Pros and Cons of 5 Joint Supplements

Joint Supplements
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If you have joint pain or suffer from joint diseases, you might be wondering if taking joint supplements could help you. Many people with joint conditions and supplements choose to take supplements and see if they are effective for them or not. 

Before taking any supplements, it’s important to talk with your doctor especially if you are also taking over-the-counter medicines or prescription medicines. Natural supplements including joint supplements can interfere with your other medications and make them less effective. 

This guide will cover the most common joint supplements and discuss if they are truly effective or not. 

Hyaluronic Acid 

This is found in the liquid of your joints and acts as a lubricant. This is why some doctors say the supplement helps because it can be injected into the joints or it can be taken orally as a supplement. 

While the evidence is conflicting, many studies say that hyaluronic acid can relieve pain and inflammation and even improve the quality of your sleep. Most of the time, people take between 200mg to 1000 mg a day depending on the type and brand they buy. 

It’s important to always read the labels of the supplement bottles and ensure you are taking the correct dosage. 

When injected, it’s more common to cause allergic reactions so you need to be careful with injections and always meet with a doctor before taking them. 

Some of the major cons of hyaluronic acid are that it can cause headaches and dizziness. For some, it can actually cause an increase in joint pain at the beginning before improving. 


MSM stands for methylsulfonylmethane which is known to reduce joint pain and muscle pain. It’s a type of sulfur and can be made in a lab as it’s naturally found in humans and many different animals. 

There are many different pros to taking MSM including that it fights inflammation and acts as an antioxidant. It can also help with your immune system which will reduce inflammation and relieve some of the pain in your joints. 

Most people tolerate MSM very well as long as it’s taken as 4 grams or less. Anything more can cause harsh side effects. 

When taken properly, the side effects are very mild and include headaches and diarrhea. Along with this, another major disadvantage is that you cannot drink alcohol while taking MSM so you need to be careful about what you drink.  

Boron/Calcium Fructoborate 

Boron is a mineral that is found naturally in nuts, fruits, and vegetables. When someone takes boron supplements, their body is better able to maintain levels of vitamin D as well as other nutrients like calcium and magnesium. 

These nutrients are especially important because they help maintain joints and reduce pain and inflammation. There is limited evidence when it comes to Boron supplements but most of the studies done are positive.

When taken as a supplement, it should be taken at 20mg per day as well as eating boron-containing food. As a supplement, it’s taken as calcium fructoborate. 

One of the major pros is that there are really no side effects as long as it’s taken at the recommended dose. If someone takes high doses or overdoses, they can experience vomiting, indigestion, headaches, and diarrhea. 

However, there are some disadvantages. One of the main issues is that not everyone can take boron. Those with conditions that are hormone-sensitive should not take boron. This includes breast cancer, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis. 

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also not take any boron. It’s also dangerous for those with kidney problems to take it. 

Glucosamine and Chondroitin 

Of all the joint supplements available, this is the most common and most well-known one to take. Both of these things naturally exist in the cartilage found in the joints and they can act as a type of cushion between the bones and joints. 

While there are some studies that show they can be very helpful with those with joint pain, there are also some studies done that show they are of no help at all. A major issue with them is that they are derived from shellfish when made in a lab so people cannot take these supplements if they are allergic to shellfish. 

They also interact with some prescription medicines including Coumadin which is a blood thinner. 

A major advantage is that most of the side effects of Glucosamine can be limited when taking the supplement with food. Minor side effects include gas, heartburn, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. 

There are also some major side effects, but the good news is that these are very rare. They include elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, skin reactions, vomiting, and drowsiness.

Chondroitin has some side effects of its own including mild stomach pain, hair loss, swelling in the eyes, and stomach pain.  

Omega 3 

Some people choose to take Omega 3 or Krill oil in order to help them with joint pain. Omega 3 is a common supplement with many known benefits including reducing inflammation and reducing knee pain

It has few side effects which makes it a supplement of choice for many people. The only side effects you need to worry about include heartburn, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. 

One of the best ways to reduce the side effects is to start with a really low dose and then work your way up to see how much you can tolerate. Most people take a dose somewhere between 650 mg to 1500 mg. 

Final Thoughts

There are many different supplements on the market so it can be hard to choose one that might be good for you. Most of them have their own advantages and disadvantages so you might need to take a few before you find the best one for you and your needs. 

If you have any concerns, you can also chat with your doctor about what they think and see what they recommend based on your current pain and health conditions. 

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