The powerful relationship between zinc and vitamin C
What’s the first nutrient that comes to your mind when you think of immune health? You might think of vitamin C – and it’s true. We can find vitamin C in fresh fruits and vegetables, which will also give you many of the nutrients you need to build your immunity.
But did you know that your body rarely absorbs one nutrient in insolation? Many vitamins and minerals work synergistically to improve your bodily systems when they are consumed together. If you’re already taking vitamin C, a great addition for strong immune function is to pair it with its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant buddy, zinc!
How vitamin C and zinc enhance your immune system
More natural killer cells
Natural killer cells, like their name suggests, are immune cells that travel throughout the bloodstream and actively look for pathogens to destroy. Whether you have a virus, parasite or bacterial infection, natural killer cells are key players in helping your body fight the infection fast. Both zinc and vitamin C increase natural killer cell activity. These “security guards” are regulated by their bosses, zinc and vitamin C! When there aren’t enough zinc or vitamin C levels in the body, they don’t perform their job as effectively.
More white blood cells
There are two types of lymphocytes (immune cells): B cells and T cells. B cells create antibodies to help the immune system recognize pathogens in future infections, while T cells are able to wipe out infected cells directly. There are many factors that determine someone’s ability to produce enough B and T cells, but having sufficient nutrients makes a big difference.
The presence of zinc makes T cells more sensitive and effective at deposing infected cells, and vitamin C is needed in the process of B cell production. They are both directly involved in the activation of both lymphocytes; without adequate levels, the immune cell activity is significantly decreased, and you may find yourself frequently catching colds and other viruses.
More protection against oxidative stress
Like any cell in the body, immune cells are prone to natural oxidation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) creation. High levels of ROS (oxidized and highly reactive molecules) can suppress the immune system. Our body’s natural neutralizers of oxidation reactions and ROS come in the form of nutrients called antioxidants.
Zinc and vitamin C are both antioxidants that are essential in reducing the oxidative stress in immune cells and keeping them functioning optimally. On the other hand, long-lasting zinc and vitamin C deficiency can allow oxidative stress and inflammation to go unchecked, making recovery from colds and flu much longer.
Zinc and vitamin C team up to support healthy and glowing skin. Both zinc and vitamin C act as antioxidants that protect the skin from UV damage and free radicals, keeping wrinkles at bay. Vitamin C is essential in collagen production too.
This powerful antioxidant-duo is involved in healing our wounds. Zinc and vitamin C work together to stimulate tissue repair because of both of their roles in collagen production. Zinc is known to play a significant role in supporting clotting and decreasing the inflammatory response. It’s also involved in tissue regeneration and scar formation. Along with vitamin C, zinc helps speed up the wound healing process.
Zinc and vitamin C promote great heart health. They do this by reducing cholesterol levels. This in turn prevents plaque from building up and blockages from occurring in your arteries.
Are you getting enough vitamin C and zinc?
An easy way to ensure you are getting sufficient vitamin C and zinc everyday is to have a high-quality supplement that you can depend on. CanPrev’s Zinc 20 Immune + Vitamin C contains 20mg of highly absorbable zinc bis-glycinate and 100mg of vitamin C. With this formula, you get both of the main nutrients involved in our defence system. Adults and children over nine years old can add it to their daily routine for an immune system boost. We’ve also got a liquid form that offers 30mg of zinc with 100mg of vitamin C.
Foods rich in both vitamin C and zinc
- Cooked spinach
Zinc and vitamin C are a couple of versatile teammates to support your overall health. They work together in your body to make sure everything is running smoothly! From strengthening your immune function to supporting your heart and skin health, they’re definitely a great addition to your health regimen.