The answer is Yes. Vitamin C and Zinc act in synergy and complement each other perfectly. Our body has an important need for vitamin C and the recommended intake is between 60 and 100 mg per day (even more in winter). As this vitamin is not synthesized by our body, it must be provided by the diet. It has a multiple roles in our body, in particular, it increases resistance to infections and facilitates physical effort.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published in the EFSA Journal the cause and effect relationship between zinc and the immune system. Like vitamin C, Zinc plays a central role in the proper functioning of the immune system as it is involved in many mechanisms of the immune response.
Table of Content
Vitamin C and Zinc: a powerful combination for our immune system
Vitamins and oligo-elements are essential throughout the year but are even more so during the winter. Although the body can cope perfectly well with a temporary deficiency of one or other of these precious substances, an additional contribution is sometimes judicious. For example, the combined action of Vitamin C and Zinc is particularly effective for the immune system.
The immune system, our best defense
Our immune system is there to protect our body against various external attacks, it has a double-action both externally and internally. In fact, when a foreign body attacks, the defense mechanisms are automatically activated. Various means are then implemented to defend themselves:
The immune response will bring into play physical barriers to protect itself from an invasion
The immediate defense system called “innate immunity” will intervene during a virus intrusion. Whereas the “adaptive immune” response will then take place. This last stage is later and has a “memory” that allows it to recognize foreign agents in the future
Maintaining your immune system
Vitamins and minerals are essential elements for the normal functioning of our immune system. Of particular interest are vitamin C and zinc. They contribute to the defense of the body by protecting it from oxidative stress generated to eliminate foreign agents. Several studies have shown a beneficial effect of vitamin C and zinc during respiratory infectious episodes, particularly in populations at risk of deficiency. Subsequently, WHO and UNICEF have recommended zinc supplementation for children at risk of deficiency. A balanced diet should be sufficient to combat deficiency episodes. However, during the winter season, which is generally less energetic and lacking in vegetables and fruit, it is advisable to enrich one’s diet with natural elements to meet the new needs of winter.
Wintergerst, E.S., Maggini, S. and Hornig, D.H., 2006. Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 50(2), pp.85-94.
Candan, F., Gültekin, F. and Candan, F., 2002. Effect of vitamin C and zinc on osmotic fragility and lipid peroxidation in zinc‐deficient haemodialysis patients. Cell Biochemistry and Function, 20(2), pp.95-98.