We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Arthritis affects the joints of millions of adults in the United States. Supplements may help relieve pain and stiffness in the areas of the body in which arthritis has developed.

This article looks at which supplements may be beneficial for people with arthritis. It also explores some of the best supplements and alternative treatments available.

Quick links

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect joints or areas surrounding the joint. Arthritis can result in pain and stiffness in the affected area of the body.

There are approximately 58.5 million adults in the United States with arthritis.

Learn more about arthritis here.

The Arthritis Foundation (AF) states that some supplements may relieve pain, stiffness, and other symptoms of arthritis. It also suggests using supplements alongside arthritis drugs, not as a substitute. Medications are the only scientifically proven treatment to slow joint damage.

A 2020 review on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) indicates that some supplements may have beneficial effects. However, research into the impact of diet and dietary supplements on RA is limited.

Furthermore, the AF highlights the importance of consulting a doctor before taking any supplements for arthritis. Some supplements may interact with other medications or cause side effects.

It is also of note that there is little research into the effectiveness of supplements.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not evaluate dietary supplements before they enter the market, which may make it difficult for people to assess supplement quality.

The FDA also underlines the value of seeking guidance from a doctor about supplements.

One of the ways to find quality supplements is to look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) label. COA labels come from independent third-party companies, such as:

According to the NSF, supplements with a COA label have often undergone testing for:

  • harmful levels of contaminants
  • undeclared ingredients
  • product standardization
  • accurate ingredient labeling

Some supplements have different benefits than others. In the sections below, we list supplements and their possible benefits.

Curcumin

Curcumin is one of the main components of turmeric that may help block inflammation. It may also promote heart health and prevent other conditions. However, curcumin supplements may cause blood thinning.

A 2015 study on rats suggests that curcumin supplements are an effective anti-arthritic treatment.

Moreover, a 2020 study involving humans showed that Curcuma longa extract was more effective at reducing osteoarthritis (OA) pain in the knee than a placebo. However, the authors of the study note that further research into the effects of Curcuma longa extract is necessary.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that scientists have conducted extensive research into substances present in turmeric but that there is still uncertainty about their health effects.

Persona Nutrition Turmeric

Best curcumin for vegans

This subscription-based company offers 500-milligram (mg) Turmeric supplements, which contain curcumin.

The company advises a person take this supplement once per day with food and water.

This vegan-friendly product is free from:

The company website lists the price as $0.40 per day.

Life Extension Curcumin Elite

Best curcumin for vegetarians

This vegetarian-friendly product comes in a container of 60 capsules, with each capsule containing 500 mg of curcumin. The company suggests taking 1 capsule per day.

Life Extension claims that most of its products are free from gluten and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It also notes that it manufactures its products in the United States.

The capsules are available on Amazon for around $22.30.

Boswellia

Boswellia, or Indian frankincense, is an herbal extract. It may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

A 2019 study on rats suggests that Boswellia extract may be useful in managing RA.

Moreover, a 2020 meta-analysis of seven studies with a total of 545 participants found that Boswellia and its extract may be effective in treating OA.

Bulk Supplements Boswellia Serrata Extract powder

Best Boswellia extract powder

The company recommends a person take 500 mg of this powder once or twice daily with a meal, or as instructed by a doctor.

The Boswellia Serrata Extract is free from:

The price is $13.96 for a 100-gram (g) bag.

PureNaturals Boswellia Extract Softgels

Best Boswellia extract softgels

The company offers 120 softgel capsules, each of which contains 500 mg of Boswellia extract.

The capsules contain gelatin, so they are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans. However, they are free from:

  • gluten
  • soy
  • lactose
  • wheat
  • yeast
  • preservatives
  • artificial flavors and colors

The capsules cost $25.98.

Collagen

Collagen is a natural protein present in bodily tissues that supports joints, tendons, bones, ligaments, and the skin.

A 2016 review found that collagen supplements may help with OA by increasing bone mineral density, protecting cartilage, and relieving pain.

It is important to note that this type of supplement is usually not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder

Best collagen powder

These travel sachets contain 10 g of collagen per serving. The powder can dissolve in any liquid, hot or cold. According to the manufacturer, an individual can take 1–2 sachets per day.

The company claims that it sources its collagen from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine and that the collagen is free from:

A box of 20 sachets costs around $32.74 on Amazon.

HUM Nutrition Collagen Love

Best collagen capsules

These capsules contain two types of collagen. HUM Nutrition recommends people take 3 capsules with food.

Moreover, the product contains vitamin C, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid.

It is also non-GMO and free from gluten and artificial sweeteners or colors.

The price is $40 for a bottle of 90 capsules.

Fish oil

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may have anti-inflammatory qualities. It may therefore benefit people with arthritis. Fish oil may also improve heart and eye health, lower blood pressure, and promote healthy skin.

A 2015 study on arthritic rats found that fish oil treatments can have positive effects on the joints.

However, the authors of a 2016 study involving 202 people with knee OA or regular knee pain found that there was no additional benefit of taking high dose fish oil over low dose fish oil for participants with knee OA. They also note that further investigation into the efficacy of fish oil is necessary.

Carlson The Very Finest Fish Oil

Best fish oil liquid

This product is in a liquid form and is available in a lemon or orange flavor. It is free from artificial preservatives and is non-GMO.

The company claims there are 1,600 mg of omega-3s per teaspoon, and it recommends a person take 1 teaspoon either once or twice per day with a meal.

The price is around $53.52 on Amazon for a 500-milliliter bottle.

Nature Made Fish Oil Gummies

Best fish oil gummies

These gummies are a mix of strawberry, lemon, and orange flavors, and each serving has 57 mg of fish oil.

Nature Made recommends people chew 2 gummies daily.

The oil, which the company claims to make from wild-caught ocean fish, does not contain:

  • gluten
  • artificial colors
  • artificial sweeteners
  • artificial flavors

A bottle of 90 gummies costs $15.49.

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

Best fish oil softgels

These lemon-flavored softgels are available to purchase in a pack of 60, 90, 120, 180, or 210.

A pack of 90 contains a total of 1,280 mg of omega-3s.

Nordic Naturals claims it uses sustainable and ethical practices and delivers safe and effective nutrients.

A pack of 90 softgels is available for around $39.95 on Amazon.

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases states that doctors use prescription-based medication to treat arthritis. Prescription-based medication can help reduce pain and prevent further damage.

A person may also have surgery to repair joint damage and help alleviate pain.

Alternatively, splints and braces may be useful for people to help reduce movement and prevent pain.

There are a variety of supplements that may have anti-inflammatory qualities. This means they may be suitable for people with arthritis and may improve their joint health.

A person may wish to consider supplements such as fish oil, collagen, Boswellia, and curcumin. These supplements are available in various forms, including softgels, capsules, powders, and gummies.

Supplements are most effective when an individual uses them alongside prescribed medication. However, further research, including larger human trials, into the efficacy of supplements is necessary.

A person should consult a doctor before using any supplements, particularly if they are taking any type of medication.