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Zinc vs. Vitamin C

By Carolyn Robbins ; Updated June 13, 2017

It's easy to think of vitamins and minerals abstractly -- as powdery compounds in pill bottles at the pharmacy. In fact, nutrients like vitamin C and zinc are involved in every facet of human biology. A diverse, nutrient-dense diet is essential for keeping your body healthy and well.

Nutrients in Zinc

Zinc is a common ingredient in throat lozenges and cold remedies. The mineral is found in foods such as red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and whole grains, and plays an integral role in your immune system as well as in a myriad of metabolic processes. The National Institutes of Health recommends a daily zinc intake of 11 milligrams for men and 8 milligrams for women. Zinc requirements are heightened by pregnancy and lactation.

Nutrients in Vitamin C

Like zinc, vitamin C plays a role in the immune system and is an essential part of wound healing. Vitamin C is also involved in the maintaining healthy bones, teeth and cartilage. Unlike zinc, vitamin C is found in dark leafy greens, tomatoes, winter squash and peppers, and in most other vegetables and fruits. Because vitamin C is water-soluble and leaves the body with urine, you must constantly replenish your supply by eating a vitamin-rich diet. The National Institutes of Health recommends a daily intake of 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men.

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