Top 15 Joint Supplements (Plus Foods That Support Joint Health) - Dr. Axe

Fact Checked

This Dr. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information.

With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to medically peer-reviewed studies.

Our team includes licensed nutritionists and dietitians, certified health education specialists, as well as certified strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists. Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased.

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Top 15 Joint Supplements (Plus Foods That Support Joint Health)


Joint supplements - Dr. Axe

When it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle and ensuring optimal mobility, joint health plays a pivotal role. Whether you’re an athlete pushing your limits or simply aiming for everyday comfort, incorporating joint supplements and a supportive diet can make a significant difference.

Our bodies are incredible machines, and joints are the hinges that keep us moving. Keeping your joints healthy is crucial for an active, pain-free life, but wear and tear, injuries, and even age can take a toll.

Thankfully, joint supplements and a diet rich in certain nutrients can offer a powerful one-two punch to keep you moving with ease.

Joint supplements have become increasingly popular for providing that extra support. This article explores the top contenders, the best dietary choices for joint health, and helps you decide if joint supplements are right for you.

1. Glucosamine

Known for its ability to support joint cartilage and reduce inflammation, glucosamine is a popular choice for those seeking relief from joint discomfort. Typically taken in doses ranging from 500 milligrams (mg) to 1,500 mg daily, it’s often combined with chondroitin for enhanced efficacy.


2. Chondroitin

Often paired with glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate aids in maintaining joint structure and elasticity. The building blocks of cartilage, these work together to lubricate joints and may reduce pain from osteoarthritis.

This powerful duo is a popular choice. Glucosamine helps build cartilage, while chondroitin keeps it lubricated. Studies show many users experience relief from pain and stiffness.

Dosage recommendations commonly range from 400 mg to to 2,000 mg daily.

3. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

This organic sulfur compound is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties and is frequently included in joint supplements to alleviate pain and stiffness, along with pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Recommended doses vary from 500 mg to 3,000 mg daily.

4. Turmeric/Curcumin

With its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, turmeric has gained recognition as a natural remedy for joint issues. Curcumin, its active compound, has strong anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit joint health.

Doses typically range from 500 mg to 1,000 mg daily, often combined with black pepper to enhance absorption. Look for supplements with at least 500 mg curcumin and a touch of black pepper.

5. Fish Oil/Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil possess anti-inflammatory properties, making them beneficial for joint health. A daily dosage of 1,000 mg to 3,000 mg of omega-3s EPA and DHA combined is commonly recommended.

These superstars fight inflammation throughout the body, potentially easing joint pain and stiffness.

Aim for 1,000 mg to 3,000 mg daily from fish oil or algal oil for vegetarians.

6. Boswellia

Derived from the Boswellia serrata tree, boswellia extract has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for joint pain. It has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing inflammation and improving joint function.

Studies suggest it might be helpful for osteoarthritis as well.

Doses typically range from 300 mg to 1,000 mg daily.

7. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid supplements may help ease pain and stiffness. This naturally occurring substance in the body helps lubricate joints and maintain their cushioning properties.

Hyaluronic acid joint supplements usually provide doses of 20 mg to 200 mg per day. Doses can vary depending on the form (capsule or injection), so consult your doctor.


8. Collagen

As a key component of joint cartilage, collagen supplementation can support joint structure and function. Considering this protein is a major component of cartilage, some studies suggest it may help improve joint pain and stiffness.

Daily doses range from 2.5 g to 15 g, depending on the source and formulation.

9. Vitamin D

Adequate vitamin D levels are essential for bone health and may help reduce the risk of joint issues. Conversely, vitamin D deficiency can worsen joint pain.

Dosage recommendations vary, but many experts suggest aiming for 600 international units (IU) to 2,000 IU daily through sunlight exposure or supplements.

10. Manganese

This trace mineral is involved in the formation of connective tissue and may help support joint health.

Typical doses range from 2 mg to 10 mg daily, although it’s important not to exceed recommended limits.

11. SAM-e (S-adenosyl-methionine)

This molecule plays a role in joint health and pain perception. Studies suggest it might be as effective as some pain medications for osteoarthritis pain.

This natural compound has shown promise in managing osteoarthritis pain, potentially offering similar relief to NSAIDs but with fewer side effects. This molecule supports cartilage health and may reduce pain.

Doses typically range from 400 mg to 1,200 mg daily, but consult your doctor before taking SAM-e due to potential side effects.

