Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis represents a generic name for a group of health conditions and mechanical anomalies that are characterized by degradation of joints. The articular cartilage and the subchondral bone found in the immediate vicinity of the joint are also affected by these diseases. Vitamins, minerals and supplements may play a very important role in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Depending on its causes, this medical condition is classified as primary or secondary osteoarthritis. In the first situation it appears as a result of water depletion from the cartilage, correlated with a degradation of the collagen fibers of the cartilage. Secondary osteoarthritis, on the other hand, appears as a complication of an underlying problems and diseases, such as:

  • Alkaptonuria
  • Chronic types of arthritis
  • Congenital conditions of joints
  • Diabetes
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Ligamentous degradation
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Wilson’s disease

Treatment of osteoarthritis is based on medication and behavioral changes meant to make pain easier.

Osteoarthritis Pain Management

As pain is one of the greatest concerns of people suffering from osteoarthritis, most treatments address this problem. Antioxidants, in particular, seem to be effective in osteoarthritis pain management. Out of these, vitamins C and E should be mentioned, but other types of antioxidants are also effective, without a doubt. The source of antioxidants does not really make a difference, so you can rely both on foods and supplements in order to achieve the desired effect.

Some vitamins from the B complex, namely folic acid (vitamin B9) and cobalamin (vitamin B12), may also relieve the pain in hands, when administered in very large doses. However, only one study sustains the effectiveness of these vitamins. Other than that, there is no documentation to support the use of vitamins from the B complex in osteoarthritis patients.

Another vitamin that is used for pain relief in people who suffer from osteoarthritis is vitamin D3. It has been noticed that osteoarthritis patients have vitamin D deficiencies, so supplementation with this nutrient is highly recommended.

Supplements and Herb Extracts

Some of the herb extracts that are able to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Boswellia
  • Chuchuasi
  • Devil’s claw
  • Ginger
  • Rhubarb
  • Yucca

It is also a good idea to focus on nutrients and phytochemicals, such as:

  • Amino acids
  • Boron
  • Bromelain
  • Chrondroitin
  • Copper
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Shark cartilage
  • Sulfur

Boron will help osteoarthritis patients retain calcium and magnesium. Because of this fact, boron is not only suitable for this disease, but also for osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is particularly effective in postmenopausal women.

Bromelain seems to be working as a treatment for osteoarthritis if the medical condition appears as a result of an injury. Chondroitin, on the other hand, is used in the treatment of this disease because it is capable of restoring deteriorated cartilage. As copper is essential for supporting connective tissue, it is easy to understand why it is recommended for osteoarthritis patients.

Eicosapentaenoic acid supports the skeletal system, a fact that makes it adequate for people suffering from osteoarthritis. This omega-3 fatty acid is typically found in human breast milk and in oily fish such as:

  • Cod liver
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Menhaden
  • Salmon
  • Sardine

As you can see, the nutrients necessary for treating osteoarthritis are not obtained exclusively from supplements. A proper diet that offers you the required vitamins and minerals will help you manage the pain and fight the hazardous effects of this medical condition.  


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