The best over-the-counter vitamins and supplements proven to shorten colds

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Cold is one of the weak points of this season of the year. While everyone tries to stay in good spirits to celebrate the holidays, some of us inevitably come down with a bad cold. Winter is the best time for diseases. Based on Centers for Disease ControlMillions of people get colds every year. In fact, the average adult has two to three of them each year, which means you’re more likely to get one during the winter months.

Since over-the-counter cold medications often feel ineffective, you may find more relief with a supplement instead. Everyday vitamins and herbal remedies have been proven to reduce the severity of a cold, shorten its duration, and even prevent it from happening in the first place. Pop a lozenge to soothe that sore throat and keep reading to find out the best supplements to take to ease your cold this season.

7 Over-the-Counter Vitamin Supplements Proven to Shorten Colds

There are many supplements that you can find at your local drugstore that can help get rid of a cold. Many of these are also better for year-round consumption for overall health. These are the best vitamins for colds and the best supplements to fight colds.


People usually get Elderberry supplements When Cold and flu season spins around Studies It shows that the use of elderberry supplement is associated with shortening the flu. However, it should be noted that it does not prevent it or reduce the symptoms. The supplement has the potential to work almost as well when a cold starts. Thanks to its antibacterial and antiviral properties, it may help you get back on your feet faster when a cold or flu knocks you down.


Based on National Center for Complementary and Integrated HealthZinc supplements should be taken with caution. Zinc must be taken orally and has been linked to shortening colds, especially if taken soon after cold symptoms start. However, many people take zinc intranasally, but this is not recommended. The NCCIH reports that this method of consuming zinc is dangerous and can lead to loss of smell. Zinc can also interact with antibiotics and penicillamine, so it is not recommended if you are taking either of these medications. Some people have also experienced nausea when taking zinc.


There is little research on the use of echinacea for colds. However, some Study report Echinacea consumption not only reduces the chance of catching a cold, but also reduces the duration of a cold. other Studies It showed similar results, meaning that taking echinacea when you have a cold can help get rid of a cold faster than if you didn’t take anything. This supplement is largely safe to take, although there is a possibility of an allergic reaction.

Vitamin C

According to NCCIH, vitamin C has a positive effect on shortening colds, although this vitamin is minimal. In a study published by the organization, people who took vitamin C regularly had fewer colds than people who did not take vitamin C, but experienced more severe symptoms. It stands to reason that taking vitamin C regularly can only have a positive effect on a cold if you have one. However, consuming too much vitamin C can lead to digestive problems.

Pouring supplement capsules from a glass bottle.

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Pelargonium, a traditional African medicine, has a rich history of use to help fight disease. Studies It has been shown that the consumption of pelargonium and its derivatives can reduce the symptoms of colds. One study found that the sooner you take pelargonium after you feel cold symptoms, the more likely you are to fight them off. Some over-the-counter cold remedies contain pelargonium, including Umcka Cold and Flu. Possible side effects include rash and pruritus (itchy skin).


Andrographis is probably a supplement you haven’t heard of before, but you can buy it in the supplement aisle at your drugstore. Some Research on andrographis, a plant from South Asia, shows that when taken with ginseng, it can reduce the severity of colds. When taken alone or with usual care, andrographis may shorten the duration From cough and for throat. Like other diarrhea and vomiting, possible side effects are gastrointestinal. It is recommended to take Andrographis within 72 hours of feeling cold symptoms and you can see improvement in symptoms within two days. However, research suggests that it will likely take four to five days to see improvement.

Vitamin D

You may know about vitamin D’s ability to support your bone health, but that’s not all it can do. Some of the Other important powers of vitamin D The ability to fight infection and Strengthen your immune system. Studies It shows that taking vitamin D supplements can fight colds and help them go away quickly. These supplements can also Fighting respiratory infectionsAnother common disease that people experience during the cold and flu season.

Risks of OTC supplements for the common cold

Homeopathic remedies are hit or miss for people, but when it comes to the common cold, there aren’t many proven remedies to turn to. Natural remedies, such as over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements, are pretty much a sure bet for treating colds. However, some of these, such as zinc, can become problematic if not carefully considered.

The most important thing to remember when taking OTC supplements is to consult your doctor—especially if you have an underlying medical condition. Your doctor can help you choose a natural treatment for your cold that is safe for you. They can help you understand the risks that may be associated with each supplement and explore how they could potentially interact with other supplements or medications you are taking. This is especially important to do if you are pregnant, as your doctor will want to monitor the supplements you are taking.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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