8 Best Anti-Inflammatory Supplements of 2022

Inflammation is the body’s response to harmful stimulus such as injury, infection, or irritation. There are two main types of inflammation ; acute inflammation and chronic inflammation.

Acute inflammation usually restores your body to its state before injury or illness. It often resolves in two weeks or less. Symptoms appear quickly. 

Chronic inflammation slower and generally less severe form. It typically lasts longer than six weeks. It can occur even when there’s no injury, and it doesn’t always end when the illness or injury is healed. Chronic inflammation has been linked to autoimmune disorders and even prolonged stress.


Best Anti Inflammatory Supplements 2022

1. Turmeric (Curcumin)

Curcumin is an antioxidant that may offer a variety of anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s present in turmeric, a mild spice that can add color and flavor to sweet and savory dishes, as well as teas.

It’s also available as a supplement.

It is somewhat unbelievable how many articles have been published regarding turmeric’s ability to tackle inflammation in the human body. There is data to support just about every condition; Joint paint, digestion, Crohn’s Disease, heart disease, depression, cancer, cognition and eczema to name a few.

Curcumin, present in turmeric, has long played a role in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

In 2019, some researchers found that curcumin capsules had a similar effect on the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis as diclofenac, an NSAID.

In the study, 139 people with OsteoArthritis of the knee took either a 50-milligram tablet of diclofenac twice a day for 28 days or a 500-milligram curcumin capsule three times a day.

Both groups said their pain levels improved, but those who took curcumin had fewer negative effects. The research suggested that people who can’t take NSAIDs may be able to use curcumin instead.

You can find curcumin supplements on Amazon.

2. Omega-3 Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats, meaning you must get them from the food you eat, as your body can’t make them.

They’ve been associated with numerous health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease, reduced inflammation, and improved mood (Trusted SourceTrusted SourceTrusted Source).

Fish oil and flaxseed oil each contain an impressive amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

The main types of omega-3s in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (Trusted Source).

On the other hand, flaxseed oil contains the omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) (Trusted Source). Flaxseed oil also contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid.

EPA and DHA are predominantly found in animal foods like fatty fish, while ALA is mostly found in plants.

However, ALA isn’t biologically active and needs to be converted to EPA and DHA to be used for something other than just stored energy like other types of fat (Trusted Source).

While ALA is still an essential fatty acid, EPA and DHA are linked to many more health benefits (Trusted Source). Additionally, the conversion process from ALA to EPA and DHA is quite inefficient in humans (Trusted Source). For example, one study found that only 5% of ALA is converted to EPA and less than 0.5% of ALA is converted to DHA in adults (Trusted Source).

EPA and DHA can reduce inflammation, which causes swelling and pain. Research has indicated that both acids might suppress the body’s immune system. However, a 2016 study suggests that DHA might enhance immune function instead. DHA is more effective at reducing inflammation than EPA, but both have a role.

All of these effects makes fish oil potentially beneficial for people with arthritis.

EPA and DHA come with other health benefits: They can help prevent heart attacks by making it harder for blood to clot. They help lower blood triglyceride levels and blood pressure. As well, EPA taken with statin medication is more effective in reducing the inflammation of arteriosclerosis than medication alone.

For the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil to work against arthritis, it’s necessary to consume a fairly large quantity of it each day. Fish oil — or cod liver oil — enclosed in capsules makes this fairly easy.

On the other hand, because cod liver oil contains very high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D, taking too much can be toxic. For the purpose of treating arthritis, fish oil is the safer choice.


3. Vitamin D

Perhaps bone health and sunlight is what comes to your mind when you hear “Vitamin D” but very few of us realize vitamin D’s capacity to manage inflammation.

The production of inflammatory proteins (cytokines) and immune cells is better regulated when Vitamin D levels are optimized. This is crucial for preventing the development of many immune-related diseases (R).

In fact, one study showed that individuals with adequate vitamin D levels did not experience the typical inflammatory cascade. Those with subpar vitamin D levels failed to inhibit the inflammatory cascade (R).

Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is the best form of vitamin D. D3 is the natural form of vitamin D. It is what our body makes when we are exposed to sunlight. 

Eating egg yolks might allow for sufficient vitamin D levels. Be sure to take your D3 with a meal as vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.

4. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is another common ingredient in supplements said to help with joint pain. One of the most popular uses of MSM is to decrease joint or muscle pain. It has been shown to benefit those with joint degeneration, a common cause of pain in the knees, back, hands and hips.

In one randomised controlled study, MSM improved pain and functioning compared to a placebo in people with osteoarthritis.

A study in 100 people over the age of 50 found that treatment with a supplement containing 1,200 mg of MSM for 12 weeks decreased pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints, compared to a placebo (Int J Biomed Sci. 2015).

The group receiving the supplement also reported improved overall quality of life and less difficulty walking and getting out of bed (Int J Biomed Sci. 2015).

Another study in 32 people with lower back pain found that taking a glucosamine supplement containing MSM significantly reduced lumbar stiffness and pain upon movement, plus greatly increased quality of life (Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2005).

Try it: Typical MSM doses range from 1,500 to 6,000 grams per day, sometimes divided into two doses. 

You can find MSM supplements on Amazon.

5. Resveratrol 

Resveratrol is another nutrient that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In a 2018 study, scientists gave 110 people with mild to moderate OA of the knee a 500-milligram dose of resveratrol or a placebo. They took this combination alongside a 15-gram dose of the NSAID meloxicam every day for 90 days.

