Many people take supplements to support joint health. Some take them to
relieve current joint pain, while others take them to prevent pain from
Most supplements for joint health work by reducing inflammation or
protecting the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is the material that
rests between bones and prevents them from rubbing together.
cartilage can wear down over time, leading to osteoarthritis. This is a
very common source of pain and disability as people age.
concerned about joint pain or their joint health should see a doctor for
a full diagnosis. That said, there are a number of supplements
available that might help keep the joints healthy.
Glucosamine exists within the body as a natural building block of the
cartilage in the joints. It is a common ingredient in many different
supplement blends for healthy joints.
Long-term trials have shown that crystalline glucosamine sulfate slowed down symptom
progression in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Research also
indicates that the compound can cause a long-term reduction in symptoms
and reduce the need for other pain medications and nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Glucosamine sulfate is available over the counter. A person can ask their doctor about crystalline glucosamine sulfate.
Chondroitin is another building block of cartilage that may promote healthy growth in the joints.
companies package glucosamine along with chondroitin in the same
formula for joint health, as many believe that the two compounds may
work in tandem to support cartilage.
Chondroitin itself may be effective for a few symptoms of osteoarthritis. One study found that in trials, chondroitin was more effective than a placebo in
controlling pain in the joints and improving the function of the joints
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is another common supplement for the joints,
often making its way into joint health blends containing chondroitin or
This may support joint health overall, and it could reduce symptoms in
some people. Additionally, most people tolerate MSM when they take it in
Many researchers have studied turmeric and its compound curcumin.
Curcumin appears to have a strong anti-inflammatory effect, which may
help reduce symptoms in some cases.
Many supplements containing turmeric will also contain black pepper,
which may help the body absorb and use the turmeric effectively.
That said, there is currently not enough strong evidence to make any
definite claims about curcumin’s benefits for joint pain. However, the
anti-inflammatory effect is well noted, and many people do take the
supplement for its potential to relieve joint pain.
Boswellia, or frankincense, is another natural supplement that may be
helpful in maintaining healthy joints. Like turneric, boswellia also has
an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Reducing inflammation in areas
such as the joints may help reduce pain.
6. Tamarind seed
Tamarind seed may be another natural alternative to traditional joint
supplements. The seed contains a number of antioxidants that have an
anti-inflammatory effect and may support the joints. Some research
suggests that it may even be anti-arthritic.
Cartilage in the joints helps cushion the bones from impact and keep
the bones in each joint from rubbing together. If this cartilage wears
down, people may start to notice symptoms such as popping, pain, or
Some joint supplements may help ease these symptoms or prevent them from occurring in the first place.
and chondroitin may help reduce symptoms in some people, while other
natural options — such as turmeric and boswellia — may also help with
joint pain management.
Anyone concerned about their joint health or symptoms in their joints should see a doctor for a full diagnosis.
Early diagnosis may help improve treatment outcomes and eliminate other issues that could be causing the symptoms.
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