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Your lungs, which are part of your respiratory system, are constantly working to keep you alive by providing oxygen to the body and expelling carbon dioxide (1).

Compromised lungs can significantly affect your overall health, which is why keeping them healthy should be a top priority. Unfortunately, many factors can harm lung health.

For example, air pollution, smoking, pneumonia, and diseases such as asthma, COVID-19, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can all contribute to decreased lung function (2, 3, 4, 5).

Additionally, dietary choices and micronutrient deficiencies may negatively affect lung function (6, 7).

Some research suggests that certain dietary supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, may help people with medical conditions that affect lung function, as well as those who wish to support their lung health in general.

These vitamins were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Third-party testing. All of the products included are third-party tested to ensure quality and purity.
  • Ingredient quality. We included products made from high quality ingredients with minimal additives or fillers.
  • Research. We included vitamins that are supported by current research to be safe and effective.
  • Vetting. All the products listed below have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.

This article lists 8 of the best supplements for lung health.

Best vitamin C

Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Vitamin C

Price: $$$

Vitamin C functions as a powerful antioxidant, meaning it works to prevent cellular damage. It also has anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties, and studies show that having optimal vitamin C levels is essential for healthy lungs (8).

Vitamin C deficiency can significantly affect the immune system and may increase the risk of respiratory infection. Conversely, maintaining optimal vitamin C levels may help improve lung function and protect against conditions that affect the lungs, such as COPD (9, 10).

Studies show that supplemental vitamin C may reduce the risk and duration of respiratory infections. It may also help improve lung function and prevent lung function decline in people with asthma (11, 12).

Additionally, vitamin C is extremely important if you smoke. Studies show that among people who smoke, those with higher levels of vitamin C are found to have better lung function than those with lower vitamin C levels (13, 14).

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C in adults over 19 years of age is 75–120 mg (14).

If you can’t get enough vitamin C through foods and beverages or require extra vitamin C, a supplement is a smart choice.

Liposomal vitamin C is a form of vitamin C that’s encased in tiny lipid spheres called liposomes. Studies show that liposomal vitamin C is more absorbable than traditional forms of vitamin C supplements (15).

Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Vitamin C is a liquid supplement that provides 1,000 mg of vitamin C per teaspoon (5 mL).

All Quicksilver Scientific products undergo third-party testing for safety, quality, and potency, though the name of the testing organization isn’t disclosed on the company’s website.

Best vitamin D

Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3

Price: $

Vitamin D is a key nutrient for lung health, and being deficient in vitamin D may increase your risk of developing respiratory tract infections and conditions that affect the lungs, including COPD (16, 17).

Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be extremely common among people with conditions that affect the lungs, including asthma and COPD, and may worsen symptoms and affect lung function in these populations (18, 19, 20).

Evidence suggests that supplementing with vitamin D may help improve quality of life, reduce disease exacerbation, and improve certain symptoms in people with respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26).

Plus, having higher levels of vitamin D has been linked to improved lung function in the general population (27).

Researchers have also found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with more severe lung involvement, longer disease duration, and higher risk of death in people hospitalized for COVID-19, and that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of COVID-19 (28, 29, 30).

Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent worldwide, and many people would benefit from supplemental vitamin D, especially those most at risk of deficiency, including African Americans, those with obesity or diabetes, and people who smoke or are over the age of 65 (31).

Before taking a vitamin D supplement, it’s important to get your vitamin D levels checked by a healthcare professional.

Depending on your results, your healthcare professional will recommend an appropriate dosage. If you’re deficient, you may need to take high-dose supplements or receive high-dose vitamin D injections from a medical professional.

Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 1,000 IU is a good choice for those looking to maintain optimal vitamin D levels. Depending on your vitamin D levels, you can take one or more capsules per day.

Higher-dose supplements, such as those that provide 6,000–10,000 IU are generally a better choice for people who are deficient in vitamin D. Pure Encapsulations also offers vitamin D supplements that provide 5,000 and 10,000 IU per capsule (32).

Pure Encapsulations is certified by United States Pharmacopeia (USP), which sets strict product-specific standards for supplements.

Best magnesium

Thorne Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder

Price: $$

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a number of critical roles in the body, including supporting lung function. Magnesium helps relax bronchial smooth muscle cells and reduces lung inflammation, which may help those with lung conditions (33).

Additionally, people with certain respiratory conditions are more likely to be deficient in magnesium, which can affect lung function.

For example, a study in 50 people with chronic asthma found that 10% of the people with asthma were deficient in magnesium. Also, lung function was significantly lower among those with magnesium deficiency than people with asthma with normal magnesium levels (34).

Similarly, a study in 120 people found that magnesium deficiency was highly prevalent among participants with asthma, and lower magnesium levels were associated with more severe asthma symptoms and more frequent asthma attacks (35).

Studies have also shown that magnesium supplementation may help protect against lung function loss in people with COPD and lung cancer (36, 37).

Taking magnesium supplements can help support healthy magnesium levels. Some forms of magnesium are more absorbable than others. For example, magnesium glycinate appears to be better absorbed than magnesium oxide (38).

Thorne Magnesium Glycinate is a good choice for maintaining optimal magnesium levels or boosting low magnesium levels.

It comes in a monk-fruit-sweetened powder that can be added to water, with each scoop delivering 200 mg of magnesium.