People who took resveratrol found that their pain levels dropped significantly, compared with those who took the placebo. More research is needed to confirm that resveratrol can benefit people with OA.

However, if you’re already taking another NSAID and it doesn’t reduce your pain as much as you’d like, the research suggests Resveratrol may be a useful add-on.


6. Chondroitin

Many clinical studies have found that chondroitin can reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis. About 53 percent of people who take chondroitin have a 20 percent or greater improvement in knee pain.

Chondroitin sulfate may also slow down the progression of osteoarthritis when taken long-term. Studies show that it slows down narrowing of the joint space when taken for up to 2 years.

Joint supplements often combine chondroitin with glucosamine. In a 2022 meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled trials, that included more than 3,700 patients; confirmed that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin is effective and superior to other treatments in knee osteoarthritis to a certain extent.

Try it: Chondroitin is typically taken in a dose of 400 to 800 mg two or three times per day. 

You can find chondroitin supplements on Amazon.

7. Glutathione Boosting Agents



Glutathione is our master antioxidant that regulates all other antioxidants within the body. Having high amounts of glutathione in the body is key for mitigating the inflammatory effects of free radicals.

Free radicals are upregulated during any time of stress whether it is lifestyle or something like a bacterial imbalance in the gut.  For clinical applications, we will either use glutathione boosting agents like N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) or acetylated glutathione.

8. Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol)

This is a relatively new comer in this anti inflammatory space. 

Pine bark acts as a local anti-inflammatory in synovial fluid (R) and three publications have shown it to improve KOA (knee osteoarthritis) pain and stiffness, NSAID (non steroidal anti inflammatory drug) use, physical and emotional well-being (RRR). Pine bark preparations have recently been “strongly recommended” to the rheumatology community as early and additive treatment for OA, likely based on the following meta-analysis (RR). 

In a 2020 randomized controlled trial, mineral rich algae with pine bark improved pain, physical function and analgesic use in mild-knee joint osteoarthritis, compared to Glucosamine.

Other Natural Ways to Reduce Inflammation?

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Researchers have identified certain foods that can help control inflammation. Many of them are found in the so-called Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fish, vegetables and olive oil, among other staples.

There’s a standardized research tool that’s updated regularly that allows anybody to see if they’re eating foods we know cause chronic inflammation. This is called the The Dietary Inflammatory Index or DII. The choices of pro-inflammatory foods were initially based on studies showing that certain foods like trans-fatty acids (unsaturated fats) caused a spike in serum inflammatory markers in people.

Hydration



Exposure to toxins is one huge factor in chronic inflammation. These could include pesticides, heavy metals, air pollution, mold, and more. On a daily basis, we are exposed to a list of toxins without even knowing it. Hydrating effectively is one of the key strategies to make sure the body is able to effectively detox.

Hydrating really well helps to clear out the bowels, keep toxins moving through the liver and kidneys, and helps to eliminate them through sweat.  Additionally, your cells require adequate hydration to carry out proper functions. In general, the more hydrated you are, the less inflammation will be present in your body.

Autoimmune Protocol Diet

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is a diet that aims to reduce inflammation, pain, and other symptoms caused by autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis (pubmed).

Many people who have followed the AIP diet report improvements in the way they feel, as well as reductions in common symptoms of autoimmune disorders, such as fatigue and gut or joint pain. Yet, while research on this diet is promising, it’s also limited.

The AIP diet is an elimination diet designed to help reduce inflammation or other symptoms caused by autoimmune disorders.

It’s comprised of two phases designed to help you identify and ultimately avoid the foods that may trigger inflammation and disease-specific symptoms. Research on its efficacy is limited but appears promising.

Due to its limited downsides, people with autoimmune disorders generally have little to lose by giving it a try. However, it’s likely best to seek guidance from a qualified health professional to ensure you continue to meet your nutrient needs throughout all phases of this diet.

Choose My Plate

The Food Pyramid many of us grew up with has been replaced with a colorful plate that emphasizes proper proportions. One important message: Fill half your plate with vegetables. Learn more at www.choosemyplate.gov

Manage stress

Chronic stress contributes to inflammation. Meditation, yoga, or guided imagery may help manage stress throughout the day.

Take Home Message

Anytime you see an article or health expert touting the best natural anti inflammatory supplements or a one size fits all anti inflammatory supplement, and they are recommending a specific product(s) for everyone, buyer beware. This one size fits all concept does not exist because we are all so biologically unique.

For example, someone who is experiencing chronic stress in addition to an exposure issue such as mercury or mold may benefit from glutathione more so than someone who has multiple viral infections and poor bone health. In that case, Vitamin D might be the front runner for this individual. One of the main reasons being that microbes can slow down immune reactivity by dysregulating the VDR receptor (Vitamin D receptor), ultimately to increase the host’s chance of survival.

In summary, when combined with an anti-inflammatory diet, proper vitamin and mineral supplementation can be a true game-changer when it comes to fighting chronic inflammation. But, instead of going and buying every single supplement mentioned in this article, we encourage you to connect with a functional practitioner to help you map out the best approach for your unique goals and health history.

Keep in mind that the best anti-inflammatory supplements will never, ever mask poor sleep habits, lack of meditation, and a highly-processed diet. 


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