Vegan Supplements For Joints

yoga helps improve joint flexibility and bone health
Yoga is one of the best ways to help improve joint health and flexibility

Snap, crackle, pop! This isn’t a sound you want to hear from your joints when you get out of bed in the morning or stand up after you’ve been sitting for a lengthy period of time. But these noises can indicate that something is not quite right, especially when they are accompanied by inflammation and pain.

As a person gets older, these sounds from joints become too familiar. Wear and tear is something that happens to everyone, but by taking care of your body, it’s possible to slow down this ‘wear and tear’ process and maintain healthy joints for longer.

If you’re young, say 20 or 30 years old, there’s a good chance that you’ve not really experienced these issues yet. But it’s a good idea to get on top of joint health right now, to save yourself from the pain and loss of mobility that joint problems can cause as you get older

Joint problems don’t usually happen overnight either. Of course, there are exceptions such as accidents, infections, and other trauma which can damage joints; but generally speaking, the degenerative process takes place over a long period of time.

As a vegan, you’re probably a bit lighter than the average person, and you also likely have less inflammation. So already you’re at an advantage compared to many people. But we can go a step further and use targeted supplementation to protect your joints.

Vegan Supplements for Joints

These are some of the best supplements available to help improve joint mobility, reduce inflammation and protect against general wear and tear of joints.

#1. Vegan Joint Support Supplement with Glucosamine and other anti-inflammatory ingredients

This joint support supplement contains a powerful blend of ingredients which helps lubricate joints and provide powerful anti-inflammatory and immune system modulating benefits.

It contains four main ingredients: Glucosamine, Hyaluronic acid, MSM, Boswellia, and Bioperine to enhance absorption.

Who should use this supplement?

The joint health supplement was designed for vegans who are experiencing joint stiffness, reduced flexibility, and mobility, as well as joint inflammation and pain.

Main benefits

  • Helps reduce inflammation and autoimmune conditions which can damage joints
  • Helps aid in the repair and regeneration process after injury
  • Helps prevent pain associated with arthritis and other joint conditions
  • Improves skin health

Features

Unlike many other joint supplements, this one has been designed to be cruelty-free while providing clinically proven ingredients.

It also is free from preservatives, artificial ingredients, and flavors. It’s also labeled Non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy free.

Also very popular amongst vegans and is rated highly!

See more information and reviews here.


#2. Turmeric (Curcumin) with Ginger and Bioperine

Ginger and Turmeric have long been known to be powerful anti-inflammatory spices which can help reduce joint pain and be as effective or more effective than some medications.

There are many studies which show that both of these ingredients can help reduce pain and symptoms associated with inflammation anywhere in the body.

Who should use this supplement?

The supplement was designed to help people who are struggling with acute or chronic inflammation in the body.

Both of these ingredients have been researched extensively for their positive effect on those who suffer from many types of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

If inflammation is the main cause of your joint problems or if you have a family history of inflammatory disorders and joint problems, then this supplement would be great for you.

It would also complement the previous supplement very well.

Main benefits

  • Reduces inflammation and pain related to joint pain anywhere in the body
  • Helps improve digestion
  • Improves blood circulation in the body
  • Boosts memory and brain function
  • Supports the immune system
  • Possible anti-cancer benefits

Features

The supplement contains Bioperine which is commonly used to significantly enhance the absorption of bioactive components found in turmeric.

It’s also manufactured in an FDA facility in the US, so strict quality control is in place ensuring that you get the best quality ingredients and product.

Also free from ingredients such as artificial colors and flavors, gluten, soy, and GMO ingredients. It’s completely natural and vegan.

Like the previous supplement, this one is also very higly rated and popular.

See more information and reviews here.


#3. Vegan Omega 3 with Algal Oil for Joint Support and Health

If you’re a vegan and not currently taking an omega 3 supplement then you’re missing out on essential fatty acids which provide potent anti-inflammatory effects as well as other health benefits.

Getting omega 3’s from a vegan diet can be challenging, especially when it comes to DHA. Most of the time a vegan will consume ALA and this will be converted to EPA and DHA. But the conversion process isn’t perfect.

That’s where omega 3 supplements derived from algal oil come in. It provides EPA and DHA with no conversion needed.

Who should use this supplement?

It was designed for vegans who want to help keep joints flexible and pain-free by providing two essential fats which can protect the joint against chronic inflammation associated with injury, inflammation and general wear and tear. Omega 3 helps restore flexibility and reduce joint stiffness.

