Vitamin C levels decline during infections and stress and supplementation of vitamin C improves the human immune system. Vitamin C protects cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are the results of damage to cells by oxidation. Vitamin C is important in natural killer cell (NK) activity, an important part of the immune system that help destroy abnormal cells, such as cancer cells.
Zinc depletion impairs human immunity and zinc is also important in NK activity.
Doses of 1000 mg. of vitamin C and 30 mg of zinc are commonly used. These supplements have been shown to benefit the common cold and other respiratory infections, pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea infections.
CONCLUSION: Both vitamin C and zinc are important to human immune function and resistance to infections. This is especially important in people with deficient diets in the developing world and even in the industrial world in certain population groups, such as the elderly. Both zinc and vitamin C are important in natural killer cell (NK) activity.
NOTE: This summary is based on the article abstract. The complete article is not available at this time.
Read about the importance of zinc in immunosenescence (immune impairment with aging.)
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