Supplements that may strengthen your body’s general immune response

It’s easy to turn to supplements if you hear claims about their ability to treat or prevent COVID-19.

However, these assertions are unfounded and untrue.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there’s no evidence to support the use of any supplement to prevent or treat COVID-19 (30Trusted Source).

However, some studies indicate that the following supplements may strengthen your body’s general immune response:

  • Vitamin C. According to a review in over 11,000 people, taking 1,000–2,000 mg of vitamin C per day reduced the duration of colds by 8% in adults and 14% in children. Yet, supplementing did not prevent the cold to begin with (7Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency may increase your chances of getting sick, so supplementing may counteract this effect. Nonetheless, taking vitamin D when you already have adequate levels doesn’t seem to provide extra benefits (31Trusted Source).
  • Zinc. In a review in 575 people with the common cold, supplementing with more than 75 mg of zinc per day reduced the duration of the cold by 33% (32Trusted Source).
  • Elderberry. One small review found that elderberry could reduce the symptoms of viral upper respiratory infections, but more research is needed (33Trusted Source).
  • Echinacea. A study in over 700 people found that those who took echinacea recovered from colds slightly more quickly than those who received a placebo or no treatment, but the difference was insignificant (34Trusted Source).
  • Garlic. A high quality, 12-week study in 146 people found that supplementing with garlic reduced the incidence of the common cold by about 30%. However, more research is needed (35Trusted Source).

Eat more healthy fats

Healthy fats, like those found in olive oil and salmon, may boost your body’s immune response to pathogens by decreasing inflammation.

Although low-level inflammation is a normal response to stress or injury, chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system (8Trusted Source).

Olive oil, which is highly anti-inflammatory, is linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties may help your body fight off harmful disease-causing bacteria and viruses (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those in salmon and chia seeds, fight inflammation as well (11Trusted Source).