The best vitamins and supplements for joint health

Do you feel stiff or sore? You are not alone. The first thing to do with a pain is to go to your doctor to find the root cause of your joint pain. Once you’ve done that, the most important thing you can do to take care of your bones and joints is to prioritize a healthy lifestyle, which includes things like eating a balanced diet and getting regular low-impact exercise. Then you might consider taking a supplement.

“In general, I think it’s difficult to find a complete solution for joint pain with supplements alone,” said Dr. Navya Mysore, a primary care physician at One Medical. Assuming they can interact with your supplement of choice, there’s also no harm in adding a joint health supplement, Mysore said.

Later, we’ll get into a handful of joint health vitamins and supplements that will help you know you’re doing your best to maintain your bones and joints, and many of them are substances that are already in your body. . As is true when adding any supplement to your diet, be sure to check with your doctor first if you are taking any prescription medications or have an underlying medical condition or allergy. Depending on your medication and supplement, there could be an interaction that makes it less safe.

The best supplements for joints

Three types of collagen in tablets and capsules in powder on a gray background

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While “there’s not a ton of evidence to say firmly that one supplement will help you over another,” Mysore said, glucosamine likely has more evidence to support its use. Glucosamine occurs naturally in our bodies: it is found in cartilage and helps joints function. A glucosamine supplement is thought to help with arthritis because it can reduce some of the pain caused by arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Mysore said people with allergies to shellfish and iodine should be careful about taking this supplement because it’s often made with seafood, and it could also affect people with asthma. It has the potential to cause side effects such as nausea and heartburn, and there is also a risk of interaction with anticoagulants or blood thinners that could cause bleeding problems. Talk to your doctor or dietitian before adding it to your diet.


Omega-3s are fatty acids that can ease inflammation and joint pain. Research has shown that these supplements can reduce stiffness in people with arthritis and also combat joint pain. Studies have been done on how omega-3s work with arthritis, and it has been shown that this fatty acid can “prevent experimental arthritis and can decrease disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis.” Omega-3s are largely safe to take, but can cause side effects such as heartburn, nausea, or diarrhea. If you are currently taking an anticoagulant, talk to your doctor before taking an omega-3 because they can interact and pose health risks.


Turmeric is not just a spice used in some cuisines, it has been used in traditional medicine as a healing spice and is considered one of the most powerful natural ingredients you can add to your meal to boost your health. Specifically, its active principle or compound, curcumin, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mysore says that if you’re interested in adding a turmeric supplement for pain relief, make sure it contains curcumin for better absorption. And as an alternative, tastier way to incorporate the spice’s wellness properties into your routine, Mysore suggested a meal containing turmeric and black pepper, which contains a compound that can help the body absorb the important properties of turmeric For example, he said, a smoothie with added turmeric and eggs seasoned with black pepper.

As with all supplements on this list, check with your doctor if you’re taking prescription medications, as turmeric may interfere with blood thinners and immunosuppressant drugs, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is known to support bone health, so some believe that a vitamin D supplement could be helpful in helping joint health. There is some research that suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement can help with arthritis pain and inflammation, but the result doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a definitive answer. However, this supplement could help.

Vitamin D is a great resource for the body, helping you retain calcium, which also helps your teeth! However, be careful when adding a vitamin D supplement to your routine, as high levels of this vitamin can interact with various drugs. In particular, high levels of vitamin D can be very problematic if you are taking Lanoxin, as they can put you at risk for hypercalcemia. Other medications mixed with a vitamin D supplement can also affect how your body processes the supplement.

Vitamin E

People often turn to vitamin E to support their immune system, as this vitamin is an antioxidant. However, there is some research on how vitamin E can slow the progression of osteoarthritis and promote the growth of new cartilage cells. However, much of this research requires further study. That said, vitamin E is a good supplement to keep in your rotation, as it also promotes good vision and brain health. Just be aware that it can interact with blood thinners and put you at risk of bleeding.


You will often see chondroitin mentioned along with glucosamine as they are similar. Chondroitin is also found in the body’s cartilage, so it is thought to be beneficial for improving joint health. Research on chondroitin has been inconclusive, but it is still accepted as a supplement that could be beneficial in helping joint health. It is generally considered a safe supplement, although, like many others, it can interact with blood thinners such as warfarin and put you at risk of bleeding. Chondroitin is often sold with glucosamine in supplement form.


Collagen is a protein that your body makes, and as you age, you have less and less of it. It’s what keeps your skin taut and firm and what keeps your joints running smoothly. But as you age, there is less collagen in your joints, which is where joint supplements can help. While there isn’t much research on whether collagen can actually help your joints, doctors largely think it won’t hurt either, if it makes you feel better while combining it with low-impact exercises like swimming, do it. .

Risks of supplements for joint health

As mentioned, most supplements are considered safe for people to take, and many of them are vitamins that your body needs. However, you should always research supplements before you start taking them, and it’s important to check with your doctor first if you’re taking prescription medications, as some supplements can interfere with how the medications work. Many of these can interact with prescription drugs, and you want to know this beforehand.

If you’re pregnant or nursing, you’ll also want to review any supplements with your doctor before you start taking them.

Frequently asked questions about joint supplements

Do Joint Supplements Really Work?

It can be tricky to come up with a proven medical benefit for any supplement, joint health or otherwise. Supplements are not intended to be used as a remedy for a medical condition, but as something that supplement or complement your diet, especially if you are deficient in a nutrient. The supplements on this best list were chosen because some research has found a potential benefit for joint health, although whether you decide to take one will depend on the medications you’re prescribed and your individual health concerns.

Does the FDA approve dietary supplements?

No, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not sign or investigate supplements as it does drugs or medications. “[The] The FDA generally does not approve dietary supplement claims or other labels before use,” he says. However, there are manufacturing practices and marketing rules that companies that make supplements must follow.

For more information, read more about reading a supplement label.

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