Discussion forums and various blogs are making claims about the use of zinc supplements as the new trick to pass a drug test. The truth is this is zinc is not the magic bullet that will pass a drug test, this is conflicting science on the use of zinc.

A recent paper entitled “Zinc Reduces the Detection of Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and THC By ELISA Urine Testing,” found that people who used of zinc sulfate and  oral zinc supplements concluded that zinc was effective at masking the presence of marijuana usage on urine tests.

“These results argue that the consumption of zinc supplements taken orally after light marijuana use can interfere with the detection of THC [metabolites] in urine samples for a 12- to 18-hour period,” authors determined. “We [also] conclude that zinc ion is a potential adulterant in urine samples tested for drugs. … Its effect in causing potential false-negative results in drug testing is robust and reproducible.” They concluded, “[W]e are aware of no suitable test to determine zinc adulteration in urine and conclude that zinc supplements are effective at subverting routine drug testing and undetectable by standards means.”

This paper has caused people to start making claims that using zinc was the new method to pass a drug test. But now a newer paper published in the same journal this past July causes conflicting information. The new paper from researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine reported that zinc may only work at doses “5,000 times higher” than normal human urine, which could be harmful because excessive use of zinc can cause zinc toxicity.

“We investigated the potential interference of zinc used as a direct adulterant. … Our data indicate that the total zinc concentrations required to directly interfere with EMIT-based testing are easily distinguishable from routine random urine total concentrations.”

This raises doubts that using a zinc supplements can successfully pass a drug test for the trace of presence of THC metabolites by triggering false-negative for the results of a urine test. The major issue with this new paper was people who were used in this study did not actually smoke marijuana, so the use of zinc to pass a drug test was appears to theoretical because the researchers believed that that levels on zinc would be enough to interfere with a positive drug test result,

The rumors claiming that zinc may work for beating a drug drug are not completely false. Most drug testing labs do not test for the presence of zinc as an adulterant for urine test, but now labs are in the process of development of newer technology allowing them to test for the levels of zinc found in urine samples. Lastly, there us no other studies looking to replicate this research that taking oral zinc supplements interferes with carboxy-THC detection for urine drug test, so there is little research backing up all this claim.

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