Best supplements for joint pain and arthritis

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month. According to The Arthritis Foundation, more than 50 million Americans suffer from arthritis, making it the number one cause of disability in our country. While there is no cure, medications, physical therapy, and, in some cases, surgery can help reduce the discomfort associated with the condition.

In addition, there are a number of science-backed supplements that can help relieve your joint pain. Below are seven of the experts’ top choices. As always, consult a trusted healthcare professional before adding a new supplement to your routine. Read on to learn the best supplements for joint pain and more ways to support your joints.

Best supplements for joint pain and arthritis


1. Glucosamine

Best supplements for joint pain and arthritis

ASH Certified Hypertension Specialist and Persona Nutrition Medical Advisory Board Member Dr.

“Usually used in combination with chondroitin, glucosamine are both compounds found in cartilage. Disruption of cartilage loss, which is the hallmark of arthritis, and this process causes inflammation. The supplement combination protects both cartilage-producing cells and has anti-inflammatory properties,” says Malinow and 2016 Referring to the MOVES research.

“Another study showed that cartilage in the knee retained its thickness,” he adds, adding that there are two types of glucosamine (sulfate and hydrochloride) and that researchers tend to prefer glucosamine sulfate at a dose of about 1,500 milligrams per day.

2. Curcumin

Best supplements for joint pain and arthritis

Derived from turmeric, a plant in the ginger family, curcumin is another popular supplement that has been well studied for joint health. Curcumin is the compound that gives turmeric its distinctive yellow color, and the same properties that contribute to curcumin’s color make it a powerful antioxidant.

“Numerous studies have reported improvement in joint function, reduction in pain, and increased ability to exercise endurance when taking curcumin supplements,” said Joel Totoro, Thorne Director of Sports Science.

“The study data also reveal that curcumin helps maintain a healthy balance of cytokines, substances that regulate the body’s inflammatory response,” says curcumin, and it has also been shown to reduce post-exercise pain. Malinow notes that some studies have shown curcumin to be as effective as Ibuprofen in treating osteoarthritis.

When choosing a supplement to buy, keep this in mind: “Since ordinary curcumin is not well absorbed, look for a curcumin supplement that is bound to a lipid carrier, such as the curcumin component in Meriva. It has 29 times higher absorption rate than ordinary curcumin.” Malinow helps increase the bioavailability of curcumin. He adds that it’s important to find a turmeric supplement that contains the extract.

3. Omega-3 Fish oil

Best supplements for joint pain and arthritis

Oh, how much omega-3s do we love you for your inflammation-fighting and heart-healthy superpowers? Liana Cassi, one of Oh So Spotless’s advisors, shares an overview of the prowess of omega-3s:

“Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have a variety of functions at the cellular level. These include, among others, structural maintenance, signaling, membrane fluidity, regulation of blood pressure, and reduction of inflammation.” sources include fatty fish, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.

A study in athletes found that three grams of omega-3 supplements daily helped reduce the development and severity of arthritis. During exercise, our bodies experience temporary inflammation, resulting in the release of chemical mediators called reactive oxygen species (ROS). It can cause tissue damage, ”he explains. “Omega-3s have been shown to reduce the damage done by these harmful substances by reducing joint inflammation and reducing pain, discomfort, and swelling.”

Important to note: A potential side effect of omega-3 supplements is a change in your blood’s platelet function, which can delay wound healing. Dr. “If you are taking anti-inflammatory medications, have high blood pressure, or any other medical condition, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking this supplement,” emphasizes Dr. Casusi.

4. Vitamin D

Best supplements for joint pain and arthritis

First, a small overview of vitamin D: “Vitamin D is a hormone that maintains the calcium balance in the bones and regulates the immune system. It is synthesized in our skin with the help of ultraviolet irradiation or exposure to sunlight,” says Dr. Spy.

“Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have shown that subgroups of patients with the disease have reduced vitamin D levels, which is linked to the severity of the disease.” Therefore, vitamin D is more likely to develop arthritis and may have severe swelling, joint pain, and stiffness.

When it comes to vitamin D supplements, it’s often recommended for people who are not exposed to the sun or cannot meet their nutritional needs through food intakes, such as elderly individuals and vegetarians, says Dr. Casusi, and points out their excessive vitamin D levels. It can cause toxicity, so always follow the dosage recommended by your medical practitioner before taking the supplement.

5. Methylsulfonylmethane

Best supplements for joint pain and arthritis

There is some evidence that joint pain is improved with this naturally occurring compound, which is popularly referred to as MSM and is used in complementary and alternative medicine. “This popular supplement can be taken alone or as part of a proprietary blend in some joint supplements. It is usually taken on its own to address a wide variety of conditions, but is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties and role in making connective tissues,” comments for.

“Whether the direct cause is arthritis, joint degeneration, or chronic inflammation, joint pain is rooted in both of these issues, making MSM an ideal supplement to add to any joint health regimen. MSM is a sulfuric compound and the body uses sulfur to form bonds. In some forms of arthritis and joint degenerative conditions, the connective tissue begins to fray, exacerbating the condition and pain. This supplement can help delay or even reverse the root cause of this problem. “

6. Boswellia

“Boswellia serrata, also known as Indian Frankincense, is a gum derived from Boswellia trees native to Africa, India, and the Middle East. Boswellia extract has been used in Eastern medicine for many years and has grown in popularity due to its beneficial inflammatory response property,” says Totoro.

“Boswellia has demonstrated a proven ability to help maintain a healthy balance of substances that control the body’s inflammatory response,” he continued, underlining this review last year that Boswellia could be effective in supporting the body’s response to stiffness, and range of motion in people with long-term joint problems. and general joint function.

7. SAMe

S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a supplement commonly used to help symptoms of depression and osteoarthritis. Your liver naturally produces SAMe from an amino acid called methionine. It has various functions such as helping cartilage production and repair.

Taken as a supplement, SAMe can help with joint pain symptoms caused by osteoarthritis. It may be as effective as the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib (Celebrex). In a 2004 study, celecoxib improved symptoms more than SAMe after one month of treatment. However, the treatments were similar in the second month.

Try it: SAMe is usually taken in doses of 200 to 400 mg three times a day. Note that it may take some time to notice the results.

8. Avocado-soybean Unsaponifiables or ASU

How it works: ASU blocks pro-inflammatory chemicals, prevents deterioration of synovial cells, which line joints, and may help regenerate normal connective tissue. A large three-year study showed that ASU significantly reduced the progression of hip OA compared with placebo. A meta-analysis found that ASU also improved symptoms of hip and knee OA, and reduced or eliminated NSAID use.

Best for osteoarthritis

9. Burdock

Trista Best, a registered dietitian at Balance One, voices this vegetable native to MPH, RD, LDN, Asia, and Europe: “Burdock is an herb that is widely available worldwide and used in the form of a food source or supplement with a high degree of antioxidants and plant compounds that are anti-inflammatory, ”he says, and cites this study of burdock root tea on patients with osteoarthrosis of the knees.

“Due to its anti-inflammatory nature, it is used to treat or alleviate many conditions in the body. Some of the most popular uses include gastrointestinal ailments, skin problems, and discomfort from joint pain and swelling.” powerful plant.

10. Gamma Linolenic Acid or GLA

Best supplements for joint pain and arthritis

How it works: GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that the body converts into anti-inflammatory chemicals. In one trial, 56 patients with active RA showed significant improvement in joint pain, stiffness, and grip strength after six months and progressive improvement in control of disease activity at one year. A smaller study found that a combination of GLA and fish oil significantly reduced the need for conventional pain relievers.

Best for rheumatoid arthritis

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