Best Supplements for Arthritis, Says Dietitian – Eat This, Not That
Are your joints sore, aching or stiff? Are you one of the 58.5 million Americans who suffer from arthritis? If so, you might be interested in a supplement for arthritis.
Arthritis is a broad term that describes over 100 different joint conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus. Approximately 25% of the population suffers from arthritis, making it one of the most common public health problems. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and it is a progressive disease where the cartilage matrix between the joints breaks down. Although there is no cure, there are diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors that can help slow its progression.
Here are some of the best supplements you should consider if you have arthritis. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss The Best Juice to Drink Every Day, According to Science.
Glucosamine is technically a type of sugar, but it also serves as a precursor for the body to make proteins and fats that play a role in joint health. It is a building block for our tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the fluid around joints. In the body, it acts as a lubricant to help cushion and absorb shock around our joints, helping to slow the wear and tear of cartilage. Additionally, glucosamine can help reduce swelling from active use and promote a healthy range of motion.
In a major review article published in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Research, glucosamine was found to help relieve joint stiffness in study participants who suffered from osteoarthritis. A similar study reported in JAMA also concluded that glucosamine (as well as chondroitin) preparations are considered effective, but that the quality of the supplement matters.
When choosing a glucosamine supplement, look for one that meets third-party standards and undergoes testing to ensure potency and effectiveness, such as NOW Foods 1000 Glucosamine Veg Caps, a vegetarian supplement that provides 1,000 milligrams per capsule. Another option is Puritan’s Pride Glucosamine Hydrochloride which provides 650 milligrams of glucosamine per capsule.
Chondroitin is a natural substance found in the connective tissues of humans and other animals. Additionally, evidence suggests that chondroitin helps relieve symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.
When buying a supplement, look for chondroitin sulfate. A 2019 Advances in Therapy A study found that certain chondroitin sulfate supplements can activate the immune system in a way that helps reduce inflammation around the joints.
Although research is still ongoing, it is best to take a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin daily. A good rule of thumb is to look for products that provide a total daily dose of at least 1,000 milligrams of glucosamine and chondroitin.
A few of my favorite glucosamine and chondroitin supplements include Life Extension Glucosamine/Chondroitin which provides 544 milligrams of glucosamine and 500 milligrams of chondroitin.
A summary study published in International Orthopedics reported that collagen supplements helped improve joint pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. While research is ongoing to determine the best collagen type and dosage, two options I like include Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. This powder provides 20 grams of collagen per serving. Another option is NOW Foods Collagen Peptide Powder which provides 10 grams of collagen per serving.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, fish oil, nuts and some other plant-based foods, are effective in helping to reduce inflammation. Arthritis causes inflammation around your joints, which causes pain and swelling. There are three main omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
I like marine-based omega-3s like Life Extension EPA/DHA Fish Oil with 1,250 milligrams of EPA+DHA per serving or Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, which provides 1,280 milligrams of EPA and DHA combined.
READ MORE: 6 Supplements That Really Boost Immunity.