Several nutritional supplements are used to relieve arthritis pain. A couple of the most promising are:
- Glucosamine and chondroitin. These are the building blocks of cartilage -- the smooth covering that cushion joints -- so people often take these supplements for arthritis pain relief. Do they work? It’s debatable. While researchers are still studying whether they help rebuild cartilage, some studies have shown that they’ve helped relieve knee osteoarthritis pain and stiffness for some people. A multi-center, federally funded study found that when taken together they were most helpful for people with moderate to severe OA (osteoarthritis) pain. Another study found that a 1,500-mg daily dose of glucosamine relieved knee OA pain significantly more than a 3,000-mg daily dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol), or placebo. But other studies have found that they didn't reduce pain. If you decide to try glucosamine and chondroitin, talk to your doctor about dosing. And beware of taking glucosamine if you have fish allergies because it’s most often made from shellfish. Chondroitin is made from shark or pork cartilage or made in a lab.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. You can get these “good fats” by eating cold-water fish, such as salmon, or by taking fish oil capsules. These healthy fats have been shown to reduce joint pain and inflammation in people with arthritis.
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