What are the best supplements for joint health?

4 natural options

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S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise & Fitness), Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology Level 3
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28 May 2019

1 – Fish oil

Fish oil is derived from the tissues of oily fish including mackerel and herring. It is recommended we eat around two portions of fish a week but, if you do not eat fish, a fish oil supplement can be a good way of getting the health benefits. 

Why do we need it?

Fish oil contains omega-3 which has a number of incredible health benefits. It is important for the health of the heart, for example, as well as blood pressure and eye health. Fish oil can also be of benefit if you experience stiffness in the joints. This is something that can be age-related, though it is often connected to conditions such as osteoarthritis as well. 

How does it work?

In cases of osteoarthritis, the cartilage at the end of the bone wears away. This causes the two bones to rub together, thus resulting in inflammation. Fish oil can help here as it contains omega-3 fatty acids which block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins and then convert them into anti-inflammatory chemicals called resolvins. 

The anti-inflammatory properties contained in omega-3 also make it beneficial for more general problems such as stiffness.

Can you prove it?

A 2017 review looked at whether or not fish oil supplements could improve the clinical outcome of patients with arthritis, as well as whether or not it reduced their pain. After examining 42 previous studies on the topic, researchers concluded that fish oil supplements did help to ease pain in patients with arthritis.1  

Other research conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre concluded that omega-3 may reduce the need for NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), whilst still providing similar, pain-easing effects.2 

2 – Turmeric

With its bright orange shade and unique flavour, turmeric is a spice most of us will already be familiar with. It is often used in cooking but has a number of health benefits to offer when taken in supplement form.

Why do we need it?

There is a selection of fantastic uses for turmeric – it can aid everything from digestive complaints such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome to period pain. Again, it is also something that can help arthritis sufferers who experience pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. 

How does it work?

Turmeric gets its unique orange shade from curcuminoids. Curcuminoids are made up of curcumin which is what gives turmeric its beneficial effects.

Like fish oil supplements, curcumin may block inflammatory enzymes which should, in turn, ease any pain in the joints and improve movement.

Can you prove it?

A wide number of studies have been conducted into the health benefits of turmeric. A review by the University of California, for example, concluded that turmeric did indeed have anti-inflammatory activity.3 

Another, larger scale review, confirmed that not only did the curcumin found in turmeric contain anti-inflammatory mechanisms to aid conditions such as arthritis, it may also ease inflammation and soreness in the muscles after exercise.4 So, it seems there are added benefits to be gained from taking turmeric regularly!

3 – Devil’s Claw

Devil’s Claw is the common name for a type of plant called the Harpagophytum procumbens that is native to the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa. The root of the Devil’s Claw plant is commonly used to treat muscle and joint pain, rheumatism and backache. 

Why do we need it?

As I’ve mentioned, many people suffer from inflammatory pain, as a result of conditions such as arthritis or sporting injuries. Conventional anti-inflammatory medication is frequently associated with side effects such as digestive problems and stomach ulcers so many people seek an alternative. 

Devil’s Claw is a good option as it can reduce inflammatory pain without these side effects.

How does it work?

Devil’s Claw works by reducing the production of a whole range of inflammatory chemicals including prostaglandins and leukotrienes. It has a gentle braking action on all the inflammatory pathways, without completely blocking them. This means that there will be none of the side effects that come from blocking a pathway completely. 

Devil’s Claw is suitable for addressing muscle and joint pain that is the result of fibromyalgia, arthritis, tendonitis, and sprains or strains.

Can you prove it?

We have trials that prove the efficacy and safety of Devil’s Claw. In an open clinical study, 259 patients who had at least one joint, or one body part, giving them slight to moderate rheumatic pain were treated with two A.Vogel Devil’s Claw Tablets over a period of eight weeks.  

In individual joints, pain significantly decreased by up to 58%, and back pain was reduced by about 37%. The study showed that A.Vogel’s Atrosan Devil’s Claw Tablets are a very effective and tolerable basic therapy for patients with mild to moderate rheumatic pain. 

Where can I find a high quality supplement?

Our Devil’s Claw Tablets are a licensed herbal medicine made from Devil’s Claw tincture. Our Devil’s Claw is cultivated on our farm in South Africa in order to avoid destroying wild stocks. 

Devil’s Claw should start to show its effects within 2-4 weeks, depending on how long the problem has been present. Using Devil’s Claw for recent sports injuries, though, can be immediate in its effects. 

You can use the product long-term and it will actually work better the longer you take it as it has a cumulative effect on the body.

My Top Tip:

Atrosan Devil's Claw tablets can help to releive muscle and joint pain, rheumatic pain and backache. 

“This is the only thing that helps the pain in my knees.”


Read what other people are saying about Atrosan Devil's Claw tablets.

4 – Vitamin D

The body does not make its own vitamin D and so, instead, it must be sourced from the sun, our diet or a supplement. Foods such as oily fish, red meat and egg yolks all contain vitamin D.

Why do we need it?

Vitamin D is important for the health of the immune system, and for keeping bones and teeth healthy.

How does it work?

Vitamin D maintains calcium and phosphorus levels and, in doing so, keeps the bones healthy. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to weakness in the bones, as well as joint pain.  

Can you prove it?

Research by the Department of Endocrinology in Greece suggests that lack of vitamin D may increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Not only this, researchers concluded that vitamin D deficiency could make the condition more severe should it develop.6  

Where can I find a high quality supplement?

There is often a problem with vitamin D supplements in that they contain too much of this nutrient. This can be detrimental in a number of ways – some studies suggest it can slow reaction time7 and increase the risk of falls amongst older people. 

Our Balance Mineral Drink contains a healthy dose of vitamin D, alongside other nutrients such as calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium.

Balance Mineral Drink supports normal muscle and joint function and bone maintenance, but can also help with problems such as tiredness and fatigue. You can mix it with a little or water for a refreshing strawberry drink or, alternatively, add it to your favourite smoothie recipe


1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5295086/ 

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16531187  

3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044 

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/  

5 Warnock M, et al. Effectiveness and Safety of Devil’s Claw Tablets in Patients with General Rheumatic Disorders. Phytotherapy Research 2007; 21(21): 1228-33

6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539179/ 

7 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324772.php 

8 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190314075747.htm 

A.Vogel Atrogel Muscle Aches & Pains

Arnica gel for relief of muscle pains, stiffness, sprains and bruising. 100ml size available.
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