Because COVID-19 comes with cold and flu-like symptoms, Vitamins B, C and D, as well as zinc may be helpful in boosting your immune system and fighting the illness in the same way they can help you get over a cold or flu.

Vitamin C
Generally, vitamin C can help you fight a cold faster or ease your cold symptoms if you were taking it prior to getting sick. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help reduce inflammation—and lung inflammation is a severe symptom of COVID-19, which can lead to respiratory distress or even death. So if you’re still healthy, it doesn’t hurt to start taking vitamin C now.

Vitamin D
The primary function of vitamin D is to help your body maintain optimal blood levels of calcium and phosphorous, which you can get through exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, or through supplements and the foods you eat.

Getting enough vitamin D can also protect you from respiratory infection. Vitamin D supplementation significantly decreases the chance of respiratory tract infections, based on clinical studies published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics.

B Complex vitamins
Vitamin B6 is essential to keeping your immune system in top condition. Be sure to get enough vitamin B as a supplement, as part of your daily diet (you can easily get your daily intake from fortified cereals) or in a multivitamin.

Zinc
Popping a zinc throat lozenge, or taking an over-the-counter cold remedy with zinc in it (as a syrup or tablet) helps shorten the length of rhinovirus colds. Zinc also helps symptoms—nasal congestion, nasal drainage, sore throat, and cough—resolve sooner.

Zinc has also been found to help produce and activate T-cells (t-lymphocytes), which trigger the body to respond to infections, according to the NIH.

For a faster recovery, start taking zinc to treat your illness within the first 24 hours of symptoms. A proper dose of zinc is 75 mg, but beware: Taking more than 150mg per day of zinc could cause zinc toxicity and also have a negative impact on your immune system.

If you’re taking more than one zinc medication, check with your doctor first to prevent adverse reactions.