Arthritis Supplements

Written by Beth Hrusch
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Arthritis supplements target the source of the pain associated with this joint disease. In this way, supplements are different from the traditional drugs routinely prescribed for joint pain. Nutritional supplements have long been recognized as essential in giving the body the boost it needs to fight infection, repair damage, and maintain the systems of the body. Recent research has found that they can be used to treat disease, as well.

Natural Arthritis Supplements

Naturally-derived substances that have the properties of drugs and can be used to treat disease are called nutraceuticals. Many herbs fall into this category, as do the substances that are most effective at treating arthritis. Since cartilage breakdown is the hallmark of joint disease, most nutraceuticals target the four components of cartilage: collagen, proteoglycans, water, and chondrocytes. Rebuilding and maintaining these substances in adequate amounts will ensure good joint health.

Some natural arthritis supplements that do this are glucosamine and chondroitin. They are not the only options, but they seem to provide the greatest benefits for joints. Glucosamine builds collagen and adds flexibility to connective tissues. Chondroitin is a proteoglycan that gives cartilage its elasticity. When added to the diet, these substances provide vital components in the rebuilding of healthy cartilage, thereby eliminating the source of arthritis pain.

Supporting compounds such as MSM (methyl sulfonyl menthane), omega-3 fatty acids, sam-e and antioxidant vitamins are sometimes added to glucosamine chondroitin formulas, but they can also be taken separately. Together, they work to reduce arthritis symptoms, encourage new cell growth, and nourish existing tissues. Use of natural arthritis supplements is an effective long-term approach to joint care.

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