Osteoarthritis Supplements

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Osteoarthritis Supplements

Osteoarthritis Supplements

Supplements for Osteoarthritis


Glucosamine is a major component of joint cartilage. It is made by the body. Glucosamine supplements made from the shells of shellfish are available for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Although cartilage has limited ability to rebuild itself (because it has no blood supply), glucosamine supplements may help slow deterioration of cartilage.

Glucosamine also helps the cartilage absorb water that keeps the joints lubricated, reducing pain and increasing mobility. Glucosamine supplements can take a couple of months to be effective, but seem to offer as much pain relief as NSAID’s (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for osteoarthritis, without as many side effects.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are often combined in one supplement.


Chrondroitin is also a component of cartilage and tendons. Chrondroitin supplements come from cow or shark cartilage. Chrondroitin supplements may reduce inflammation and pain of osteoarthritis. It may also protect the joints to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Like glucosamine, chrondroitin may take a couple of months to work.

As chrondroitin has mild blood-thinning properties it should not be taken by patients taking blood-thinners.


The body makes S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe supplements appear to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. It may be as effective as anti-inflammatory medications, without the side effects. It may also help fibromyalgia symptoms. SAMe may cause mild stomach upset but is generally considered a safe (though pricey) supplement. SAMe also has antidepressant effects and should not be taken with antidepressant medications unless recommended by a physician.


Is an organic sulfur that is found in the majority of fresh foods. MSM supplements may help reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis. Sometimes, glucosamine, chrondroitin, and MSM are combined in one supplement.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are usually derived from fish oil or flaxseed oil. Omega-3 fatty acids have some anti-inflammatory properties. In a study conducted at Cardiff University in Wales, people who took 1000 mg cod liver oil capsules twice daily for 3 months had significantly reduced levels of enzymes that are known to cause cartilage break down.

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