A robust immune system is essential to stay fit and healthy. The COVID-19 pandemic has further established this fact. People have now realized how important it is to have a healthy immune function. There are many recommendations on improving the body's natural immunity to fight off infections. One such suggestion is taking zinc and quercetin together. Certain studies suggest that humans can derive potential zinc quercetin benefits when the two are administered together. So let us look at the details of zinc and quercetin and how their combination proves beneficial for the human body. And look at quercetin and zinc absorption.
What is zinc, and how is it beneficial?
Zinc is a vital nutrient essential for various body functions. Since it is an essential nutrient, one must obtain it through food because the body cannot synthesize essential nutrients. You can get zinc through various food sources like whole grains, milk products, red meat, and poultry. Fortified breakfast cereal is also a good source of zinc as it contains this trace element and many others.
Zinc is essential for the growth and development of the body and improves immunity. It plays a vital role in several body functions like gene expression, protein and DNA synthesis, and enzymatic reactions which take place within the body. In addition, low levels of zinc can result in delayed wound healing.
Various health benefits of zinc are as follows –
- Zinc is well-known for its ability to strengthen the immune system.
- It facilitates wound healing by playing a significant role in controlling inflammation and collagen synthesis.
- It helps treat acne by reducing swelling, suppressing oil glands, and inhibiting bacterial growth.
- Zinc reduces inflammation by keeping a check on inflammatory proteins and oxidative stress.
- It helps in reducing diarrhea symptoms in kids who have a zinc deficiency.
- It lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- Zinc also prevents skin conditions like sunburn and diaper rash in babies.
What is quercetin, and how is it beneficial?
Quercetin is a naturally occurring pigment found in several food items. It acts as an antioxidant and is present in reasonable quantities in food. Therefore, supplementation of this flavonoid is generally not required as the body gets the required amount through dietary sources. Food items rich in this phytochemical are blueberries, broccoli, apples, kale, cherry tomatoes, and onions.
Quercetin is known to be beneficial for health due to its antioxidant properties. Free radicals in the body are unstable molecules that cause damage and lead to the development of chronic diseases. Quercetin helps in scavenging and neutralizing excess free radicals, thus reducing damage.
Various health benefits of quercetin are as follows –
- Due to its antioxidant properties, quercetin protects against free radicals in the body.
- It relieves hay fever or allergy symptoms as it has anti-histaminic properties as well.
- It may lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.
- Quercetin may help in reducing inflammation.
- It lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like stroke and other heart ailments.
- It has anti-cancer properties preventing the growth and spread of tumors in the body.
- Quercetin may also help prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
Zinc Quercetin Benefits when Paired Together
We have seen that zinc and quercetin provide several health benefits individually. However, recent studies show that the benefits one can derive are probably more when these two are taken in combination. When present in appropriate quantities, zinc and quercetin can naturally boost the body's immune system to provide a higher level of protection against infections and diseases.
Studies reveal that quercetin may exhibit anti-viral properties against viruses like rhinovirus, respiratory and influenza viruses. It might also help inhibit the coronavirus, according to preliminary research conducted in China and South Korea. However, further research is required to confirm the same.
On the other hand, zinc has been popular for its anti-viral effects since 1984, when a study revealed that it is beneficial to reduce the duration and symptoms of the common cold. Zinc acts against the viruses through several mechanisms like inactivating them, inhibiting viral replication, inhibiting RNA synthesis, etc.
Since zinc and quercetin both possess anti-viral properties, they may bring about a cumulative effect against viruses when administered together.
How do zinc and quercetin work together?
Several lab studies have now established the relationship between consuming quercetin and zinc absorption. Quercetin is an ionophore for zinc. It is responsible for carrying zinc cations across the cell wall from the outside of the cell to the inside. For zinc to exhibit its anti-viral effects, it is vital that it reaches the center of a cell where viruses replicate. As the cell wall barrier does not allow zinc cations to enter the cell easily, it requires the help of ionophores like quercetin to cross that barrier and work against the virus.
A study published in 2016 was conducted to check if polyphenols like quercetin can form complexes with zinc and transport it across the cell wall barrier. The results confirmed that quercetin, along with 14 other polyphenols, can bind to zinc to form complexes that can easily pass through any lipid membrane. Though the results of the study show a connection between quercetin and zinc absorption into the cells, more research is necessary in this direction.
The benefits of taking a combination of zinc and quercetin for boosting the body's immune response are determined through various studies. The combination seems to be beneficial when consumed regularly. Certain food items have them in reasonable quantities to provide sufficient amounts of the two. However, if you choose to take any supplements containing zinc and quercetin, it is advisable to talk to your health care provider about it. Liposomal Quercetin from Purovitalis offers you better absorption and quality you can trust.