Does Zinc And Vitamin C help with cold sores? If you are looking for a quick answer, note that Vitamin C does not seem to have a huge effect. Zinc on the other hand, seems to help a lot more. Combining both seems to be working better. Read on to find out what science says on that matter?
The common cold or flu a seasonal disease, in most cases self-inflicted, which occurs most often during winter months.
It is a highly contagious upper respiratory tract disease, which mainly affects the nose and is caused by a variety of viruses (> 200), the most common being rhinovirus.
More specifically, symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose and fever. Adults experience between 2 and 4 colds per year, while children experience between 6 and 12.
Symptoms usually subside within 3-7 days and there is no specific treatment to combat the symptoms – only various natural remedies.
When we have a cold the first thing that comes to mind is to consume a natural orange juice because of its high content of natural sugars and vitamin C.
Vitamin C in particular, because it is not produced endogenously, its intake is through food or supplements and is thought to enhance the body’s natural defenses and protect against oxidative stress.
A glass of 100% natural orange juice can provide more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C – which is 90 mg for men 75 mg for women daily.
However, scientific studies have shown that daily intake of vitamin C does not prevent the onset of the common cold, but may have a minimal effect on the duration and severity of symptoms by 8% in adults and 13% in children (source).
In addition, administering vitamin C therapeutically at the onset of symptoms has no effect on the duration or severity of symptoms.
Taking Vitamin C on a daily basis does not seem to prevent common cold. If you consume Vitamin C during the period of illness, it may reduce the severity of symptoms.
Zinc is a trace mineral that has a positive effect on the immune system. Although the mode of action of this trace element has not been investigated in the common cold, scientific evidence has shown that this trace element inhibits the proliferation of rhinovirus, enhancing the good health of the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose, i.e. the sites where germs enter the body.
In particular, during the first 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, taking it can help speed up recovery from a cold, without reducing the duration of the fever or headache.
Zinc is available as a food supplement (tablets, lozenges, syrup) and is contained in foods such as shellfish, flaxseed and cereals.
Preventive daily use of 80 mg of zinc leads to lower incidence of colds, however attention should be paid to the side effects, which are usually gastrointestinal upset and nausea.
Note that intranasal preparations containing zinc have been banned by the US Food and Drug Administration because they are associated with permanent anosmia.
Zinc supplementation seems to prevent rhinovirus from multiplying and improving the health of the mouth and nose mucous membranes.
Combination of Vitamin C with Zinc
According to an article published on PubMed, Vitamin C with zinc was substantially more effective than placebo at reducing rhinorrhea over 5 days of therapy in pooled analyses of both studies (n=94).
Furthermore, the product was well tolerated and provided faster symptom alleviation. Given the severity of the common cold, supplementing with vitamin C and zinc may be an effective and safe way to combat this contagious viral disease.
Vitamin C and zinc supplementation may be an effective and safe method to fight this infectious viral illness.
Conclusion – Does Zinc And Vitamin C Help With Cold Sores?
In conclusion, it seems that vitamin C supplementation does not help in the fight against the common cold.
On the contrary, zinc supplementation may reduce the severity and duration of colds, but the balance of the benefits of zinc preparations with the costs of the consequences of toxicity should be considered.
Combining both supplements may be an effective and safe way to combat this contagious viral disease.