Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: April 8, 2019 Comments: 0

Most of us take for granted the smooth, painless movements we use to open a door, take a walk, or pick up something we drop.  However, for people with osteoarthritis (OA), these simple activities can be extremely painful and difficult.  OA, the most common chronic condition of the joints, affects approximately 27 million Americans.  Although OA can affect any joint, it most commonly occurs in weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, lower back as well as the hands. The disease is caused by the loss of cartilage, the tough, connective tissue that cushions the joints.  In OA, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint.

Lifestyle changes such as exercise and achieving a healthy weight are important ways to manage OA.  Although non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used for pain, they cannot help repair damaged cartilage and can cause unwanted side effects such as stomach upset, cardiovascular problems, bleeding problems, and liver and kidney damage.

Fortunately, there are some natural options that may help manage osteoarthritis:

  • Glucosamine – Glucosamine is utilized by the joints to repair and strengthen the cartilage and promotes overall joint and connective tissue health. Glucosamine has been shown to reduce the severity of osteoarthritis symptoms.
  • Chondroitin – Chondroitin is a major component of cartilage and has been shown to reduce pain, increase joint function, and slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
  • MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) – MSM is a sulfur compound that has been shown to relieve pain and improve joint functionality.
  • Proteolytic Enzymes – Various proteolytic enzymes, including bromelain (a natural enzyme found in pineapple), have been shown to reduce pain and increase functionality in osteoarthritis. A supplement containing bromelain was more effective than the NSAID diclofenac in a clinical trial.
  • Other Supplements – Additional supplements that may possess anti-inflammatory activity and may be helpful for OA include omega-3 fatty acids,turmeric, ginger, vitamin D, and green tea.




(1) Akhtar, N. M., Naseer, R., Farooqi, A. Z., Aziz, W., & Nazir, M. (2004). Oral enzyme combination versus diclofenac in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee ? a double-blind prospective randomized study. Clinical Rheumatology,23(5), 410-415. doi:10.1007/s10067-004-0902-y

(2) Everything You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis – Healthline. (n.d.). Retrieved from

(3) Health Protocols | Life Extension. (n.d.). Retrieved from

(4) Osteoarthritis. (2018, March 06). Retrieved from

(5) Osteoarthritis. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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