The 15 Best Supplements to Boost Your Immune System Right Now
Vitamin D is essential for immune function. Healthy levels of this vitamin may help lower your risk of respiratory infections.
Supplementing with zinc may help protect against respiratory tract infections and reduce the duration of these infections.
Vitamin C is vital for immune health. Supplementing with this nutrient may reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold.
Taking elderberry supplements may reduce upper respiratory symptoms caused by viral infections and help alleviate flu symptoms. However, more research is needed.
Many types of medicinal mushrooms, including cordyceps and turkey tail, may offer immune-enhancing and antibacterial effects.
- Astragalus. Astragalus is an herb commonly used in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Animal research suggests that its extract may significantly improve immune-related responses (
- Selenium. Selenium is a mineral that’s essential for immune health. Animal research demonstrates that selenium supplements may enhance antiviral defense against influenza strains, including H1N1 (
43, 44, 45).
- Garlic. Garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It has been shown to enhance immune health by stimulating protective white blood cells like NK cells and macrophages. However, human research is limited (
- Andrographis. This herb contains andrographolide, a terpenoid compound found to have antiviral effects against respiratory-disease-causing viruses, including enterovirus D68 and influenza A (
48, 49, 50).
- Licorice. Licorice contains many substances, including glycyrrhizin, that may help protect against viral infections. According to test-tube research, glycyrrhizin exhibits antiviral activity against severe acute respiratory-syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV) (
- Pelargonium sidoides. Some human research supports the use of this plant’s extract for alleviating symptoms of acute viral respiratory infections, including the common cold and bronchitis. Still, results are mixed, and more research is needed (
- B complex vitamins. B vitamins, including B12 and B6, are important for healthy immune response. Yet, many adults are deficient in them, which may negatively affect immune health (
- Curcumin. Curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and animal studies indicate that it may help improve immune function (
- Echinacea. Echinacea is a genus of plants in the daisy family. Certain species have been shown to improve immune health and may have antiviral effects against several respiratory viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus and rhinoviruses (
- Propolis. Propolis is a resin-like material produced by honeybees for use as a sealant in hives. Though it has impressive immune-enhancing effects and may have antiviral properties as well, more human research is needed (
Astragalus, garlic, curcumin, and echinacea are just some of the supplements that may offer immune-boosting properties. Still, they have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and more research is needed.