Zinc is really important for the immune system and is a co-factor in tons and tons of biochemical and enzymatic reactions and is thus important for overall health. Zinc also plays a role in our ability to taste. In order to supplement zinc, liquid zinc solutions can be purchased and one teaspoon can be taken twice daily.
In order to determine if someone is zinc deficient, a zinc tally test is preformed. This test requires the patient to take a swig of the liquid zinc supplement, swoosh it in their mouth for 30 seconds, and then spit it out into a sink or garbage. If the patient reports that the solution didn't taste like anything but left their mouth feeling astringent (i.e. puckered, as if the patient ate an unripe banana or had a taste of some sour lemon juice), then the patient IS deficient in zinc. On the other hand, if the patient reports a gross or weird taste in their mouth after preforming the test, then the patient is NOT deficient in zinc. Once the patient starts to build up their zinc levels by taking the liquid zinc supplement, then he or she will start to begin to taste this gross or weird zinc taste. This shows that zinc does have a strong role in taste and this effect is a cool indicator that the supplement is working!
Another important note about zinc supplements: zinc causes nausea so if liquid zinc is taken on an empty stomach, the patient will immediately start to feel nausea or sick to his or her stomach. It is best to take zinc just before a meal in order for it to be better absorbed on the empty stomach, yet the arrival of food soon after will help decrease the severity of the sick feeling.