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How Can Supplements Help Osteoarthritis?

14th May 2021

Arthritis is an inflammation of joints, and osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis, a degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of cartilage in joints, which occurs in the knees, hips, and spine. It can also occur in finger, thumb, or toe joints.

Most treatments have no effective results on osteoarthritis. According to research and studies, there are some supplements that can be used to relieve osteoarthritis pain, and these supplements can reduce the breakdown of cartilages and help to treat osteoarthritis.

Close up of a man holding his right knee with both hands Arthritis is an inflammation of joints, and osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis, a degenerative joint disease.

Supplements for Osteoarthritis

There are many natural supplements that are used to treat OA (osteoarthritis) like glucosamine, curcumin, chondroitin, or many more. Many of the supplements are better than others in relieving pain and stiffness of joints. You should read all the pros and cons of the supplements before using them or ask your doctor because some of these can have side effects.

You should use supplements if you are taking other precautions like exercising on a regular basis, protecting your joints, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Image showing examples of supplements sat on wooden spoons There are many natural supplements that are used to treat OA (osteoarthritis)

1. Fish oil

Fish oil consists of omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These fatty acids help you to reduce inflammation in joints because fatty acids have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Fish oil is also used to protect the brain and heart. According to research in 2010, fish oil is used to relieve pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients.

2. Capsaicin (Capsicum frutescens)

Capsaicin is used to reduce a substance known as a pain transmitter (P) in the body. According to Phytotherapy research in 2010, It is shown that capsaicin has pain-relieving properties, and after the usage of 3 weeks, it reduces 50% of joint pain in patients with osteoarthritis. It is also used for fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Capsaicin is available in gel, patch, or as topical cream also.

3. Chondroitin and Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a potent supplement for OA. Glucosamine is synthesized from glucose and is used as a substrate for the formation of proteoglycans. Glucosamine and Chondroitin interact with blood-thinning drugs like warfarin and also controls the blood sugar levels in patients.

According to research and meta-analysis, these two supplements are involved in the repair of cartilages and slows down the process of breaking down cartilage in OA patients. The mix of glucosamine and chondroitin reduces joint pain and stiffness effectively.

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is used to strengthen the bones and joints. The deficiency of this vitamin in the body can cause severe joints and bone pains, and people who have low Vitamin D in their body can have chances of getting OA. Good sources of vitamin D are oily fish and eggs.

Image showing a selection of Vitamin D rich products including fish, eggs, cheese and mushrooms Good sources of vitamin D are oily fish and eggs.

5. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

Methylsulfonylmethane is a compound that is present in green vegetables and fruits. It is involved in repairing and maintaining the connective tissue and cartilages in the human body. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which helps to reduce the inflammation of joints.

According to research, Methysufonylmethane improves joint pain and repairs the cartilages in patients with osteoarthritis. People who take 1-6g of Methysufonylmethane per day can reduce their joint pain. MSM can also have side effects to some people, like allergies.

6. Pyconogenol

Pyconogenol is extracted from maritime pine, and it has anti-inflammatory properties. According to a systematic review, research shows that people who take 50mg of Pyconogenol a day have an improvement in their knee osteoarthritis. The side effects of using Pyconogenol is upset stomach like acidity. You should ask your healthcare practitioner before using this supplement.

7. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is a high molecular weight compound, and it is also known as sodium hyaluronate. It is used to provide synovial fluid between joints. Synovial fluid lubricates and protects the joint tissues and cartilages.

It helps in repairing joints and inhibiting joint destructions. Besides the lubrication and cushioning properties, HA also has anti-inflammatory properties, which diminishes the inflammation of joints.

8. Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASUs)

ASUs is made from extracts of soybean and avocado oils. This supplement, which has a combination of avocado and soybean, is used to block inflammatory substances that are involved in breaking down cartilages and causing osteoarthritis.

It is used to promote the synthesis of cartilages and inhibit the synthesis of IL-1 induced MMP, which causes inflammation in joints.

9. Curcumin

Curcumin is an active form of turmeric, and it gives it a yellow color. Curcumin has anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory properties, which relieve pain and stiffness in OA patients. Curcumin is easily absorbed by the body and helps to reduce pain. According to recent studies related to OA, curcumin also interacts with warfarin, which is a blood thinner ingredient in the body, and also it controls the sugar levels in the body.

Image showing various spices in bags Curcumin is an active form of turmeric, and it gives it a yellow color. Curcumin has anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory properties.

References

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