12. Vitamin C

Another bone health booster, vitamin C is also essential for collagen production. Most adults need around 75 mg to 90 mg daily.

13. Bromelain

This enzyme derived from pineapple has anti-inflammatory properties that might help ease joint pain.

Typical dosages are 500 mg two or three times daily.

14. Spirulina

Spirulina, a blue-green algae, has garnered attention for its potential health benefits, including its effects on joint health. While more research is needed to fully understand its efficacy, several studies suggest that spirulina might help improve joint health due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Spirulina contains phycocyanin, a compound that has been shown to reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a common issue in joint disorders like arthritis. By mitigating inflammation, spirulina may help alleviate joint pain and stiffness.

The antioxidants in spirulina, including vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and superoxide dismutase, also help combat oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage joint tissues and exacerbate conditions like osteoarthritis. Reducing oxidative stress may protect joints from further damage.

Spirulina is also known for its immune-modulating effects. A balanced immune response is crucial in managing autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system attacks the joints. Spirulina might help in regulating this immune response, thereby potentially reducing joint damage.

Dosages used in studies range from one to 10 grams per day.

15. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a well-known adaptogenic herb in Ayurvedic medicine, often used for its wide-ranging health benefits, including potential improvements in joint health.

Ashwagandha contains withanolides, which have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds can help reduce inflammation, a key factor in joint pain and disorders like arthritis.

By lowering inflammation, ashwagandha may help alleviate symptoms such as pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.

The herb also possesses significant antioxidant activity, which helps combat oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to the degradation of cartilage and other joint tissues, exacerbating conditions like osteoarthritis. Ashwagandha’s antioxidants can protect joint tissues from oxidative damage.

Ashwagandha is known to modulate the immune system. For autoimmune joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system attacks the joints, ashwagandha might help balance immune responses, potentially reducing joint inflammation and damage.

Studies suggest that ashwagandha may have analgesic properties, which can help in managing joint pain. By reducing pain, it can improve the quality of life for individuals with chronic joint issues.

Typical dosages range from 250–1,000 mg daily.

Best Foods for Joint Health

Don’t underestimate the power of your plate! Certain foods are packed with nutrients that can keep your joints happy.

In addition to supplementing, incorporating certain foods into your diet can further promote joint health. Aim for a rainbow of colors for a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Here are some of the best foods for joints:

1. Fatty Fish

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines can help reduce inflammation and protect against joint pain.

2. Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are packed with antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin K, which is essential for bone health.

3. Nuts and Seeds

Loaded with healthy fats, protein and fiber, these are joint-friendly snacks.

Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds are excellent sources of omega-3s, as well as magnesium and other minerals crucial for joint function.

4. Berries

Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are loaded with antioxidants that combat inflammation and oxidative stress, benefiting joint health.

5. Turmeric

Incorporating this vibrant spice into your cooking can provide anti-inflammatory benefits similar to those of turmeric supplements.

6. Ginger

Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness when consumed regularly.

7. Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, a compound with anti-inflammatory effects that may help protect against joint damage.

8. Whole Grains

Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and barley, which provide fiber, vitamins and minerals that support overall health, including joint function.

9. Yogurt

Probiotic-rich yogurt can help maintain gut health, which in turn may positively influence inflammation and immune function related to joint health.

10. Lean Protein

Incorporate lean sources of protein like poultry, tofu and legumes into your meals to support muscle strength and overall joint function.

11. Beans and Legumes

Vegetarian sources of protein and fiber, these can be a great addition to your diet. These plant-based proteins can help maintain a healthy weight, reducing stress on joints.

Other foods that may help joints include:

By combining strategic supplementation with a nutritious diet, you can take charge of your joint health and move with confidence!


  • Prioritizing joint health is essential for maintaining an active and fulfilling lifestyle.
  • By incorporating these joint supplements and joint-friendly foods into your diet, you can support mobility, reduce discomfort and promote overall well-being.
  • Joint supplements can be a helpful addition to your routine, but they shouldn’t replace a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, combined with regular exercise and weight management, is the foundation for strong, healthy joints.
  • Remember to consult with a health care professional before starting any new supplement regimen — including joint supplements — especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
  • With the right approach, you can take proactive steps toward safeguarding your joints and enjoying life to the fullest.
  • Remember, a well-balanced diet combined with the right supplements (under your doctor’s guidance) can be a winning formula for maintaining healthy, pain-free joints. So, move with ease, embrace delicious choices and keep your joints happy!

More Nutrition