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Why Combining Zinc and Vitamin C is Key for Immunity

Why Combining Zinc and Vitamin C is Key for Immunity

If you strive to maintain a healthy mind and body, finding ways to boost your immune system is key. A combination of vitamin C and zinc make perfect partners in assisting our immune systems. They can help maintain our health and boost our immune defenses and play an essential role in nutrition. Here we look at why combining zinc and vitamin C is key for immunity and the other health benefits this powerful combo offers. (1)

Why Is Zinc Important For Overall Health?

Zinc is what is known as a trace mineral. The term “trace” is used because it occurs naturally in our bodies in smaller amounts. However, despite its small numbers, zinc helps close to 100 enzymes carry out vital chemical reactions in our bodies. This mineral is involved in many functions, including: (2)

  • Creating DNA
  • Cell growth
  • Building proteins
  • Healing
  • Immunity

Because zinc helps our cells multiply, it is essential for children, teens, and pregnant women. However, everyone can benefit from zinc thanks to its healing and immunity-boosting powers. (2)

Why Is Vitamin C Important For Overall Health?

Vitamin C also helps with important functions, including: (3)

  • Producing collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters
  • Helping to remove reactive oxidative species (ROS), which can harm our body
  • Helping to absorb iron
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Facilitating wound healing

If we don’t get enough vitamin C, we can also get scurvy which causes bleeding gums, loose teeth, swollen joints, fatigue, and anemia. (3)

Who Is At Risk For Vitamin C Deficiency?

People at risk for vitamin C deficiency include those who smoke, don’t eat a healthy diet, and suffer from health conditions that interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Taking a vitamin C and zinc combo can help if you are at risk. (3)

What Are Reactive Oxidative Species?

These substances, such as free radicals, enter our bodies through pollution exposure, foods we eat, and products we use. Free radicals are bad because they lead to cell damage caused by oxidative stress. Vitamin C is an “antioxidant,” which helps remove these free radicals from our bodies so they can’t cause inflammation and damage that increase the risk of some types of cancers. (3)

Zinc And Vitamin C Combo For Colds

Two studies looking at combining vitamin C and zinc in patients with the common cold showed the combination was significantly more efficient than the placebo at reducing runny nose over 5 days of treatment. It also helped relieve cold symptoms quicker. (1)

Zinc And Vitamin C Combo For Eye Disease Protection

Zinc and vitamin C may help prevent vision loss in older people. This combination is because it can delay the progress of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). According to a study by the Office of Dietary Supplements, taking zinc and antioxidants such as vitamin C can reduce the risk of AMD in older adults. Other studies show zinc alone is of benefit to those who are at high risk of developing AMD. (3,4)

Zinc And Vitamin C Combo For Wound Healing

As mentioned, vitamin C plays a vital role in developing collagen. Collagen is part of the connective tissues in our skin, helping our skin heal from damage such as cuts and other types of wounds. Zinc is crucial for our skin and mucous membranes as it contributes to healing. (3.4)

Zinc And Vitamin C Combo From Diet

We can help boost our zinc and vitamin C intake through a healthy diet. Zinc is found in legumes, whole grains, meat, and seafood, which can help you get a good dose each day, including: (2)

  • Oysters
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Legumes
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Fortified breakfast cereals

Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including: (3)

  • Guava, raw
  • Sweet red pepper, raw
  • Tomato juice
  • Orange juice
  • Sweet green pepper
  • Hot green chili pepper, raw
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Papaya
  • Pink grapefruit juice
  • Broccoli
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kiwifruit
  • Mango, raw
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Lemon
  • White Grapefruit

Enjoying a diverse diet with plenty of protein, fresh fruits, and vegetables is always advisable.

Why A Zinc And Vitamin C Combo Supplement Is Important

Although you can eat a good balance of the zinc and Vitamin C rich foods above, it is important to keep in mind that cooking can reduce the amount of Vitamin C in your fruits and vegetables. 

You can try to eat more raw fruits and vegetables to reap their full benefits. Another option is to steam or microwave your vegetables to help retain their vitamins. It can be hard to know if you are getting enough vitamin C as it is water soluble, so our bodies don’t store it. Zinc is also not stored. As a result, taking supplements is the best way to ensure you are getting enough to boost your immunity. (4,5,6,7,8)

For more information about zinc and vitamin C supplements, click here.