The 6 Best Vitamins and Supplements for Joint Health

If you experience stiffness and pain in your joints you are not alone. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 15 million Americans with arthritis experience severe joint pain and about twice as many say it is persistent. While this won’t be a solution, you may want to consider adding a supplement to your diet to know that you’re doing everything you can to protect your health.

The most important thing you can do to take care of your bones and joints is to prioritize a healthy lifestyle — like eating a balanced diet and getting regular, low-impact exercise. Also, be sure to check in with your doctor regularly if you’re experiencing pain or stiffness so they can determine its source. But as a bonus, you can choose a supplement to complement your health — many of the best combined supplements are ingredients already found in your body.

Ahead, we’ll discuss some vitamins and joint health supplements that will help you know you’re doing everything you can to support your bones and joints.

Best joint supplement

Three types of collagen in powder tablets and capsules on gray background

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Collagen

Collagen is a protein that your body makes — and as you age, you experience less of it. It’s what keeps your skin tight and firm and what keeps your joints working properly. But as you age, there’s less collagen in your joints, which is where joint supplements can help. While there isn’t much research on whether collagen can actually help your joints, doctors largely think it won’t hurt either — if it makes you feel better when paired with low-impact exercise like swimming , then do it.

Omega-3s

Omega-3s are fatty acids that can ease inflammation and joint pain. Research has shown that these supplements can reduce stiffness in people with arthritis and also fight joint pain. Studies have been conducted on how omega-3 works in arthritis, and it has been proven that this fatty acid can “prevent experimental arthritis and can reduce disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis.” Omega-3s are mostly safe to take but can cause side effects such as heartburn, nausea or diarrhea. If you are currently taking blood thinners, talk to your doctor before taking omega-3s because they can interact and pose health risks.

Glucosamine

You already have glucosamine naturally occurring in your body. It’s in your cartilage and helps your joints function. A glucosamine supplement is believed to help with arthritis because it can relieve some of the pain caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Because it is a substance found naturally in the body, a supplement is generally considered safe. It has the potential to cause side effects such as nausea and heartburn, and because it is often made from shellfish, it should be avoided if you have an allergy. There is also a risk of contact with blood thinners that can cause bleeding issues.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is known to support bone health, which is why some believe that vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial in helping joint health. There is some research that suggests that taking vitamin D supplements may help with arthritis pain and inflammation, but the results don’t necessarily lend themselves to a definitive answer. However, this supplement may help.

Vitamin D is a great source for the body, helping you retain calcium, which also helps your teeth! Be careful when adding a vitamin D supplement to your routine, however, because high levels of this vitamin can interact with some medications. Interestingly, high levels of vitamin D can be very problematic if you are using Lanoxin, as it can put you at risk for hypercalcemia. Other drugs mixed with vitamin D supplements can also affect how your body processes the supplement.

Chondroitin

You will often see chondroitin mentioned alongside glucosamine, as they are similar. Chondroitin is also found in the cartilage in your body, which is why it is believed to be beneficial in promoting joint health. Research on chondroitin has more inconclusive results, but it is still accepted as a supplement that may be beneficial in helping joint health. It is generally viewed as a safe supplement, however, like many others, it can interact with blood thinners such as Warfarin and put you at risk for bleeding.

Vitamin E

People often turn to vitamin E to support their immune systems, because this vitamin is an antioxidant. However, there is some research on how vitamin E can slow the progression of osteoarthritis and promote the growth of new cartilage cells. However, much of this research needs further study. That said, vitamin E is a good supplement to keep in your rotation, as it also promotes good vision and brain health. Just remember that it can interact with blood thinners and put you at risk for bleeding.

Risks of supplements for joint health

As mentioned, most supplements are generally considered safe for people to take, because they are vitamins that your body needs. However, you should always research supplements before you start taking them, especially if you are taking medication. Even though they are vitamins, many of them can interact with prescription drugs, and you want to know that ahead of time.

Checking with your doctor is always a good idea, as they can help you navigate which supplements might work best for you. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you will also want to go over any supplements with your doctor before you start taking them.

Joint supplement FAQs

Do joint supplements really work?

It can be tricky to determine a proven medical benefit for any supplement — for joint health or otherwise. Supplements are not meant to be used as a cure for a medical condition, but as something to do supplement o supplement your diet, especially if you are deficient in a nutrient. While this is not an extensive list, the supplements included in this best list were chosen because some research has found potential benefits for joint health.

Are dietary supplements approved by the FDA?

No, the US Food and Drug Administration does not sign off on and investigate supplements like it does drugs or medicines. “[The] The FDA generally does not approve dietary supplement claims or other labeling prior to use,” it said. However, there are manufacturing practices and marketing rules that companies that make supplements must follow.

For more information, read about how to read a supplement label.

What is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory?

Turmeric is not just a spice used in some cuisines, it is used in traditional medicine as a spice and is considered one of the more powerful natural ingredients you can add to your diet for a health boost. In particular, its active ingredient or compound, curcumin, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some may consider hiring turmeric in supplement formwhile this is true of all supplements, it’s important not to overdo it and check with your doctor first.

To get the taste and health benefits, consider cooking more tumeric as a spice.


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