7 Best Supplements for Arthritis-Related Pain

7 Best Supplements for Arthritis-Related Pain

There are a lot of different supplements that are believed to be helpful for arthritis symptoms. Scientists have found that some might be really helpful and may even enable you to take lower doses of prescription medications. But there are also supplements that should be avoided if you have arthritis. 

But you should also remember certain things about arthritis supplements. First, they aren’t free of side effects. Second, they aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That means you’ll have to do your own research to find which ones are helpful and to determine those that can interact with your other meds. Always talk about any supplements with your healthcare provider before taking them in order to avoid potentially dangerous health consequences.

1. Omega 3-fatty acids 

There are lots of studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Fish oil, which has omega-3s, can help reduce arthritis pain, as well as relieve the symptoms of lupus, and other inflammatory diseases. What’s more, omega-3s can help rheumatoid arthritis sufferers reduce their doses of corticosteroids or NSAIDs.

Omega-3s are contained in cold-water fish like mackerel and salmon, but since there’s risk of getting too much mercury from eating more than six to eight ounces of fish a week, it’s best to take fish oil supplements. Plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flax and flaxseed oil.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which is essential for building connective tissue, however, now, it’s hard to say whether that translates to less arthritis pain. Instead of taking vitamin C as a supplement, try getting it through a healthy diet. 

Studies have proven that people with the least amount of vitamin C in their diet are three times more likely to develop arthritis than those whose diets consist of plenty of fruits and veggies.

3. Ginger 

Ginger root is able to improve joint pain and lower inflammation in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Add ginger to your diet as an arthritis treatment to lessen inflammation rather than taking it in supplement form. Ginger in supplement form can interact with blood thinners and can exacerbate gallbladder disease.

4. MSM

MSM, also known as methylsulfonylmethane, is naturally contained in healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables. It’s believed to help form connective tissue in the body and might possibly alleviate arthritis pain. Many experts have supported the claim that MSM can reduce inflammation, however, the effects are modest. 

MSM seems to have a positive effect on knee osteoarthritis. But you should avoid it if you’re on any blood-thinning medications.

5. Glucosamine 

Glucosamine seems to help reduce osteoarthritis pain and protect cartilage from damage, while helping your joints to move better. According to a large National Institutes of Health (NIH) study of glucosamine and chondroitin, glucosamine might have an effect on moderate and severe arthritis, however, it doesn’t seem to help mild arthritis pain. Other studies have found that glucosamine might be a more widely effective arthritis treatment, and the reason may be the type of preparation used. 

6. SAM-e

According to several studies, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM-e), a chemical that occurs naturally in the human body, can be helpful for osteoarthritis patients. Research has even shown that it might be as effective an arthritis treatment as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). But you should consult your doctor before taking SAM-e, since it can lead to a number of side effects, including upset stomach and diarrhea. It can also interfere with other drugs like antidepressants and drugs for Parkinson’s disease.

7. Devil’s Claw 

This herb is believed to help fight pain and inflammation. Scientists still don’t know for sure whether it can play a helpful role in arthritis treatment, but studies have been inconclusive. Keep in mind that Devil’s claw can interfere with diabetes medications, blood thinners, and other prescription drugs.

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