Vitamin C and Zinc: Two Important Nutrients for Health and Wellness
February 01, 2021
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that our bodies use as an antioxidant. It also supports healthy collagen, which is a major building block of skin, bones, and muscles, that helps add structure to these areas of our bodies. Vitamin C also provides immune support benefits.
Vitamin C is essential because we can’t make it in our bodies – we must get it through our diet. The best food sources of dietary vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, like oranges and other citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes.
What is zinc?
Zinc is an essential mineral that acts as a cofactor (helper nutrient) for over 300 enzymes in the body. It’s important that the body has enough zinc to make certain kinds of antioxidants called intrinsic antioxidants which help fight off free radicals. Similar to vitamin C, zinc also plays a role in immune health.
Since zinc is an essential nutrient, we must get it from our diets, just like vitamin C. Some examples of foods that are a good source of zinc include meats like beef, chicken, and pork, as well as nuts and other legumes.
What causes vitamin C or zinc deficiency?
While most people in the United States aren’t dangerously deficient in vitamin C or zinc it is not to the point that they could develop a deficiency disease, like scurvy. Yet, many people are not getting enough of these nutrients from their diet alone to support optimal health. Around 40-45% of adults do not get the minimum recommended amount of vitamin C, and at least 10% of adults don’t get enough zinc – with that number going up as high as 26% in older generations.
While the public is given a recommended amount of vitamin C and zinc the amounts are not necessarily optimal amounts. For example, the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 75 - 90 mg per day, but optimal amounts are much higher based on epidemiological research, along with bioavailability, and saturation data for vitamin C.
Health benefits of Vitamin C and zinc
Both vitamin C and zinc play a vital role in supporting overall health and wellness, including immune health. In fact, deficiencies in these two nutrients are linked with impaired immune function. So, making sure you have enough of these important nutrients is critical to staying healthy, especially during the winter months when people are more likely to get sick. And as mentioned earlier, both are involved in providing antioxidant support for our bodies.
Antioxidants are important to help our bodies combat the negative effects of free radicals, which are highly unstable and reactive compounds that damage our cells. Free radicals can come from the environment, toxins, pollution, poor diet, infection, and even our own metabolism. It’s a balancing act in the body, which is why it’s important to get enough of these essential nutrients to fight off different types of free radicals we are exposed to on a daily basis.
Form and dose of vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it’s generally pretty easy to absorb – especially if you’re getting an optimal dose. Studies show that vitamin C absorption is very good in doses up to about 500 mg, but after that, absorption drops significantly, and the excess is mostly passed through your body. Additionally, research shows that plasma levels of vitamin C increase only marginally with doses above 500 mg. These findings indicate that around 500 mg of vitamin C is an effective amount to take in a single dose.
However, much of the research on vitamin C in conjunction with health and wellness indicates that a higher daily dose of 1000 mg may be better. For this reason, when taking doses of vitamin C greater than 500 mg/day, it is recommended to split it up and take a lower amount twice a day to optimize absorption.
There are many different forms of vitamin C, all of which have similar rates of bioavailability. So rather than focus on the specific form of vitamin C, it’s more important to get the right dose for the benefit you are looking for, and in the right delivery format to help maximize bioavailability by splitting it up during the day.
Form and dose of zinc
Zinc can be found in supplements in several different forms. Zinc citrate is a gentle form of zinc that is well-absorbed, in part because it is more soluble in water. Zinc oxide is another common form of zinc, but it is not water soluble and does not absorb as well as zinc citrate and similar forms.
The form used in a product might vary based on bioavailability but also how it is delivered. For example, zinc bisglycinate has excellent bioavailability data, but it has a bitter taste, so it is better consumed in a capsule or tablet that is swallowed. Zinc citrate is a promising form for alternative delivery formats such as chewable vitamins because it has good bioavailability and has more promising sensory properties to make it a more viable option in a flavored product.
The daily max for zinc is set at 40 mg/day for adults, so make sure any supplements you are taking add up to less than 40 mg/day.
Pharmanex Vitamin C +Zinc is an easy way to supplement these two important nutrients. It comes in a delicious citrus flavored chewable tablet, no water is needed, and it contains zero artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Each tablet provides 500 mg of vitamin C as ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate, and 5 mg of zinc as zinc citrate. It is great for adults who want to support overall health and wellness as well as immune function*. For optimal absorption and results, we recommend taking one tablet twice a day, for a total of 1000 mg of vitamin C and 10 mg zinc.
Whether you are getting your vitamin C from extra fruits and veggies, upping your zinc intake by eating more nuts, or taking a quality supplement, make sure to support your health and wellness by getting enough of these important nutrients.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.