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).
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 Source, 10Trusted Source).