The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Joints

The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Joints
Natural supplements can tame joint pain, reduce inflammation, and restore some range of motion, without the side effects (like stomach irritation, high blood pressure, and even kidney damage) of conventional arthritis medications. You can take all or several of these supplements at once. They are also safe to use with prescribed arthritis drugs, says Theodosakis.

GLUCOSAMINE AND CHONDROITIN SULFATE. A large 2006 study known as GAIT (Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial) has shown that taking these two supplements together can reduce pain in moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis. (Allow four to six months to notice results.)
Dosage: 1,500 mg Glucosamine and 800 to 1,200 mg Chondroitin sulfate every day.

FISH OIL. Best known for its cardiovascular benefits, fish oil’s omega-3 fats can also help lessen inflammation and pain.
Dosage: 3 g daily. Look for a brand that includes at least 60 percent

EPA/DHA. SAM-E. The supplement SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine), a naturally occurring amino acid, may have a dual purpose in easing both OA pain and depression by boosting feelgood hormones in the brain, says Theodosakis.
Dosage: 800 to 1,200 mg daily. (Discuss dosage with your doctor.)

ASU. Isolated and purified from two foods, avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) is thought to reduce joint inflammation, promote the repair of cartilage, and alter abnormal bone growth in OA.
Dosage: 300 mg daily.

TURMERIC. Soothe your swollen joints with turmeric, whose active component curcumin contains enzymes that curtail inflammation.
Dosage: 400 to 600 mg three times a day.

GINGER. Harness the anti-inflammatory property of gingerols, found in ginger. Avoid if you take other blood thinners or if it upsets your stomach.
Dosage: 500 to 1,000 mg daily.

CAPSAICIN CREAM. Rub capsaicin (hot pepper) on sore joints. It’s thought to help deplete a compound called “Substance P” that transmits pain signals to the brain.
Dosage: Use three times daily. Look for products containing .0025 percent capsaicin.


A chronic condition involving the breakdown of cartilage in joints, leading to pain and loss of mobility.
Symptoms: Pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, especially in the knees, hips, neck, fingers, and lower back.
What causes it: OA can occur from wear and tear on joints with aging, though scientists now suspect that chronic inflammation—due to poor diet, obesity, hormonal changes, stress, or allergies—is another culprit.
Who’s at risk: Middle-aged and older adults. More women have OA than men.

An autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissues triggering inflammation in the lining of joints. It causes swelling, aching, and throbbing, and possible deformity in advanced stages.
Symptoms: Pain in the fingers, hands, and wrists; fatigue, fever, and weakness.
What causes it: Exact cause is unknown, but the immune system, gender, genetics, and infection can increase risk.
Who’s at risk: Onset is more common in women ages 30 to 50, but it also affects men and children.