Also indexed as:Degenerative Arthritis, Degenerative Joint Disease, OA, Arthritis (Osteo)
Protect your joints and relieve osteoarthritis aches and pains. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Boswellia, Ashwagandha, Turmeric, and Zinc
1,000 mg daily boswellia resin herbal extract or two capsules, three times per day of Aticulin-F (formula containing 100 mg boswellia, 450 mg ashwagandha, 50 mg turmeric, and 50 mg zinc) 3 stars[3 stars]
A combination of boswellia, ashwagandha, turmeric, and zinc effectively treated pain and stiffness in one study, without the stomach irritation that is a common side effect of NSAIDs.
Cat’s Claw
100 mg of a freeze-dried preparation daily3 stars[3 stars]
Cat’s claw has been used traditionally for osteoarthritis. In one trial, cat's claw was significantly more effective than a placebo at relieving pain and improving overall condition.
Chili Peppers
Apply 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin ointment four times per day over painful joints3 stars[3 stars]
When rubbed over painful joints, cayenne extract creams containing 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin may reduce the pain and tenderness of osteoarthritis.
Chondroitin Sulfate
800 to 1,200 mg a day3 stars[3 stars]
Many trials have shown that supplementing with chondroitin sulfate reduces pain, increases joint mobility, and promotes healing within the joints.
510 mg daily of a concentrated herbal extract, taken in divided doses3 stars[3 stars]
Ginger has historically been used for arthritis and rheumatism. Studies have shown it to be effective at relieving pain and swelling in people with osteoarthritis.
1,500 mg daily 3 stars[3 stars]
Glucosamine sulfate is necessary for joint cartilage synthesis and repair. It has been shown to significantly reduce osteoarthritis symptoms and appears to be virtually free of side effects.
1200 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
SAMe has anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and tissue-healing properties that may help protect the health of joints and reduce osteoarthritis symptoms.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Refer to label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
Supplemental niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3) has been reported to increase joint mobility, improve muscle strength, and decrease fatigue in people with osteoarthritis.
Avocado and Soybean Unsaponifiables
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
An extract of avocado and soybean oils, known as avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, appears to reduce inflammation and help repair damaged cartilage tissue.
Cartilage and Collagen
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Taking collagen hydrolysate may help relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.
Cetyl Myristoleate
540 mg per day by mouth for 30 days2 stars[2 stars]
Cetyl myristoleate appears to be effective as a joint “lubricant” and anti-inflammatory agent.
Devil’s Claw
2,610 mg daily (containing 57 mg harpagoside, 87 mg total iridoid glycosides daily)2 stars[2 stars]
Devil’s claw extract was found in one trial to reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis as effectively as the slow-acting analgesic/ cartilage-protective drug diacerhein.
Digestive Enzymes
90 mg of bromelain and 48 mg of trypsin, with 100 mg of rutosid, taken in enteric-coated pills three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, people with painful osteoarthritis of the knee who received an oral enzyme-flavonoid preparation saw more improvement in pain and joint function than those who took a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID).
Apply a gel containing 25% DMSO under the direction of a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Topical DMSO appears to be anti-inflammatory and able to relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis, possibly by inhibiting the transmission of pain messages by nerves.
Green-Lipped Mussel
1,050 to 2,100 mg daily of freeze-dried powder or 210 mg daily of lipid extract2 stars[2 stars]
New Zealand green-lipped mussel supplements have been shown in various studies to reduce joint tenderness and stiffness and improve pain, including knee pain in people with osteoarthritis.
500 mg of a concentrated extract (3.5% guggulsterones) three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, supplementing with guggul significantly improved symptoms in people with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Krill Oil
300 mg per day 2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, people who took krill oil saw significant reduction in arthritis severity and used less pain-relief medication than those taking placebo.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
2.25 to 6.0 grams per day2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, supplementing with methyl-sulfonylmethane significantly reduced pain and improved overall physical functioning in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Apply stinging nettle under the direction of a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Stinging nettle has historically been used for joint pain and has been shown to be safe and effective for relieving the pain of osteoarthritis.
Olive Leaf
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind trial, people with osteoarthritis of the knee had a significant improvement in their pain after taking olive leaf extract.
100 to 150 mg per day 2 stars[2 stars]
Double-blind research has shown that Pycnogenol may improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, including reducing pain and the use of pain-relieving medication and improving walking performance.
Rose Hips
5 grams of rose hips powder daily2 stars[2 stars]
In a study of people with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, supplementing with rose hips powder significantly reduced pain, joint stiffness, and overall disease severity.
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind trial, supplementation with curcuminoids significantly improved pain and overall functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Vitamin E
400 to 1,600 IU per day2 stars[2 stars]
As an antioxidant, vitamin E appears to help protect joints.
White Willow
Take an extract supplying 240 mg of salicin per day2 stars[2 stars]
Willow has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Although pain relief from willow supplementation may be slow in coming, it may last longer than pain relief from aspirin.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Boron affects calcium metabolism, and people with OA have been reported to have low bone stores of boron. Supplementing with boron may replenish stores and improve symptoms.
Bovine Cartilage
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Several trials have suggested that supplementing with bovine cartilage, either topically or injected, may relieve symptoms.
Fish Oil
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil, EPA and DHA, have anti-inflammatory effects and may relieve pain.
Glucosamine Hydrochloride
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Studies have shown glucosamine hydrochloride to be effective at reducing pain and improving symptoms in people with osteoarthritis.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Horsetail has anti-arthritis actions and is rich in silicon, a trace mineral that plays a role in making and maintaining connective tissue.
Hyaluronic Acid
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Injection of hyaluronic acid compounds into osteoarthritic joints, primarily the knee, has been shown to improve symptoms.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Meadowsweet has been historically used to treat complaints of the joints and muscles. The herb contains salicylates, chemicals related to aspirin, that may account for its ability to relieve osteoarthritis pain.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with D-phenylalanine (DPA) has been shown to reduce chronic pain due to osteoarthritis. DPA inhibits the enzyme that breaks down some of the body’s natural painkillers.
Tart Cherry
80 mg anthocyanins, the equivalent of approximately 100–120 cherries, 16–24 ounces tart cherry juice blend, 1 ounce of liquid concentrate, or 400 mg of concentrate in tablets or capsules 1 star[1 star]
In a preliminary trial, people with osteoarthritis who took tart cherry extract for three months reported reduced joint tenderness and less joint pain and disability.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Yucca contains saponins, which appear to block the release of toxins from the intestines that inhibit normal cartilage formation. In doing so, yucca may reduce osteoarthritis symptoms.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2022.

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