Best Supplements

Best Supplements For Joint Pain & Stiffness

Best Supplements For Joint Pain & Stiffness

Among the wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the important ones afflicting the urban population at large, mainly due to the higher incidences of obesity. Obesity is one major factor for poor joint health since it results in inflicting undue pressure on the joints. Also, equally responsible factors are gender, age, intensity of physical activity / occupation, dietary pattern and certain medications.

It, thus, becomes essential to maintain good joint health through good quality diet and also maintain weight in the healthy range to prevent degeneration of bones and joints. Following are the brief descriptions of certain essential nutraceuticals with studies supporting their effectiveness in alleviating joint pain and stiffness. Also, mentioned are the recommended, safe dosages, along with the side effects, if any, and the supplements available in the market containing these nutraceuticals.


Mechanism of Action :

Curcumin is the major component of turmeric known for its highly potent anti-inflammatory properties. It downregulates the activity of inflammatory enzymes and protects the joint cartilage and chondrocytes against degeneration.

Studies : Studies have supported that it inhibits that activity of certain cytokines which have catabolic and degenerative effects on the joint cartilage. Also, it has been reported that intraperitoneal injection of curcuminoid extract significantly prevented the acute as well chronic inflammation of the joints(2,3,5).

Supplements available & Dosage :

Purely Holistic Curcumin Capsules, Vimerson Health Turmeric curcumin, Pure Nutrition Curcumin Plus.

A dosage of 1-1.5 gms / day of turmeric is safe for humans.


Mechanism of Action : Ginger has been known as a very potent anti-rheumatic agent due to its bioactive molecules such as gingerols and shagaols. It has shown to suppress the activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body.

Studies : One trial studied the comparative efficacy of ibuprofen with ginger extract in hip and knee OA patients. It showed no difference in either group but the ginger group had no side effects. Studies have found ginger extracts to alleviate pain in OA patients but the current evidence is weak and requires more clinical trials to prove its efficacy.

Supplements available & Dosage :

Solaray Organic Ginger Root Supplement, Pure Synergy Organic SuperPure Ginger Extract, Vimerson Health Turmeric & Ginger.

A dosage of 500-1000 mg / day has been considered safe.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Mechanism of Action : Fish and flaxseed oils are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. It is found to decrease the overall inflammatory response observed in OA. It can be used as an effective adjunct to other analgesic therapies.

Studies : Studies have shown to reduce morning stiffness, joint tenderness and swelling with fish oil supplementation. Some studies also showed dose dependent reduction in inflammation induced cartilage destruction with fish oil supplementation.

Supplements available & Dosage :

HealthKart Omega 3, HealthAid Salmon Oil, HealthViva Omega 3, HealthKart Ultra Omega 3 Triple Strength, Source Naturals Vegan Omega-3s EPA-DHA

A dosage of 0.45 gms of omega 3 fatty acids per day is considered safe.


Mechanism of Action : Bromelain is found from the immature fruits and stems from the pineapple plant. It has proteolytic action along with antiedematous and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies : Few studies, wherein bromelain has been compared with diclofenac (an NSAID) for their effectiveness in reducing pain, have come up with conflicting results where in some studies bromelain has been found more effective whereas in others it has been found ineffective. Bromelain still needs sound clinical trials for proving its effectiveness(2).

Supplements available & Dosage :

Pure Naturals Bromelain Dietary Supplement, Pure Naturals Bromelain Dietary Supplement.

For non-digestive purposes, 200-800 mgs is a safe daily dosage.

SAM (S-Adenosyl Methionine)

Mechanism of Action : SAM is the active form of methionine and is also the precursor of the antioxidant glutathione. It inhibits the enzyme which degrades the cartilage and protects its protein.

Studies : Studies shows that it affects the secretion of serotonin, which is responsible for pain perception. It is also seen to be as effective as NSAIDs, but without the associated side effects and has prolonged benefits.

Supplements available & Dosage :

Nature Made SAM-e Complete, Nature’s Trove SAM-e, aSquared Nutrition SAM-e.

A dosage of 400 – 1600 mgs is safe for consumption.

Collagen Hydrolysate

Mechanism of Action : It is produced by the enzymatic digestion of gelatin. It is a supplement found in 2 forms of collagen hydrolysate and denatured type II collagen.

Studies : It has found to improve mobility and functionality of the joints and also prevents the proinflammatory immune reaction which occurs in autoimmune condition of OA.

Supplements available & Dosage :

Great Lakes Gelatin – Collagen Hydrolysate.

A daily dosage of 1-10 gms is safe for consumption.

Avacado Soyabean Unsaponifiable (ASU)

Mechanism of Action :

ASU are vegetable extracts of which one-third part comprises of avocado oil and the other two-thirds comprise of soyabean oil.

Studies : ASU studies have been found to be effective for protecting the synovial cells (which is the joint lubricant) from deterioration and also enhancing growth of normal connective tissue. It lt also significantly reduced the progression of hip and knee OA (7).

Supplements available & Dosage :

Heilen Biopharm Avacado Soyabean Unsaponifiable (ASU).

A daily dosage of 300 mgs in the form of softgels can be taken safely.

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA)

Mechanism of Action : GLA is omega 6 fatty acid which is found in evening primrose oil and borage oil. They are converted to anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body.

Studies : Studies have reported patients receiving 2.8 gms of GLA for 6 months showed significant improvement in joint pain, stiffness and grip strength. Another study showed that when it was administered along with fish oil it reduced the need for using conventional pain killers.

Supplements available & Dosage :

Solgar Super GLA, MRM Smart Blend Advanced Omega-3, CLA & GLA Fatty Acid Complex. 

A dosage of 3 – 6 gms per day (540 mgs of GLA) is considered safe for consumption.

Boswellia serrate

Mechanism of Action : The gummy oleoresin of Boswellia serrate contains boswellic acids which has potent anti-analgesic as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies : Studies have reported that use of Boswellia serrate extract has caused reduction in pain, loss of mobility and swelling in OA patients (3,4,& 7).

Supplements available & Dosage :

Superior Labs Boswellia Extract, Ayurvedic Life Shallaki (Boswellia), GNC Herbal Plus Boswellia Extract.

A daily dose of 2400-2600 mgs of the resin is safe for consumption.

  1. Loseli M, Awwad GEH, Bradshaw AR (2015) A Review of Nutraceuticals in Joint Arthritis. J Pain Relief 4:180. doi: 10.4172/2167-0846.1000180.
  2. Akhtar N Current nutraceuticals in the management of osteoarthritis: a review. Ther Adv Musculoskel Dis (2012) 4(3) 181–207.
  3. Castrogiovanni P, Nutraceutical Supplements in the Management and Prevention of Osteoarthritis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 2042.
  4. Ameye L, Osteoarthritis and nutrition. From nutraceuticals to functional foods: a systematic review of the scientific evidence. Arthritis Research & Therapy (2006) Vol 8 No 4.
  5. Alam M, Nutraceuticals in Arthritis Management: A Contemporary Prospect of Dietary Phytochemicals. The Open Nutraceuticals Journal, 2014, 7, 21-27.
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