Supplements for Cold and Flu Season

It’s that time of year again: cold and flu season is upon us. Luckily, research has found that several supplements may help reduce your risk of getting a cold or the flu, or help ease your cold or flu symptoms. Cold-and-flu-fighters such as echinacea, probiotics, vitamin C, green tea, and even exercise already have big reputations, but you may not have heard of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), another supplement that could also help you feel better when you’ve caught a bug.

  • NAC is an altered form of the amino acid, cysteine, which is made by the body and is found in most high-protein foods. One double-blind study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, found that people supplementing with NAC (600 mg twice daily) had less frequent flu-like bouts of illness, less severe symptoms of the flu, and spent less time confined to bed. However, it did not decrease the number of flu infections.

These findings suggest that NAC may prevent symptoms in people who develop the flu. Check with your healthcare practitioner before adding NAC, or any new supplement, to your health regimen.

Source: European Respiratory Journal

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