article cover image

Best vitamins and supplements for inflammation relief

article cover image

Archie XinMarch 30, 2024

Vitamin A


  1. Immune System Regulation: Vitamin A greatly influences the operation of the immune system, enhancing overall immune responses and aiding in more effective defense against infections, thereby reducing inflammation triggered by infections.
  2. Influence on Epithelial Cells: Vitamin A has a significant impact on the growth and proliferation of epithelial cells. Epithelial cells act as the body's first line of defense, and robust epithelial function can effectively block the invasion of pathogens, thus reducing the occurrence of inflammatory responses.

Food Sources Rich in Vitamin A

  • Leafy green vegetables: such as kale, spinach, broccoli.
  • Orange and yellow vegetables: such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and other winter squash, as well as summer squash.
  • Fruits: such as mangoes, cantaloupes, grapefruits, watermelons, papayas, apricots, oranges, and peaches.
  • Animal products: such as cheese, eggs, oily fish, fortified low-fat butter, milk, and yogurt.
  • Animal liver: which contains the highest concentration of active vitamin A.

Carrots, in particular, are rich in beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. Additionally, due to their high content of dietary fiber and water, carrots are especially beneficial for health.

Vitamin B Complex


  1. Immune Response Regulation: Considering the various metabolic pathways and enzyme catalytic reactions in which B vitamins are involved, they have a significant influence on the function of the immune system and the body's inflammatory response. For example, Vitamin B6 can limit inflammatory responses, such as inhibiting the accumulation of S1P (a biologically active lipid with pro-inflammatory effects).
  2. Regulation of Local and Neurogenic Inflammation: B vitamins can significantly reduce the number of macrophages producing inflammatory mediators, such as TNF-α and iNOS, and can reduce the production of ROS, NO, IL-6, and TNF-α by activated microglia, all of which are crucial in exerting anti-inflammatory effects.

Research indicates that Vitamin B6 deficiency exacerbates inflammation-related diseases, while B6 supplementation can reverse these inflammatory effects.

Food Sources Rich in Vitamin B

  1. Whole grains: such as whole wheat bread, oatmeal, etc.
  2. Meats: such as lean meat, liver, pork, turkey, etc.
  3. Fish: especially deep-sea fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc.
  4. Poultry: chicken, turkey, etc., are also rich in B vitamins.
  5. Eggs: rich in Vitamin B2, B7, and B12.
  6. Dairy products: such as milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.
  7. Vegetables: especially leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, etc.
  8. Legumes: such as tofu, black beans, green beans, red beans, etc.
  9. Fruits: citrus fruits, pineapple, cherries, bananas, etc.
  10. Nuts and seeds: such as almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, etc.
  11. Freshwater seafood: such as clams, mussels, scallops, etc., which contain large amounts of B12.

Vitamin B plays a crucial role in energy production, red blood cell formation, and maintaining the health of the central nervous system, among other functions.


Vitamin C


Vitamin C is an important antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory effects. It works by:

  1. Regulating Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB): Vitamin C can modulate the DNA binding activity of NF-κB, a crucial pathway for transmitting inflammatory signals within cells. By inhibiting NF-κB, Vitamin C suppresses inflammation.
  2. Transcriptional Regulation: Experimental evidence shows that Vitamin C can regulate mRNA expression related to inflammation in liver cells, further inhibiting the development of inflammation.
  3. Inhibiting Oxidative Stress: In wound healing, Vitamin C can minimize inflammation damage by regulating the body's antioxidant defense systems.

According to research literature such as "Prooxidative inhibition against NF-κB-mediated inflammation by pharmacological vitamin C" and "Obesity, cardiovascular disease, and role of vitamin C on inflammation: a review of facts and underlying mechanisms," Vitamin C has positive effects in inhibiting inflammatory responses. Its application in clinical practice has contributed to patient recovery.

Summary: This study thoroughly analyzes the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of Vitamin C and verifies its effectiveness through scientific experiments. This opens up new possibilities in anti-inflammatory therapy and provides valuable references for future research on inflammation.

