When it comes to supplements for joint health, one of the most widely recognized is glucosamine, and I’ve been recommending it to my patients and readers for years—long before it became so popular. While I think glucosamine is still one of the best supplements for healthy joints, there are a few others that I recommend adding to your arsenal as well. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Natural Eggshell Membrane to Nourish Your Joints
Derived from sanitized, USDA inspected chicken eggs, NEM® natural eggshell membrane is made up of two separate layers that exist between the egg albumin (egg white) and the eggshell. It is rich in collagen, amino acids, glycosaminoglycans (essential components in connective tissue, cartilage, and the synovial fluid that lubricate and cushion joints) and other nutrients critical for joint health.
Studies have shown that 500 mg of NEM daily helps build healthy joints and also provides a significant reduction in joint pain and stiffness.
Boswellia Delivers Multiple Benefits
An extract from the Boswellia serrata tree, boswellia is an important remedy from ancient India. Scientists have discovered that boswellia mimics the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs and helps relieve pain—without any of the negative side effects that the drugs have. That’s partly why it is one of the supplements for joint health I suggest adding to your health regimen.
While all boswellia extracts are effective to some degree, I recently discovered one extract called AprèsFlex® that is particularly impressive when it comes to supplements for healthy joints. It is standardized to 20 percent AKBA—an active component in boswellia that is very effective at inhibiting 5-LOX, a naturally occurring enzyme that produces highly inflammatory chemicals called leukotrienes as part of the body’s pain response. In addition to blocking 5-LOX, AprèsFlex inhibits four other inflammatory markers, including ones that are actually associated with the destruction of joint cartilage.
And because it’s also highly bioavailable, AprèsFlex provides faster pain relief—beginning in as little as five days—as compared to other boswellia supplements for joint health. Other benefits of this unique boswellia extract, as demonstrated in the research studies, include a reduction in joint stiffness and improved function and mobility. The dose used in the research is 100 mg daily.
Undenatured Type II Collagen for Healthy Cartilage
I’ve never been very enthusiastic about the usual collagen supplements for joint health, but there is one that I do recommend. Undenatured Type II Collagen or UC-II® is different because it targets a key inflammatory process that causes pain and cartilage deterioration. In a placebo-controlled study, participants with osteoarthritis of the knee who took 40 mg of UC-II daily for 90 days had a 40 percent reduction in pain and a 20 percent improvement in joint function. This collagen supplement has also been shown to decrease morning stiffness and post-exercise pain.
Meriva to Reduce Pain and Inflammation
Curcumin (Curcuma longa), an extract from turmeric, the yellow-orange spice found in curry, happens to be one of the best natural inflammation-fighters available, which is why it is among my top-recommended supplements for joint health.
Trouble is, by nature, curcumin (turmeric) isn’t well absorbed in the body. That’s why many people who try it report mediocre results. In order to effectively alleviate your aches and pains, you’d have to take curcumin in massive doses. Fortunately, scientists have come up with a highly absorbable form of curcumin called Meriva®.
I’ve been using and recommending Meriva to my patients, and I can say it works far more effectively for joint pain than any other curcumin product. The reason is its unique delivery system: The curcumin in Meriva is bound to a phospholipid, which makes it much more bioavailable—and much more beneficial to you. Studies show that Meriva is 45 times more potent than regular curcumin! That means you can get better results with a lower dosage.
Now it’s your turn: Have you ever taken these or other supplements for joint health?