(WKBN) – A national Zinc shortage is occurring as everyone looks to bolster their immune system, but there are alternatives to taking the supplement so that your needs are still met.

“Some manufacturing issues, some supply issues, some people rushing to buy it,” said Ron McDermott, senior vice president of pharmacy operations for Hometown Pharmacies. “We did stay ahead of it with the Hometown group and we are in stock.”

McDermott recommends calling pharmacies or stores to see if they have Zinc in stock before heading out to buy some. In the meantime, if individuals can’t find a store with Zinc supplements, the mineral can be found in many foods.

“From beef and pork on the meat side of things, certainly cereals and things that are fortified,” McDermott said. “Beans, nuts are also good sources of Zinc. It’s out there in foods, but a lot of us in our hurry in today’s world don’t necessarily eat the way we should and that’s why those supplements are helpful to have around.”

McDermott recommends taking 10 mg daily for adults and 3 mg daily for children 7 months to 11 years, but people should consult with a healthcare professional if they have any questions or concerns before taking it.

According to Dr. Michael J. Sevilla, a physician from Salem, and the National Institute of Health, taking anywhere between 150 mg to 450 mg is too much and a person might not feel well for awhile and might experience nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite and abdominal cramps.

Read more about Zinc on the National Institute of Health’s website by clicking here.

“It’s certainly beneficial for wound healing, overall skin health, and it helps reduce some of the risk of age-related diseases and things like that, but certainly today a big focus on immune health and Zinc is helpful in that area,” McDermott said.

Along with taking Zinc, McDermott said taking Vitamin C on top of practicing coronavirus safety guidelines, exercising and washing hands help keep a person healthy.

“An overall healthy-type routine in your day can help you stay healthy. It makes sense that way to have a well-rounded balance of eating right, exercising and taking those supplements all at the same time,” McDermott said.