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4 Best Supplements to Take for Allergies, According to Doctors

Here's how to soothe your seasonal symptoms.

Spring is approaching, and depending on whether you suffer from seasonal allergies, this may or may not be welcome news. That's because as the trees, grasses, and flowers return in full force, they'll release pollen into the air, triggering the unpleasant symptoms of allergic rhinitis—also known as hay fever. Taking an antihistamine medication may be your fastest path to relief from the congestion, sneezing, runny nose, and watering eyes associated with the condition. However, if like many people you're looking for alternatives or additions to over-the-counter drugs, certain supplements may also be of service, doctors say.

In fact, Soma Mandal, MD, a board-certified internist with Summit Health in New Providence, New Jersey, recommends four supplements in particular when patients are suffering from allergies. "They have anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties that can help alleviate allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation, stabilizing mast cells, and balancing the immune response," she tells Best Life of her recommendations.

Though it's always important to check in with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen—especially if you take other medications, which can put you at risk for drug interactions—Mandal says these four supplements are best for kicking your seasonal symptoms to the curb, so you can finally enjoy spring in all its glory.

RELATED: ​​What Happens If You Take Benadryl Before Bed Every Night, Doctors Say.


woman looking at supplement bottle

Quercetin is a type of flavonoid, the antioxidant compound that gives fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other plants their vibrant colors. When taken as a supplement, quercetin may help to prevent heart disease, certain forms of cancer, inflammation, and cellular damage, according to Mount Sinai's health library.

Preliminary in vitro research also suggests that quercetin supplements may help you fight allergies. Mandal explains that this is because the antioxidant helps to stabilize mast cells, which are "allergy cells responsible for immediate allergic reactions," according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), and reduces the release of histamine.

Though these studies have only been conducted in test tubes, not in human subjects, "researchers think that quercetin may help reduce symptoms of allergies, including runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and swelling of the face and lips," Mount Sinai adds.

Vitamin C

A close up shot of sliced and squeezed oranges a glass of orange juice and a glass full of orange flavored vitamin C Pills. Eat the orange, drink the juice or take a pill.

Because your body doesn't produce vitamin C naturally, it's important to get it through your diet from foods like strawberries, citrus fruits, peppers, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes. If you feel you're still falling short, taking a supplement may help you reap additional benefits.

Mandal says that taking vitamin C can be especially useful during allergy season. "Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties and its ability to reduce inflammation. It can help support the immune system and may reduce the severity of allergy symptoms," she notes.

According to certified nutritionist Jenny Dobrynina, MA, CN, you can expect to see a reduction in swelling, itching sensations, runny nose, excess mucus, and teary eyes when you take the supplement to fight your allergies.

RELATED: 12 Supplements You Should Never Take Together, Medical Experts Say.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Fish oil capsules with omega 3 and vitamin D in a glass bottle on wooden texture, healthy diet concept,close up shot.

Mandal says that taking Omega-3 fatty acids may also help you fight allergies, thanks to their anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, these supplements help the body rebalance its immune response when you're sick, she says.

A 2015 study published in the journal Allergology International corroborates that Omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have "protective effects in inflammatory diseases including asthma and allergies." The researchers behind that study posit that there might be "a causal relationship between decreased intake of fish oil in modernized diets and an increasing number of individuals with asthma or other allergic diseases."



Hay fever occurs when the nasal airways become inflamed in reaction to an allergen, causing sneezing, congestion, watering eyes, and an itchy nose. However, taking a daily probiotic can modify immune and inflammatory responses, some research suggests.

"Probiotics are a useful therapeutic remedy in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, but its underlying mechanisms remain to be further investigated," says one 2013 study published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences. "The clinical benefit of probiotic therapy depends on numerous factors, such as type of bacterium, route of administration, dosing, regimen, and other underlying host factors."

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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