The key difference between zinc citrate and zinc gluconate is that the parent compound of zinc citrate is citric acid whereas the parent compound of zinc gluconate is gluconic acid.
Zinc citrate and zinc gluconate are two forms of dietary supplements that we use to prevent zinc deficiency. Zinc is an essential mineral that our body can easily absorb. Therefore, if we do not get enough amount of zinc, we may have to take these dietary supplements as directed by the doctor. Let us go into more details on these compounds.
What is Zinc Citrate?
Zinc citrate is the zinc salt of citric acid. The chemical formula of this compound is C12H10O14Zn3. Its molar mass is 574.3 g/mol. Therefore, this compound contains three zinc cations (Zn+2) associated with two citrate ions. This compound is well-known as a dietary supplement that is useful in preventing zinc deficiency. Typically, we take this orally as a capsule or as a tablet.
However, due to the presence of zinc, this may have a metallic taste. It is a side effect of the treatment. However, taking a small amount of beverage after taking the tablet can avoid this unusual taste. Moreover, this treatment may irritate the digestive tract, resulting in an upset stomach. Another important side effect is, we may get flu-like symptoms including fever, sore throat, chills, etc.
What is Zinc Gluconate?
Zinc gluconate is the zinc salt of gluconic acid. The chemical formula of this compound is C12H22O14Zn. It has the molar mass, 455.68 g/mol. It contains one zinc cation (Zn+2) associated with two anions of gluconic acid. Moreover, it is a popular dietary supplement and a good source of zinc. We can find gluconic acid in natural sources, but for the preparation of the supplement, industries produce gluconic acid via the fermentation of glucose by Aspergillus niger or some species of fungi.
More importantly, this compound is used to treat a common cold. We can use it in lozenges to treat the cold symptoms. When considering the side effects of this compound, anosmia (loss of smell) is a reported side effect. However, this compound is relatively safe than other zinc supplements.
What is the Difference Between Zinc Citrate and Zinc Gluconate?
Zinc citrate is the zinc salt of citric acid. The chemical formula is C12H10O14Zn3 and the molar mass of is 574.3 g/mol. Also, the parent compound of this compound is citric acid. Whereas, the zinc gluconate is the zinc salt of gluconic acid. The chemical formula is C12H22O14Zn and the molar mass of is 455.68 g/mol. Here, the parent compound is gluconic acid. Therefore, the key difference between zinc citrate and zinc gluconate is their respective parent compounds. Although Zinc citrate has many side effects including metallic taste, upset stomach, flu-like symptoms, etc. zinc citrate has only a few side effects such as anosmia, hence it is relatively safe.
Summary – Zinc Citrate vs Zinc Gluconate
Zinc supplements are very important because zinc is an essential mineral. Therefore, zinc citrate and zinc gluconate are two forms of supplements. The difference between zinc citrate and zinc gluconate is that the parent compound of zinc citrate is citric acid whereas the parent compound of zinc gluconate is gluconic acid.
1. “ZINC Citrate.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available here
2. Uddin, Rae. “Zinc Citrate Side Effects.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 14 Aug. 2017. Available here
3. “ZINC Gluconate.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available here
1.’Zinc gluconate structure’By en:User:Slashme (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia