AGE’s that are produced in the body have been linked to a wide range of diseases from diabetes,14 cardiovascular disease,15 to Alzheimer’s disease16 as well. Sadly, the amount of carnosine in most zinc carnosine supplements is tiny and is broken down easily by the enzyme carnosinase, so the effects of the supplemental carnosine would be minimal.17

Zinc Carnosine

Zinc binds quickly to stomach tissue if taken on an empty stomach. If you take a zinc supplement on an empty stomach, it causes severe stomach pain and gastritis. It has been theorized that zinc ions are highly soluble in stomach acid and have corrosive, antimicrobial, and immune-stimulating properties that irritate the stomach tissue because of the direct absorption of the zinc ions. If you chelate zinc with carnosine, the chelation slows down the absorption and elimination of zinc from the stomach. Zinc is then able to repair the stomach and intestinal tissue directly without irritating it. Zinc carnosine may be taken on an empty stomach as needed. Zinc carnosine also protects the stomach lining from opportunistic H. pylori infection, and NSAIDs damage that cause ulcers that come from long-term use of the medication.18

Supplemental Recommendations and Toxicity

High doses of zinc carnosine over a long period can cause zinc toxicity and lowered immune system functioning. Symptoms of zinc toxicity include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, frequent colds, increased cholesterol levels, and chills.19 If I had to take a maximum dose of zinc carnosine I would take no more than 450 mg of zinc carnosine (100 mg of elemental zinc) a day total for two weeks. Most supplement instructions recommend taking zinc carnosine twice a day for a total of 75 mg of zinc carnosine daily (15 mg of elemental zinc.)

If you supplement with any other type of zinc, I would recommend no more than 60 mg of elemental zinc daily. If you supplement with 60 mg of zinc, I would suggest that as long as you did not suffer from adrenal fatigue that you should supplement with two mg of Pure Encapsulations Copper Glycinate daily. Zinc and copper balance one another in the body and a good supplementation ratio is for every 15 mg of zinc, one mg of copper is needed (15:1 ratio).

Excessive copper buildup and toxicity can make adrenal fatigue symptoms worse, so limit copper intake during zinc supplementation until adrenals have healed. Zinc carnosine is one of my top three favorite digestive health supplements; everyone should keep a bottle in their medicine cabinet so they can take it when needed.

Supplement Recommendations

Recommended zinc carnosine supplement (it is also what I take daily):

Other recommendations:

Recommended form of zinc L-methionine:

Recommended form of zinc glycinate:

Other recommendation:

Recommended form of zinc monomethionine:

Other recommendation:

Recommended form of zinc picolinate:

Recommended form of zinc citrate:

Other recommendations:

Recommended form of zinc gluconate:

Recommended form of zinc orotate:

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The Best Supplements for Stomach Issues