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What Is the Connection Between Vitamin C and Zinc?

Although vitamin C may help boost the immune system, large doses may cause headaches and nausea.
A bottle of vitamin C supplements.
Zinc supplements and vitamin C are considered cold remedies.
Zinc lozenges have been shown to reduce the length and severity of the common cold.
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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2014
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Vitamin C and zinc are two important nutrients for the human body. These assist the body's immune system to ward off colds and infections. The most common connection between vitamins C and zinc is that they are commonly both used in multivitamin supplements or cold remedies. These nutrients are found in many foods, but higher doses of both are available in a supplemental form.

Vitamin C is essential for good health and a strong immune system. This vitamin is known to help the body heal, fight skin damage from the sun, and provide protection for the eyes. It is found in citrus fruits, which can provide quick energy from natural sugars. This vitamin is water soluble, which makes it difficult to harm the body through an accidental overdose.

Zinc is also known to help the body fight infection and improve the immune system. By supporting the skin and outer tissue recovery, zinc also helps the body recover from wounds and cuts. Zinc is known to assist the body's absorption of other vitamins and minerals, which can aid in overall health.

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One critical difference between vitamin C and zinc is that it can be easy to overdose on zinc. Zinc is extremely dangerous at high levels and can result in serious side effects. Vitamin C can be taken at a large dosage without impacting the body, which is primarily because excess amounts are flushed out of the body. Excessive amounts of zinc can cause the body to deplete other minerals, which can have a negative effect on the immune system.

Vitamin C and zinc are often taken together in multi-vitamins. These multi-vitamins provide many other important vitamins and minerals for the human body. Vitamin C should be taken at approximately 75 miligrams per day. Zinc should be taken in a smaller dosage of about 40 miligrams per day.

There are many foods that provide vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C is found in most fruits and bright vegetables. Zinc is most widely available in proteins including chicken, beef, and fish. It is also found in cabbage and peas. These natural foods typically provide adequate amounts of this mineral, making supplements unnecessary.

Today there are many natural cold remedies that include vitamin C and zinc. These natural remedies have not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Association (FDA) as medicine to cure colds. When taking these products, it is important for the consumer to ensure an overdose does not occur.

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