Food Sources Rich in Vitamin C

  • Fruits such as oranges, strawberries, papayas, guavas, lychees, lemons, kiwis, grapefruits, etc.
  • Vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage), etc.
  • Berries: strawberries, blackcurrants are fruits rich in Vitamin C.

Vitamin D


Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the anti-inflammatory process. Recent research suggests that Vitamin D can suppress tumor formation by regulating the inflammatory system. Its core mechanism lies in its anti-inflammatory effect, which also provides potential for Vitamin D in anti-cancer therapy.

Some studies emphasize the role of Vitamin D beyond its skeletal effects, particularly as an immune modulator with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. In other words, Vitamin D can penetrate the inflammatory network, exhibiting immune modulation and anti-inflammatory properties. This is particularly evident in research on the relationship between Vitamin D and inflammatory bowel disease.

In conclusion, Vitamin D plays a significant role in the anti-inflammatory process, not limited to immune regulation but also involving inhibition of tumor formation, resistance against bacterial infections, among other aspects. Moreover, based on our summary of past research, Vitamin D shows therapeutic potential for inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, based on its anti-inflammatory effects.

How to Supplement Vitamin D

For most people, achieving adequate Vitamin D intake through food alone may be challenging. Therefore, the following methods can help supplement Vitamin D:

  1. Vitamin D supplements: Vitamin D supplements are widely available and provide an economical and convenient way to ensure adequate intake. The recommended daily supplement for adults is 800 International Units (20 micrograms) of Vitamin D.
  2. Consume foods rich in Vitamin D: Some seafood, eggs, milk and dairy products contain Vitamin D.
  3. Adequate sunlight exposure: Exposing yourself to sunlight allows your body to produce Vitamin D naturally. However, take care to protect yourself from excessive UV exposure to prevent skin damage.
  4. Use multivitamin supplements containing Vitamin D: This is also a way to improve bone health, with the recommended daily amount of Vitamin D for children being 400 International Units (IU).

Vitamin E


The anti-inflammatory effects of Vitamin E mainly stem from its antioxidant properties and regulation of the body's immune response. This is outlined in the article "Natural forms of vitamin E: metabolism, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities and their role in disease prevention and therapy." Vitamin E possesses potent antioxidant capabilities, actively scavenging free radicals in the body and inhibiting inflammatory responses. It also modulates the body's immune response, improves immunity, and reduces the risk of immune-related diseases.

Foods Rich in Vitamin E

  1. Cooking oils: such as wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil.
  2. Seeds and nuts: almonds,

hazelnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, pine nuts. 3. Fish: abalone, salmon, etc. 4. Vegetables: beet greens, collard greens, spinach, etc.

Vitamin K


  • It can prevent the activation of a protein called NF-κB. This protein triggers inflammation in our bodies, typically to combat injury or infection. However, if it becomes overly active, it can lead to unnecessary inflammation. So, Vitamin K acts like a brake here, preventing inflammation from getting out of control.
  • Another function is that Vitamin K can prevent the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome. It is also a protein complex that gets activated when inflammation occurs in our bodies. Vitamin K prevents its activation, thus stopping the production and release of a substance called IL-1β, which triggers inflammation.

So, in summary, Vitamin K acts as a fire extinguisher, preventing inflammation from getting out of control in our bodies and helping us maintain health. This also provides new insights for treating some inflammatory diseases.

Foods Rich in Vitamin K

  • Green leafy vegetables: such as cooked kale, cooked mustard greens, Swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.
  • Legumes: such as soybeans, soybean oil, etc.
  • Nuts and fruits

It is worth noting that Vitamin K is closely related to blood clotting, and excessive intake may increase the risk of blood clot formation, especially for individuals taking anticoagulant medications such as warfarin, who need to avoid consuming high Vitamin K foods. Vitamin K should be consumed in moderation in the diet to ensure health.


By selecting appropriate vitamins and supplements, combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle habits, inflammation can be effectively alleviated, and overall health can be improved. However, remember to consult with healthcare professionals before starting any new supplement regimen.