A whopping 54.4 million American adults suffer from some form of arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, the CDC predicts that by the year 2040, an estimated 78 million adults are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. While non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can help relieve the pain of arthritis on a temporary basis, long-term use has been associated with potentially deadly side effects.
According to Dr. Tod Cooperman, founder of ConsumerLab.com, "there are a number of supplements that reduce pain or improve other symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is the wearing away of cartilage in joints, or rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease-causing joint pain, stiffness and inflammation."
Here are some examples:
- SAMe has been shown to be effective as a treatment for osteoarthritis and associated pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It acts as both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory and, according to studies, is as effective as NSAIDS with fewer side effects.
- Ginger may reduce pain and disability. In a recent study, a whopping 63% of sufferers experienced improvements in knee pain after only six weeks. You can consume ginger in fresh, powdered, or dried form or use the extract itself.
- According to Arthritis-health.com, turmeric and curcumin have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, accounts for only 3% of the spice, so experts advise taking curcumin supplements to get an effective amount.
- Boswellia has been associated with significant pain reduction and improved physical function. It may also help prevent cartilage damage and inhibit the immune process, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The extract, known as Loxin 5, significantly improved OA pain within 7 days.
- Capsaicin's pain-relieving properties have been demonstrated in many studies, including a 2010 study published in Phytotherapy Research, which revealed a 50% reduction in joint pain after only three weeks of use.
- Ashwagandha extract can also effectively reduce pain, stiffness, and disability in people with knee osteoarthritis.
- According to Healthline, tart cherry juice has been found to reduce inflammation and pain, for those suffering from OA. A 2012 study revealed that folks with osteoarthritis who drank tart cherry juice for 21 days had reduced symptoms of pain.
- High fiber intake from diet is related to a lower risk of symptoms from knee osteoarthritis. In fact, the risk of symptoms was up to 61% lower among people who consumed about 22 to 27 grams of fiber daily compared to those consuming 9-14 grams.
- Omega-3 fatty acids that include both EPA and DHA from fish oil may help reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, or treat symptoms, in the early stages of the disease. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel have fantastic anti-inflammatory powers. If you don't like fish, take a fish oil supplement.
- Cinnamon may help reduce pain and the number of swollen and tender joints in sufferers of RA. According to a study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, researchers found that eating cinnamon may reduce both inflammation and blood pressure.
Cooperman tells Newsmax that low levels of vitamin D in women has been associated with a higher risk of developing RA as well as low levels of the mineral selenium. It's not clear whether adding these supplements can help once the disease has progressed, he says.
"It's also worth noting that olive oil has an anti-inflammatory effect," says Cooperman. "However, it would be difficult to consume enough olive oil to provide relief comparable to a medication such as ibuprofen."
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