Supplements are sometimes used by people with knee osteoarthritis with varying results. Information in this page provides you with some basic information about common or promising supplements.
In the following video Dr Adrienne Forsyth gives you a general overview about supplements in clinical research for people with knee osteoarthritis.
Broadly speaking, supplements are substances that may be considered foods, or parts of foods, that are taken by an individual for medical or health benefits.
The most commonly investigated supplements for people with knee osteoarthritis include glucosamine and chondroitin. These are compounds extracted from animal products and are considered to improve cartilage health.
Well respected research generally suggests that there is minimal or no benefit of taking supplements to improve pain or function for people with knee osteoarthritis.
That being said, supplements are generally safe for people with knee osteoarthritis to take, and some people do report positive outcomes. Therefore, the decision to trial supplements should be one that is discussed between yourself and your healthcare professional (e.g. GP, Rheumatologist or Pharmacist).
Most medical guidelines recommend now recommend against the use of the following supplements.
The reason to advise against their use is that widespread research has failed to find them beneficial for the masses.
Potentially. Boswellia serrata extract, Pycnogenol and curcumin have all been shown to have promising effects in small, lower-quality trials (experiments). But more research is needed to determine their true effects. Speak with your healthcare professional (e.g. GP or Pharmacist) before trialing any new supplements.
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