Zinc and Vitamin C for the common cold and male fertility
It is a well known fact that some dietary supplements work much better when combined together. A perfect example of this are Zinc and Vitamin C. It’s recommended to take a combination of Zinc and Vitamin C to fight the common cold, to increase you T levels, to increase your sperm count , sperm motility and numerous other benefits. But before we go into detail, let’s break down the benefits of Vitamin C and Zinc when taken separately.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a basic dietary supplement. It is not stored by the body, so overdosing on it is practically impossible since all of the excess exists the body through urine. While this might be the case, Vitamin C deficiency can prove to be problematic. This phenomena has been observed for more than 5 centuries. The body itself doesn’t produce it so it’s essential that we consume it through our diet. Luckily, this very easy since it’s available all around us. It is plentiful in any bitter fruit or vegetable (cabbage, anyone?). The more we study Vitamin C the more we realize it’s benefits. Some authors have went on to suggest that optimal/high Vitamin C levels are a very good overall health marker. A very promising study has found that Vitamin C actually reduces overall mortality (HIV, Cancer and all-cause death). Sufficient levels of Vitamin C will provide you with an immune system boost and it’s a very powerful antioxidant. Observational studies have confirmed that it’s also hugely beneficial to the cardiovascular system. So next time you are planning on taking a long walk, just have an orange. In the testicles, Vitamin C will increase sperm motility, morphology and count. Basically it will stop your sperm cells from sticking together, increase them in sheer numbers and make them swim straight (straight, Haha!). This will directly give your sperm cells bigger chances of fertilization.
Zinc is a trace element that plays a huge part in cell creation, namely over 100 proteins. Aside from this it helps thyroid function, DNA creation and wound healing. Zinc also plays a huge part development during infancy, childhood and adulthood and it also plays a role in proper function of the senses of taste and smell. The Earth’s crust is very rich with Zinc, so a diet consisting of plants will boost your zinc levels for sure. Meat from grass-fed animals is also rich in Zinc. The only problem is, it’s not equally distributed across the Globe. In some regions, the levels are lower and people living in these areas either have to procure food from a different part of the planet or revert to supplementation. Since it’s a mineral and it’s retained in the body, it’s always wise to consult your doctor before including Zinc supplementation in your diet. The popular claim made by people that take Zinc supplements feel more manly has actually been backed by a study in which Zinc has been found to directly increase Serum Testosterone (or unbound, free T). These results however are limited to people that have a Zinc deficiency. Now, among other functions that Zinc performs throughout the body, a huge concentration of Zinc is found in the testicles. Here, it helps create the membrane and the tail of the sperm cell, as well as help it’s maturation.
Zinc and Vitamin C when taken together
Studies have shown that Zinc absorption is reduced when taken together with iron and some animal proteins (namely casein). This is due to both Iron and Casein reducing the bio-availability of Zinc. An urban myth is that Calcium reduces Zinc absorption. This stems from the belief that Calcium and Zinc bind in an insoluble way which makes absorption difficult, but a study suggests that calcium taken with zinc might even increase Zinc absorption due to Calcium binding with other molecules, otherwise harmful to Zinc absorption levels. Milk however, has an inhibitory effect on Zinc absorption, largely because of the presence of Casein. From this we can conclude that the level of zinc absorption in the body hugely depends on the way it is bound to other cells. The pure mineral molecule itself is bound tightly and as such your digestive system cannot absorb it. The same happens when it’s bound to some other molecules. This is where the Vitamin C comes in play. Zinc and Vitamin C react together to form Zinc Citrate. Now this new molecule is much easier to absorb and the body accepts it readily. Separately, Zinc and Vitamin C have their benefits, but their full power is unleashed when they are taken together. A study done back in 1993 has shown that the addition of Citrate increases Zinc absorption significantly primarily by increasing it’s bio-availability.
Benefits of Zinc and Vitamin C
Aside from this, you will fell the benefits of increased testosterone levels such as deeper voice and improved muscle function. High doses of Vitamin C together with Zinc have been proven to help with fighting the common cold as well. Studies have shown that 1000mg of Vitamin C combined with just 10mg of Zinc can significantly decrease the duration of the cold. One cannot simply ignore these benefits. Now bear with me here, with Vitamin C present in the body (antioxidants), Zinc gets absorbed quicker. Zinc in turn raises free-T levels. This would mean that the combining of Vitamin C gives you both a cardiovascular (antioxidants) and motor (muscle strength) benefits. Moreover, free-T will increase your muscle regeneration with zinc taking part in the formation of new cells.
Zinc and Vitamin C for sperm count and motility
Zinc increases testosterone levels, which in turn increases the function of the immune system. Vitamin C does this as well. This combo also will do miracles for your sperm. As mentioned earlier, both Vitamin C and Zinc will stop your sperm from sticking together, increase your sperm motility (swimming strength) and count (sheer numbers). Imagine this a medieval battlefield. Imagine what would happen if soldiers started blocking each other and started running in circles. Same with your sperm. Taking Zinc and Vitamin C for sperm count and motility practically organizes your soldiers. They will swim faster, always move forward and there will be a lot more of them.
On the flip side, both of these supplements can cause digestive discomfort. It’s therefore advisable to consume them after a meal. If the pain still persists, it’s best to take them after a meal at two separate times of day. While it’s very hard to overdose on Vitamin C because the body flushes it out, zinc toxicity can be very dangerous. The Zinc RDA charts can be found here and as long as you do not exceed your RDA you are fine, since studies have shown that unless present in a toxic environment, Zinc Absorption will actually decrease as the Zinc daily dosage increases. This defensive body mechanism will make it quite hard for you to exceed normal Zinc blood levels enough to have negative symptoms. Still, you never exactly know the Zinc concentration in your part of the world, or the origin and exact mineral composition of the food you eat. It’s therefore advisable that you always stick to the RDA to avoid complications
Remember to always consult your doctor before trying out any new experimental treatments or methods. Always do thorough background research and above all think critically.
Healthead – Healthy Means Happy