Most people grew up hearing that Vitamin C was the go-to supplement to boost immune health, especially during cold and flu season. “Chew your Cs” was a tasty part of morning routines; the tablets were usually enhanced with a tangy orange flavor.
Then Zinc arrived as an “even better” alternative. So what’s the deal here? Are the Vitamin Cs old news, better left on the shelf in place of this new and improved immune system “hero”, Zinc?
Which is really better? Should they be tag-teamed for optimal health promotion?
Here’s the scoop:
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that our body uses to boost immune response, among other things. It is also an antioxidant, meaning that it fights against unstable molecules that have been linked to potentially terminal diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C has been proven to reduce the likelihood of a cold virus taking hold and wreaking havoc on the body. But once symptoms appear, consuming extra Vitamin C produces no benefit.
Zinc is a dietary mineral that boosts immune response and is used in the development of proteins in the body. It also functions as an antioxidant. The big perk of Zinc is that once symptoms of a cold virus have begun: sniffles, sneezing, minor coughs, etc., adding extra Zinc to your diet has been proven to decrease the severity and length of the virus’s effect on the body.
WAIT, THERE’S MORE
Whereas Vitamin C is a safe, soluble vitamin which our bodies will excrete when the dose is above necessary, too much Zinc is toxic for humans. It becomes imperative that doses are monitored correctly when supplementing with Zinc to boost immune response, despite the fervor that can be felt to chomp down more and cut the cold symptoms even quicker.
OKAY, NOW WHAT?
So what’s the best choice? Is Zinc really better than Vitamin C for immune support? That might come down to personal preference. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to add Vitamin C into your daily supplement routine to promote good health maintenance, but at the first sign of a cold, it’s probably better to opt for small, appropriate doses of Zinc instead. Just be sure to follow the directions on the label, or better yet talk to your pharmacist for further insight.
Coming down with a cold doesn’t have to knock a person off their feet for long. A healthy, active lifestyle is the best prevention of debilitating symptoms of cold and flu viruses. Lots of Vitamin C, through diet and/or supplement choices, is a great route to pursue.
When those sniffles come calling, though, tackle them with Zinc first and you’ll be well on your way to feeling better faster.
DID YOU KNOW?
Your pharmacist is a wealth of knowledge, and they are here to answer your health questions beyond just the prescriptions being filled by a physician.
Locating a San Diego Independent Pharmacy is an excellent ideal for anyone who wants to maintain good health, in and out of cold and flu season.
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