Supplements, such as curcumin and vitamin D, may help reduce stiffness and pain in people with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and typically causes joint pain and reduced range of motion in one or more joints. Many people with OA choose to adapt their diet to include anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Adding supplements to the diet is also popular.

This article discusses supplements that may help OA. It discusses how they work and their possible side effects and interactions with medications and other supplements.

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Supplements are not suitable for everyone with OA, and people taking medications should consider checking with a doctor before taking them.

Supplements can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications, potentially altering their effectiveness or leading to adverse effects.

Many doctors do not recommend supplements to people with OA, as there is a lack of clear evidence that they are beneficial.

The following sections outline some supplements that researchers have investigated in relation to treating OA.

Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, possesses potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help reduce pain and inflammation in OA, improving joint function.

Curcumin may interact with blood thinners, increasing the risk of bleeding. It can also affect the absorption of iron. High doses might cause digestive issues, such as stomach upset and nausea.

Learn more about the benefits of turmeric.

A study in 2020 reported that a particular composition of Boswellia serrata, a gum resin extract known for its anti-inflammatory properties, reduced pain and improved mobility in rats. Studies in humans are necessary to determine whether or not it is beneficial for OA.

Boswellia is generally safe but can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as acid reflux, nausea, and diarrhea in some people. It may also interact with anti-inflammatory and autoimmune medications.

Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and may help people manage the symptoms of OA. Adequate vitamin D levels are associated with a lower risk of progression in OA.

Vitamin D supplementation can interact with several medications, including steroids and weight loss drugs. Excessive intake can lead to hypercalcemia, which is high calcium levels. Hypercalcemia can cause nausea, weakness, and kidney problems.

Learn more about vitamin D.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in supplements such as fish oil and flaxseed. They have anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce joint pain and stiffness in arthritis.

Omega-3s may interact with blood thinners and increase bleeding risk. High doses can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, indigestion, and diarrhea.

Learn more about fish oils and omega-3.

Research from 2020 shows that SAMe may have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and tissue-healing properties. It may improve joint health and reduce the symptoms of OA.

SAMe can interact with antidepressant medications and may not be suitable for individuals with bipolar disorder. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and headache.

Glucosamine may promote the formation and repair of cartilage. Some studies suggest it can reduce OA pain and improve joint mobility, particularly in the knees. However, numerous studies on glucosamine and OA have produced conflicting results, and doctors now recommend against using glucosamine for knee, hip, and hand OA.

Glucosamine may interact with blood thinners and insulin medication. Side effects are generally mild but may include gastrointestinal issues and allergic reactions, especially in people allergic to shellfish.

Pycnogenol is extracted from French maritime pine bark. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It may help reduce pain and stiffness in OA.

Pycnogenol can interact with immunosuppressants and diabetes medications. Side effects are rare but can include dizziness, gut problems, and headaches.

ASU can help reduce inflammation and prevent cartilage breakdown. It may reduce the need for anti-inflammatory pain medications in OA patients.

ASU is generally well-tolerated, with minimal side effects. Reports of gastrointestinal discomfort and allergic reactions are rare.

Collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of OA by supporting cartilage repair and reducing inflammation.

Collagen is safe for most people, though some may experience mild digestive side effects. Allergic reactions are possible, especially if the collagen comes from a source a person is sensitive or allergic to, such as beef, pork, and fish.

What speeds up osteoarthritis?

Several factors can accelerate the progression of OA. Carrying extra weight, previous joint injuries, and repetitive stress can worsen OA. A sedentary lifestyle and eating a diet lacking in essential nutrients can also play a role.

How can I slow down osteoarthritis naturally?

To slow down the progression of OA naturally, people could consider the following lifestyle changes:

Which fruit is not good for arthritis?

Fruits are generally beneficial for OA due to their anti-inflammatory properties. However, some people report worsening symptoms after eating citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. No studies have found a link between eating citrus and worsening OA.

Supplements may help people manage their OA symptoms. However, people respond in different ways, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to taking supplements.

If people take medications or other supplements, they should consider checking with a doctor before introducing a new supplement into their diet. This will help avoid interactions and adverse effects.