10 Best Anti-Inflammatory Supplements 2023

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 is a slower and milder form of inflammation that usually persists for more than six weeks. Unlike acute inflammation, which occurs in response to an injury or illness, chronic inflammation can occur without any apparent cause and can continue even after the underlying cause has been resolved. It has been linked to several conditions such as autoimmune disorders and prolonged stress.

A study published in Nature Medicine (2019) summarizes the causes of chronic inflammation and its consequences. Some of the most common factors are physical inactivity, obesity, a poor diet, social isolation, psychological stress, and poor sleep.
Causes and consequences of low-grade systemic chronic inflammation (Nature Medicine)

Best Anti Inflammatory Supplements 2023

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. PubMed has indexed more than 3,900 research studies on curcumin and anti-inflammatory. However, most of the studies are non-human or pre-clinical studies.

In a systematic review and meta-analysis (published in 2023), major databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar) were searched from inception up to October 2022.

Main outcomes included inflammatory markers (i.e. C-reactive protein(CRP), tumour necrosis factorα(TNF-α), interleukin-6(IL-6), and interleukin 1 beta(IL-1β)) and markers of oxidative stress (i.e. total antioxidant capacity (TAC), malondialdehyde (MDA), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity). 

Sixty-six RCTs (randomised controlled trials) were included in the final analysis. Authors observed that turmeric/curcumin supplementation significantly reduces levels of inflammatory markers, including CRP, TNF-α and IL-6  except for IL-1β for which no significant change was found. Also, turmeric/curcumin supplementation significantly improved anti-oxidant activity through enhancing TAC, reducing MDA levels, and SOD activity. It seems that turmeric/curcumin supplementation might be used as a viable intervention for improving inflammatory/oxidative status of individuals.

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 pain, digestion, Crohn’s Disease, heart disease, depression, cancer, cognition and eczema to name a few.

A study published in a 2017 edition of the journal Foods confirmed that curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

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. PubMed has indexed more than 2,000 research studies on omega-3 and anti-inflammatory.

Existing meta-analyses on omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their anti-inflammatory effects have reported uncertain findings. The umbrella meta-analysis (published in 2022) aimed to assess the findings of multiple meta-analyses on the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids on inflammatory biomarkers in adults with different health conditions.

Note: A single meta-analysis of a treatment comparison for a single outcome offers a limited view if there are many treatments or many important outcomes to consider. Umbrella reviews assemble together several systematic reviews on the same condition.

Overall, 32 meta-analyses were qualified in this umbrella meta-analysis. The findings demonstrated that the omega-3 fatty acids supplementation significantly reduced serum C-reactive protein (CRP), Tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα), and interleukin 6 (IL-6) concentrations.

The umbrella meta-analysis (Kavyani 2022) found that supplementation of n-3 PUFAs in adults can improve CRP, TNF-α, and IL-6 concentrations under various health conditions. n-3 PUFAs can be recommended as adjuvant anti-inflammatory agents.

Omega-3 fatty acids have also been associated with numerous health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease, reduced inflammation, and improved mood (SourceSource,  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) (Source).

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

While ALA is still an essential fatty acid, EPA and DHA are linked to many more health benefits (Source). Additionally, the conversion process from ALA to EPA and DHA is quite inefficient in humans (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 (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.

According to a review (Nutrients, September 2022), data from scientific literature 'overwhelmingly' supports beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the length of telomeres, reported to be a marker of biological age.

Many governments recommend eating omega-3 containing fatty fish, two times per week. But that is often not enough. Ideally, people would need to eat fatty fish four times per week, while also supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids, at least 1,000 mg of pure omega-3 (DHA and EPA) per day.

Make sure you buy high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplements, meaning that the omega-3 fatty acids are pure and have not oxidized much (having low “TOTOX” value).

TOTOX value stands for total oxidation value. The omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fish oil are highly sensitive to oxidation. This means that they are rapidly affected by contact with oxygen. Oxidised fatty acids are not beneficial to our health. For this reason, a good fish oil supplement has a low TOTOX value. The maximum TOTOX value is set at 26 by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA omega-3.

3. Vitamin D3, K2 and Magnesium

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. PubMed has indexed more than 1,700 research studies on vitamin D and anti-inflammatory.

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.

The early part of the 21st century brought enormous attention to the importance and value of vitamin D, particularly in the treatment of autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Make sure to take 500 mg to 1000 mg of magnesium and 150 mcg of vitamin K2, (not K1) which are important cofactors for optimizing vitamin D function. And, remember the only way you know what your vitamin D level is, is to test it. Vitamin D level should be in a therapeutic range of 50 to 70 ng/ml for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Most people are shocked how low their level is when they finally get around to testing it.

4. Resveratrol, Quercetin and Pterostilbene

Resveratrol is another nutrient that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. PubMed has indexed more than 2,000 research studies on resveratrol and anti-inflammatory

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.

Quercetin has also been shown to reduce inflammation in multiple studies. In this 8 week study (2017) involving 50 women with rheumatoid arthritis, participants took 500mg of quercetin per day or a placebo. The quercetin group reported less early morning stiffness, morning pain, and after-activity pain. 

Early studies on quercetin and inflammation are promising, although more large scale human studies need to be performed to verify these benefits.