Main benefits

  • Supports joint health by reducing inflammation and reducing stiffness
  • Supports a healthy cardiovascular system
  • Improves brain function and memory
  • Improves skin and hair health
  • Supports a healthy immune system and reduces autoimmunity

Features

Contains omega 3 from Algal oil, the only real source for DHA on a vegan diet.

Also free from artificial ingredients, flavors, preservatives.

Important: This supplement contains carrageenan, which can worsen inflammation in people who have IBD and other diseases related to the digestive system.

See more information and reviews here.


What are the main causes of joint problems?

Joint problems can be caused by many things aside from aging. Below is a list of things that can cause joint problems.

  • Inflammation – Can be related to infection, trauma, autoimmunity or wear and tear
  • Arthritis – Many types of arthritis can cause joint pain and lead to degeneration of joints over time
  • Muscles – Your muscles might be weak or tight
  • Tendons and Ligaments – Sometimes these can become inflamed and cause problems around joints
  • Damage – Damage to cartilage from impact or some other cause can cause chronic pain, especially with movement

There are many other causes of joint problems but these are some of the main ones.

Many of these have things in common, but the main one is inflammation. Inflammation is something that is required in our body for proper repair and regeneration, but chronic inflammation is problematic and can worsen joint mobility.

Fortunately, a plant-based vegan diet already contains many anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, and teas to protect our joints, but sometimes it’s easier to be consistent by taking a supplement. And not only that, you also get a larger dose of the bioactive compounds which protect joints than you would from just consuming the food.

Beneficial ingredients in joint supplements

If you’re interested in learning more about the specific ingredients in these supplements, here’s a brief introduction to each of them.

Ginger and turmeric – Contains compounds such as gingerols and curcuminoids which are able to suppress inflammation in the body by blocking cytokines and other inflammatory mediators which cause excessive inflammation and destruction of tissue if left uncontrolled. Studies show that these two ingredients are effective for people who have arthritis and the results can be the same as taking a medication.

Omega 3 – Studies show that omega 3 is able to suppress inflammation and improve symptoms associated with arthritis. In one study, patients who took omega 3 had improvements with tender joints compared to a placebo group.

There was a 50% improvement seen in the omega 3 group in 89% of patients compared with just 50% improvement seen in 13% of the placebo group over the course of the study.

Glucosamine – This supplement has been used by many people to help relieve their achy joints. A lot of people swear by it, but clinical studies have shown mixed results. One of the reasons for this is the preparation used in studies. In trials that used glucosamine sulfate, it was found to be effective at reducing joint pain and other symptoms of arthritis. While other preparations were not effective (see study)

Conclusion

Joint pain affects millions of people and can be debilitating in some cases. Looking after our joints with good nutrition, supplementation, and proper exercise is important for keeping our joints flexible and healthy. But for many people, the damage is already done and they have to just manage the pain.

Vegan joint supplements contain ingredients which have been shown to be effective in studies on various forms of arthritis and can help not only prevent inflammation and wear and tear on joints but also help manage symptoms effectively without the need for medication in some cases.

Ginger and Turmeric Supplements for Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most common conditions in adults and tends to increase in prevalence and severity with age. Pain medications are often prescribed, as well as anti-inflammatories, but natural treatments like turmeric and ginger may also have a place for treating the condition.

In the United States, over 54 million people have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other forms of the condition. Not only does this cause pain for people who suffer from it, but it can also result in other comorbidities.

People who develop osteoarthritis may have reduced mobility, which may increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Whereas rheumatoid arthritis – a painful autoimmune disease – is also known to increase the risk of developing other diseases due to excessive inflammation.

Plants and herbs have been studied for their health benefits, but turmeric and ginger stand out as two promising natural remedies in treating arthritis according to recent research.

Many people take curcumin with ginger supplements and have had a lot of great success in treating their arthritis symptoms (read the reviews). Curcumin is the bioactive compound responsible for most of the beneficial effects you get from turmeric.

If you decide not to take curcumin, you can try adding turmeric liberally to your meals and tea. Curcumin accounts for about 2-9% of the turmeric. The advantage of taking supplements is they are convenient and also formulated to significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin.

Read more here about the benefits of turmeric and ginger tea and three high quality ginger and turmeric supplements for general health and arthritis.

How can ginger and turmeric help people with arthritis?

Both of these herbs are commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating many types of inflammatory diseases and work in similar ways.

They mainly help you by inhibiting inflammatory mediators on a cellular level which causes joint destruction, inflammation, and pain.

