4 Natural Supplements for Arthritis that are Backed by Science

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Published December 14, 2019

Scientists in the health and wellness field have always struggled to keep pace with the growing popularity of health supplements. However, more natural medications and supplements are being tested in well-designed clinical trials in a bid to catch up. One particular area that has been receiving increasing attention is the management of arthritis, and research suggests that various natural supplements can help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Here are 4 supplements that are backed by science and found to be effective in the management of osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and other symptoms that are generally associated with arthritis.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is an active ingredient of chili peppers and although it is an irritant for human and produces a burning sensation in the tissue that comes into contact with it, it has healing benefits when it comes to arthritis. How does it work? Capsaicin has the ability to reduce substance P, a known pain transmitter. Several studies have proven its pain relieving properties. In one study published in 2010, it was found that capsaicin has the ability to reduce joint pain by up to 50% after three weeks of use. This natural supplement is available as a topical gel, cream or patch. It is best for osteoarthritis but can also be used effectively for rheumatoid arthritis.

Turmeric

Turmeric contains a chemical known as curcumin which is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This chemical can reduce joint pain and swelling by inhibiting inflammatory enzymes and cytokines. A clinical trial that was performed in 2010 using a turmeric supplement found long-term improvement in function and pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis. A subsequent smaller study conducted in 2012 using a curcumin product showed more reduced joint swelling and pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when compared to over-the-counter painkillers. This supplement is best for OA and can also be used effectively for patients with active RA.

CBD Oil

Several studies have shown that CBD oil, an extract of the cannabis plant that is not psychoactive, can help to ease arthritis pain and even treat arthritis. According to  cbdcentral, CBD can help prevent joint neuropathy and OA. According to the findings of the study, it was affirmed that CBD was effective in both because it reduced joint inflammation and acted as a protection to the nerves. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that have the ability to block inflammatory prostaglandins and cytokines. These fatty acids are converted into potent anti-inflammatory chemicals known as resolvins when absorbed by the body. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA, have been widely studied for rheumatoid arthritis and several other inflammatory conditions. According to a 2010 study, it was established that fish oil has the ability to significantly reduce joint stiffness and tenderness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil can also be used effectively for OA and other inflammatory conditions. 

It is always recommended that you consult your doctor before you try out any supplements so that you can understand the possible side effects and other interactions with any medications you may be taking. You should also try to do some research about any supplements you may be interested in and share this information with your doctor.

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