5. Chondroitin and Glucosamine

Many clinical studies have found that chondroitin can reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis. PubMed has indexed more than 700 research studies on glucosamine and anti-inflammatory. Joint supplements often combine glucosamine with chondroitin.

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.

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.

6. Vitamin C

Boosting your vitamin C intake also affects the inflammatory response in the body. PubMed has indexed more than 600 research studies on vitamin C and anti-inflammatory

Vitamin C is a crucial component of a treatment protocol developed by Dr. Paul Marik, previously a critical care doctor at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in East Virginia. The treatment protocol was developed for sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition triggered by a systemic infection that causes your body to overreact and launch an excessive and damaging immune response.

According to a 2011 paper, the coagulation system, which is dysfunctional in sepsis, is closely related to the inflammatory response. The communication between the two systems drives the dysregulated response that ultimately results in a very high mortality rate.

Unless sepsis is diagnosed promptly and treated appropriately, it can progress rapidly to multiple organ failure and death. This includes cases of suspected influenza since sepsis can mimic many of the signs and symptoms of flu. Although severe sepsis has traditionally been linked to bacterial infections, doctors are seeing more patients with severe sepsis that are caused directly by influenza viruses.

Marik’s retrospective before-after clinical study showed giving patients 200 mg of thiamine every 12 hours, 1,500 mg of ascorbic acid every six hours, and 50 mg of hydrocortisone every six hours for two days reduced mortality from 40.4% to 8.5%.

As importantly, the treatment has no side effects and is inexpensive, readily available and simple to administer. In other words, there's virtually no risk involved. Research published in 2020 found Marik’s sepsis protocol lowered mortality in pediatric patients as well.

Utilizing vitamin C in the treatment of sepsis may help lower both mortality rate and cost. Each year an estimated 1.7 million Americans get sepsis, and nearly 270,000 of them die.

Conventional treatment focuses on high-dose antibiotics. A U.S. government report published in 2016 noted that sepsis was the most expensive condition treated in the U.S., racking up $23.7 billion in health care costs each year. By 2022, that had skyrocketed to $62 billion just for treatment and care.

Note: Vitamin C is known as an antioxidant, but at high concentrations, vitamin C has a pro-oxidant property (Transl Oncol. 2020).

The Hazards of Excessive Vitamin C

Vitamin C and ascorbic acid can lead to problems if your body is already loaded with oxalates as it is metabolically reduced to oxalic acid during breakdown. 

Sally Norton, author of “Toxic Superfoods: How Oxalate Overload Is Making You Sick — and How to Get Better,” explains: 

“The major source of internal oxalate is ascorbic acid or vitamin C ... There are lots of case studies of train wrecks from supplements, and lots of case studies about problems with intravenous vitamin C. Let me tell you my personal story. I had vitamin C chelation ... I didn't know I had an oxalate problem ...

By the third time, I became harder and harder to stab for the IV needle because now my veins were ropier and rollier and would run away from the needle. That's fibrosis ... I only had IV vitamin C maybe 10 times. But the doctor and the nurse took no notice of this side effect of the treatment — that I was becoming more fibrotic and harder to puncture ...

It's hubris to say, ‘Oh, well, it's fine. All my patients are doing great on my vitamin C IVs when you're not open to seeing the side effects. One of the studies demonstrated that just with oral supplementation, for not all that long, once they stopped the vitamin C, the level of oxalate in the urine went way up.

So, while the body's being assaulted by too much vitamin C, it's busy sequestering the oxalate that's forming and holding onto it and protecting the kidneys from devastation, from excessive oxalate load. Once you stop producing or eating too much oxalate, this holding pattern can let go, and now you see much higher oxalate levels in the blood and the urine.”

For these reasons, if you take vitamin C on a regular basis, Norton recommends limiting it to 250 mg a day. This is enough to meet your nutritional requirements and is unlikely to cause oxalic acid-related trouble. The exception would be if you are septic, in which case large doses of IV ascorbic acid can save your life.

Related: How Vitamin C Is Effective in Treating Inflammatory Issues

7. Zinc

PubMed has indexed more than 1,600 research studies on zinc and anti-inflammatory

In this review, published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology (2014), zinc is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Zinc supplementation studies in the elderly have shown decreased incidence of infections, decreased oxidative stress, and decreased generation of inflammatory cytokines. Decreased incidences of blindness in patients with AMD and increased atheroprotective effect have been observed in the zinc supplemented elderly.

Note: Atheroprotective effect means to prevent plaque within the blood vessels.

8. Molecular Hydrogen

PubMed has indexed more than 100 research studies on molecular hydrogen and anti-inflammatory

In one human study, 20 patients with rheumatoid arthritis drank 0.5 L/day of hydrogen water for 4 weeks. By the end of the study, all patients with early rheumatoid arthritis achieved remission and
20% became symptom-free [R, R].

9. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is another common ingredient in supplements said to help with joint pain. PubMed has indexed more than 70 research studies on methylsulfonylmethane and anti-inflammatory.

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.

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).

In one randomised controlled study (2011), MSM improved pain and functioning compared to a placebo in people with osteoarthritis.

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.

10. Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol)

This is a relatively new comer in this anti inflammatory space. PubMed has indexed more than 70 research studies on pygnogenol and anti-inflammatory.

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.

Related: Pycnogenol vs Pine Bark Extract

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.


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 trusted functional medical 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 mask poor sleep habits and a highly-processed diet. 




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