Ginger and Turmeric contain potent anti-inflammatory compounds like gingerols and other related compounds. Whereas the main benefits of turmeric are from a compound called curcumin.

Ginger and curcumin appear to be an effective COX inhibitor, which is how some NSAID medications work. They also inhibit other inflammatory mediators like NF-Kappa B, TNF-alpha and various cytokines and enzymes related to the destruction of cartilage.

Turmeric (curcumin) is also able to modulate the immune system by inhibiting immune responses that cause the body to attack itself.

Taken together, these compounds can act synergistically to have a more robust anti-inflammatory effect and may even be useful in reducing the dose of medications or stopping them entirely. But of course, if you’re planning on stopping your medication, please talk to your doctor first.

Studies in the laboratory have shown how these compounds work in animals and in test tubes, but do these benefits translate into humans taking them in their diet or as a supplement?

Fortunately, there have been several studies conducted and so we have an answer! 🙂

What is the evidence?

The evidence that we’ll take a look at will be in patients who suffer from either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis and have tried using either ginger or turmeric and its bioactive components like curcumin for managing their condition.

Ginger and Turmeric for Osteoarthritis

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted in 2002, researchers compared the effects of ginger extract, ibuprofen, and a placebo to see which was better at managing symptoms of osteoarthritis.

They were split up into three groups of 40 and then monitored between April and October 2002 by looking at pain score, swelling, and other joint mobility scores.

The study found that ginger and ibuprofen were equal in their ability to reduce symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. [1]

In 2014, a meta-analysis of studies looking at ginger and osteoarthritis was published, with the authors concluding that patients who were given ginger were more than twice as likely to discontinue treatment compared to placebo because the supplement was effective at managing symptoms.

Ginger taken as a supplement seems to be beneficial for people who have osteoarthritis, but more recent research also suggests that simply applying a ginger extract with nanoparticles can also improve joint pain and other symptoms. [2] Although ginger is well-tolerated for msot people, this is a good finding because some people may prefer to apply directly to the joint.

People who are poor responders to NSAID medications may also benefit from using ginger in combination with echinacea for decreasing joint inflammation in OA patients. One study showed a significant improvement of 12.27 points for the group who took the ginger supplement. [3]

Now taking a look at turmeric in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial! Turmeric was found to benefit patients with osteoarthritis by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress markers in patients who were taking the supplement for four months.

Not only did they see improvements by measuring these markers, but there was a significant clinical improvement in patients and their quality of life for patients taking the turmeric supplement [4].

Other studies have shown that turmeric is able to block the degenerative processes associated with the condition. It does this by downregulating COX2, TNF-alpha, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and IL-8, as well as reducing the production of reactive oxygen species. [5]

Both ginger and turmeric appear to be effective natural treatments for these two forms of arthritis with efficacy matching that of traditional pain medications. Great news for people who hate taking medications which can cause side effects.

Ginger and Turmeric for Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can be a condition which is difficult to treat and manage. When it’s severe it can cause significant disability and comorbidities. And so finding treatments to enhance or replace medications can really improve quality of life and reduce side effects associated with painkillers and other medications.

For active rheumatoid arthritis, there is more evidence that turmeric or curcumin supplements are more effective at managing the disease than ginger.

In 2012, a randomized pilot trial looked at the safety and effectiveness of using curcumin (derived from turmeric) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis compared to standard treatment. The study found that not only was curcumin safe and well tolerated, but curcumin was superior compared with diclofenac sodium group in treating patients. [6]

Other more recent studies have confirmed these findings with both low dose and high dose curcumin formulations designed for maximum bioavailability. They saw significant clinical improvements over the placebo group, with improvements in ESR, CRP, and RF values. There were also no side effects in the group taking the curcumin supplements. [7]

And finally, although there isn’t much evidence that ginger is effective for rheumatoid arthritis, it has been used in animal models and shown to inhibit joint inflammation and destruction. [8] Therefore combining ginger with turmeric or curcumin may have a synergistic effect.

Conclusion

The evidence for using natural herbs like turmeric and ginger seem to be strong in the case of treating degenerative conditions such as arthritis. Many people have benefited from using these herbs, and so it might be worth a try!

Of course, if you’re thinking about taking these supplements, speak with your doctor and discuss whether or not there will be any interactions with other medications you’re currently taking.

That being said, turmeric and ginger have been widely used for centuries and provide many other health benefits aside from their ability to treat arthritis! 🙂