If you suffer from joint pain, swelling, and inflammation then we have good news for you. There are several different supplements available that effectively ease pain and improve joint health. They can also rebuild cartilage in joints through consistent usage.
It’s difficult to get all the necessary and vital nutrients the body needs from food alone, so adding supplements to your daily routine can relieve you of annoying joint pain and stiffness.
This article highlights some of the best and most popular choices of joint health supplements and brands. It does not replace professional medical advice, but it’s a great starting point for anyone looking to learn more about improving joint health.
1. Boswellia Serrata
Boswellia Serrata is our top pick. It’s a plant native to India and the Middle East and it has been used as an inflammatory agent for centuries. There is research showing that Boswellia Serrata can alleviate joint pain and help increase flexibility in knees for those who suffer from osteoarthritis. However it’s not proven to be helpful with rheumatoid arthritis.
This supplement can be found in capsules with 100-250 mg, and you only need to take it once a day with a meal. A bottle of 120 capsules can be found for less than $20. Herbal Secrets Boswellia Serrata Extract is our brand of choice.
Because it’s a plant-based supplement, it can be a good choice for vegans, vegetarians, and those with food allergies to gluten, fish, and lactose.
Joint pain is caused by inflammation and swelling as well as loss of cartilage due to over-use and aging. Because chondroitin partially makes up cartilage, it can be a good supplement for those with over-worked joints. However, chondroitin also has blood-thinning properties, so anyone already taking anticoagulants should be cautious about taking this supplement.
There has been research that suggests chondroitin might only be effective when also taken with glucosamine, another component of cartilage. There are some supplement brands that provide both of these ingredients. We recommend NOW Chrondroitin. One to two 600 mg capsules can be taken per day with a meal.
Glucosamine is another component of cartilage and it’s a popular choice for people with mild and moderate joint pain. For some users, it can relieve pain just as well as acetaminophen, but for others it might only help with joint function and not so much with pain. Only the individual can decide if it works well for them.
Like chondroitin, glucosamine also has properties of blood thinners. One study showed that Boswellia Serrata and collagen were better for improving joint mobility and pain than glucosamine. But again, it varies from person to person.
Glucosamine can be found as a supplement along with chondroitin or as it’s own. Schiff’s Glucosamine brand is popular because it has an 85% potency of glucosamine as opposed to the average 65%.
Curcumin is part of tumeric, which is a commonly found supplement that helps stop inflammation similar to an NSAID or aspirin. It can reduce pain and greatly improve functionality of joints for people with mild joint pain and rheumatoid arthritis. Curcumin is difficult for the body to absorb without another nutrient such as piperine (a nutrient from black pepper) or some lipids. It’s usually taken with food as well.
There are capsule options that provide curcumin with piperine such as BioSchwartz’s Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine. These capsules are a safe choice for most people with food allergies and they are made with a vegetarian coating.
5. Fish Oil
A widely discussed topic in nutrition is “essential fatty acids” which is a nutrient our body need but cannot make on its own. There are two kinds of fatty acids, linoleic and alpha-linolenic, that our body transforms into either omega-3 or omega-6 acids. Fish oil is mostly comprised of omega-3 fatty acids, and it can benefit people with everyday movement pain and people with disease related pain such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. This is why it’s a common high-dosage supplement for athletes.
Fish oil is available from foods like salmon or soft-gel supplements. Both ways provide you with each type of fatty acid (DHA and EPA) that the body craves. If you prefer taking capsules over eating fish, then taking them with food can help weaken the fishy after-taste of the capsules.
In addition to helping joint pain, fish oil can also improve your skin, hair, and heart health. We highly recommend the InnovixLabs fish oil capsules. They are affordable and offer 900 mg of omega 3s in each pill. Also, there is no aftertaste with this brand.
Collagen is another common supplement people use to improve joint performance because it comprises about 30% of protein in mammals. Studies show that supplements of type-II collagen can help with swelling, pain, and flexibility for people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Collagen can be released from animal tissue by boiling it down into a gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen is broken down more-so into peptides. Both gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen can reduce pain. Most gelatin is made from bone and skin from pigs and cows. Pure gelatin is pure protein, but the dessert called gelatin is usually not pure gelatin.
Collagen should be taken with food and there is some research that suggests that it might be better absorbed by the body after some exercise. Hydrolyzed collagen is a powder that can be mixed into any beverage or added to a snack such as oatmeal or yogurt. A popular choice is Premium Collagen Peptides from Sports Research and it comes in a 16 oz bottle.
Type II collagen is available in capsule form from companies like Neocell who sells 120 capsule bottles. Both forms contain the same amino acids (protein).
7. Vitamin C
We’ve noted that collagen is vital for joint function, but vitamin C is needed to form that collagen. Your body can only absorb so much vitamin C, so if you have normal levels of it then you won’t see much improvement in your joint health if you decide to take supplements. However, additional vitamin C has shown to help prevent Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a chronic condition of swollen joints that can also affect your hair and skin.
Vitamin C can also help the body absorb iron and aluminum, but too much of these minerals can have negative effects. Those with joint pain or CRPS can take 500 mg daily of vitamin C, but if you don’t see results in a few months, then vitamin C is probably not the answer.
This is another supplement that will be best absorbed with food. You can find vitamin C tablets with 500 mg or 1000 mg servings. NOW Vitamin C-1000 Sustained Release tablets are available for sale at an affordable price.
Joint pain and swelling is a physical ailment that affects people both mildly and severely. Some people suffer from pain and inflammation due to their everyday jobs and activities, others are affected by chronic issues and diseases like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Either way, dietary supplements can be a tremendous help.
Supplements can be found online or in stores and do not require a doctor’s prescription. Supplements work differently for each individual and results can vary from person to person. If you have a serious physical injury or a chronic condition then should consult with a medical professional before taking any supplement.