Thorne is certified by NSF International, an organization that tests supplements for quality and potency and inspects manufacturing facilities, and the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), a regulatory agency run by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Best omega-3

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega 2X

Price: $$$

Omega-3 fats have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which may have beneficial effects on inflammatory lung conditions like asthma (39).

Having a diet low in omega-3 fats, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been associated with an increased risk of asthma in both children and adults (40, 41, 42).

Additionally, having more omega-3s in the blood is associated with better asthma control and less reliance on inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) (43).

Having an omega-3-rich diet may also reduce the risk of developing COPD (44).

Findings from some studies suggest that taking high doses — between 3–6 grams per day — of omega-3s may help improve symptoms of certain lung disorders like asthma. Though, not all studies have observed a benefit (45, 47).

One 12-week study in 60 people with lung cancer found those who took a fish oil supplement with 1.6 grams of EPA and 0.8 grams of DHA daily had significantly reduced inflammatory markers and improved nutritional status, compared with those in a placebo group (48).

Limited evidence also suggests that omega-3 supplements may improve lung function and quality of life in those with cystic fibrosis, but the current evidence is weak and insufficient to draw strong conclusions (49).

If you have a lung condition, talk with your doctor before adding omega-3 supplements into your diet. Keep in mind that potentially effective doses are typically much higher than those that are recommended on supplement bottles.

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega 2X is a concentrated omega-3 fish oil supplement that’s a good choice for those who need higher doses.

Two capsules provide 2.15 grams of omega-3s. Ask your healthcare professional for specific dosage recommendations based on your health goals.

Customers can visit the Nordic Naturals website for a supplement certificate of analysis, which is documentation that ensures that a product has undergone testing for quality and purity and adheres to certain specifications and standards

Best multimineral

Designs for Health Complete Mineral Complex

Price: $$$

In addition to magnesium, zinc and selenium are essential for healthy lungs. Both minerals act as antioxidants in the body and may have protective effects in those with lung conditions.

Studies show that people with lung conditions like asthma and COPD tend to have lower levels of zinc and selenium than people who don’t have these conditions (49, 50, 51).

Selenium and zinc deficiency may also increase the risk of respiratory infections, as well as the risk of severe symptoms and mortality in those with COVID-19 (52, 53, 54, 55, 56).

What’s more, low selenium and zinc levels may increase the risk of lung cancer (57, 58).

A study that analyzed data on 5,435 people found that a higher zinc intake was associated with a 42% reduced risk of developing lung cancer (59).

Making sure you get enough selenium and zinc from your diet is most important. However, some people may also need a multimineral supplement.

Taking a multimineral supplement like Designs for Health Complete Mineral Complex can help increase your consumption of minerals and ensure you’re getting optimal amounts on a daily basis.

A 3-capsule dose of Designs for Health Complete Mineral Complex provides 182% and 273% of the daily value (DV) for zinc and selenium, respectively. It also provides 48% of the DV for magnesium.

Designs for Health adheres to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), which are regulations set by the FDA to ensure the safe manufacturing and processing of dietary supplements.

In addition to the supplements listed above, the following may help support lung health.

Best curcumin

Thorne Meriva 500-SF

Price: $$$

Curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric, and it has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Some research suggests that curcumin may protect the lungs against air pollution, reduce lung inflammation, and improve certain symptoms related to asthma (60, 61, 62, 63).

Thorne Meriva 500-SF contains Meriva, a highly absorbable form of curcumin.

Best n-acetyle cycstine

Pure Encapsulations NAC

Price: $$

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a precursor to glutathione, an antioxidant that’s naturally produced in the body.

Studies show that high-dose supplementation with NAC (1,200 mg per day) may help treat COPD (64, 65).

Rodent studies also suggest it may help reduce inflammation related to asthma, though research in humans is needed (66).

Best vitamin E

Life Extension Gamma E Mixed Tocopherols and Tocotrienols

Price: $$

Vitamin E has been studied for its potential to improve respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD.

When taken in supplement form, vitamin E has been shown to help improve lung function and certain symptoms of asthma in children and adults (67, 68).

What’s more, in one study involving 580 men, vitamin E supplements were associated with improved lung function (69).

However, studies have found that taking vitamin E supplements may increase the risk of prostate cancer in healthy men, so it’s important to check with a healthcare professional before adding vitamin E to your supplement regimen (70).

Life Extension Gamma E Mixed Tocopherols and Tocotrienols provides all 8 compounds in the vitamin E family.

While taking certain vitamins may help promote lung health, it’s important to consider your health needs, medications, and more before taking a dietary supplement.

If you have a medical condition, such as cancer or COPD, your healthcare team may suggest taking certain dietary supplements, depending on factors like nutrient deficiencies and dietary intake.

Additionally, certain supplements have the potential to interact with some medications, including those used to treat cancer. For this reason, it’s important to discuss any supplements with your healthcare team before adding them to your regimen (71).

This can help prevent complications and ensure that you’re only taking supplements that are safe, necessary, and effective.

Following a nutrient-dense diet, getting plenty of physical activity, and avoiding smoking are some of the best ways to take care of your lungs and keep them healthy throughout your lifetime.

Taking certain dietary supplements, including, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, omega-3s, zinc, and selenium may also help promote lung health, especially among those with conditions that affect the lungs, such as COPD, asthma, and certain forms of cancer.

If you’re interested in trying one or more of the supplements listed above, speak with a healthcare professional first. They can help you determine whether supplements are the right choice for your specific needs and what dosages are most appropriate.