Arthritis is the leading cause of joint pains and inflammations which often manifest in stiffness, swollenness, and chronic pain. In the United States, about one-third of the population suffers from osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis. The long-term effects include reduced performance or immobility in the worst cases.
You’d want to take supplements to ease pain and manage some of the symptoms associated with chronic joint pain and inflammation. Even so, what are the top 10 supplements for joint health and inflammation that you can trust to deliver fast results? Are they safe for your body?
We did extensive research on high-quality supplements that work. Coupled with expert advice and experimentation, here is everything you need to know about the top 10 supplements that you can trust for joint health and inflammation:
Turmeric is the most popular supplement for alleviating different types of body pain, including joints. Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a chemical compound with potent anti-inflammatory effects. Thus, it can relieve joint pains resulting from both osteoarthritis and inflammation. Turmeric works the same way as ginger and pepper, but it is more prevalent because of its less-hot and spicy taste.
It is important to note that there is limited scientific research to support turmeric’s long-turn success. It will help relieve the short-lived symptoms, but patients need to embrace light exercise to prevent the long-term effects of joint pains such as disability. For improvement and better results, you can take turmeric-based 500 mg tablets in a dose of about two to four pills a day.
Boswellia is popularly known as frankincense and works the same way as turmeric extracts to relieve joint pains. Boswellia contains anti-inflammatory properties that help treat swollen bones and muscles around the joints. However, experts recommend taking Boswellia when combined with another supplement rich in curcumin. Curcumin is more powerful compared to many antioxidant supplements.
Boswellia supplements are ideal for patients who often experience adverse side effects after taking over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Moreover, Boswellia and curcumin have few long-term side effects even when taking for up to three years. Even so, these claims are on the basis of anecdotal patient accounts, and there is little scientific evidence to support the same.
Due to the uncertainties surrounding Boswellia, consult your primary doctor before taking the supplements. Most manufacturers will recommend a daily dosage of 300 to 400 mg per day. Patients with adverse arthritis symptoms may take up to 600 mg per day by mouth.
Besides inflammation, you can also experience joint pains due to bone friction, resulting in cartilage breakdown. Glucosamine, a natural component of cartilage, prevents the bones from rubbing against each other. Glucosamine is a popular remedy for joint pain, and long-term intake can help reverse the effects and progression of osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine exists in two types, including glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. However, most supplements contain glucosamine sulfate, as chloride doesn’t do much in alleviating symptoms. Instead, you’ll need to take it for prolonged periods of up to three years to improve the signs of deteriorating joint health.
Dosage intake for glucosamine include:
• 1500 mg tablets
• 500 mg tablets
Manufacturers recommend taking 1500 mg tablets once a day and three times for 500 mg tablets.
Chondroitin sulfate is a building blockage of cartilage that can help alleviate knee pain by preventing cartilage breakdown. It is a popular remedy for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis results from narrowing the knee joints. Chondroitin work by preventing further narrowing of the gap when taken for at least two years.
Most joint health supplement products will have a combination of chondroitin and glucosamine as the main ingredient. Even so, there is little clinical evidence to show that a combination of the two is any better than taking either individually.
You can combine this supplement with light physical exercises to enhance joint activity. Most manufacturers recommend chondroitin intake in the following ways:
• 400 mg tablets
• 800 mg tablets
Depending on how often or severe your experience pains, you can take the tablets up to three times a day.
5. Tamarind Seed
The use of tamarind seed extracts as pain remedies dates back to ancient human civilization. Regular tamarind seed is rich in anti-stress and anti-inflammatory properties that can help mitigate the effects of joint wear and tear. Tamarind can relieve joint pain and slow down the joint bone degeneration process. Tamarind seed extracts work by alleviating stress in the joints and protecting the cartilage.
It is essential to note that regular tamarind contains about 300 mg of calcium per 100 grams and can help build stronger joint bones. You can take tamarind either in beverage or tablet form in supplement products. Even so, most experts note that tamarind works better if combined with curcumin. Thus, watch out for supplement products that contain both tamarind seed extracts and curcumin as the primary ingredients.
6. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a popular joint health supplement often combined with glucosamine or chondroitin. MSM is rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-stress properties that can help relieve the symptoms of chronic arthritis. MSM works by reducing joint oxidative stress and inflammation resulting from bone friction. It can also help address pain resulting from broken or worn-out cartilage.
MSM dosages may vary from one individual to another, depending on age and the underlying medical conditions. Just like Vitamin E, MSM has many side effects that can be rampant if you overdose. This includes nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and general body weakness.
MSM has additional properties that can help improve your general bone health. For instance, it increases exercise performance and can help you embrace light exercises for stronger and flexible joint bones. Most manufacturers recommend MSM dosage intake of about four grams per day. Still, there is little scientific research to point out some of the long-term side effects of taking MSM.
Capsaicin is a naturally occurring compound in regular peppers responsible for the burning sensation of hot chilies. Intriguingly, capsaicin has rich anti-inflammatory properties that may help manage and treat arthritis. Taking high amounts of chilly pepper can furnish the body with antioxidants to lower the risks associated with a high concentration of free radicals.
Capsaicin supplements in topical creams can relieve pain in the joints. Appling a capsaicin-based cream stimulates the pain receptors to reduce the human’s body sensitivity to pain. It is important to note that capsaicin causes a burning sensation on the skin.
8. Devil’s Claw
Devil’s Claw dried roots are common traditional remedies for pain and inflammation whose use dates back to the early 1900s in England. France and Germany are leading advanced research on Devil’s Claw as a suitable remedy for arthritis, lower back pain, and general inflammation. Devil’s Claw has strong anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the iridoid glycosides class of compounds composition.
Devil’s Claw is also rich in antioxidants that may help alleviate cell-damaging effects caused by free radicals in the joints. Devil’s Claw is mainly taken in the form of concentrated capsules, herbal teas, and powders. Intake will vary accordingly depending on supplement choice, whether herbal extracts or tablets. Most manufacturers recommend a daily intake of about 2610 grams per day.
Exceeding this dosage recommendation would result in mild to strong effects of diarrhea, headache, coughing, and allergic reactions. There is little scientific research highlighting some of the potential long-term effects of taking Devil’s Claw supplements.
Ginger works similarly to turmeric and Boswellia. Spicy ginger roots contain a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol. Gingerol has the same pain-relieving properties as over-the-counter meds like ibuprofen. Anecdotal accounts of most patients indicate that you’ll need high doses of ginger to alleviate arthritis symptoms. Moreover, not all ginger species have potent properties that can relieve inflammation. There is still little scientific evidence on the long-term effects of taking high doses of ginger.
10. Vitamin E
Lastly, you might also consider taking vitamin E supplements to manage joint pains and inflammation. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that can help reverse the joint wear and tear effects. In the correct dosage and consistency, taking vitamin E can help treat osteoarthritis, especially when taken over a long period.
However, most doctors don’t recommend vitamin E supplements in many cases because of their adverse effects on the patient. It is also important to note that you can quickly get “hooked” to these supplements as long-term usage may trigger mega-dose intake. Some of the prevalent side effects of overdosing on vitamin E supplements include:
• General body weakness
• Blurry vision
Wrapping It Up
Just like all other supplements and vitamins, supplements for joint health and inflammation are increasingly becoming popular in the mainstream. The FDA and most regulatory bodies don’t have much control over them. Thus, the consumer has to research and read reviews about different brands before trying them. Watch out for products with the above supplements as part of their ingredients. Most importantly, take supplements as per the manufacturer’s instructions for quicker, better results. Don’t forget to consult your primary physician before trying any supplement product