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Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) tend to reflect mobility, joint pain and stiffness, as well as quality of life in persons with OA. Supplements that benefit these symptoms according to self-reported rating scales are prophylactic.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect symptoms of osteoarthritis
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-a Glucosamine Minor Very High See all 19 studies
There appears to be a small decrease in osteoarthritis symptoms associated with glucosamine (as sulfate, not hydrochloride) which is somewhat unreliable but consistently outperforms placebo on meta-analyses. The magnitude of reduction, however, is somewhat minor but still comparable to acetominophen
grade-b Boswellia serrata Notable Very High See all 4 studies
The reduction observed with Boswellia serrata for pain and other symptoms of osteoarthritis are more profound than other supplements including that of glucosamine (reference), but study robustness is limited by industry influence.
grade-b S-Adenosyl Methionine Notable Very High See all 4 studies
Decreases in symptoms of osteroarthritis appear to be reduced to similar levels with SAMe as with pharmaceuticals like Naproxen, although SAMe requires a longer period of time for efficacy to occur
grade-b Ginger  
grade-b Rose Hip  
grade-c Curcumin  
grade-c Pycnogenol  
grade-c Creatine  
grade-c Methylsulfonylmethane  
grade-c Microlactin  
grade-c Bromelain  
grade-c Feverfew  
grade-c Stinging Nettle  
grade-c Type-II Collagen  
grade-c Vitamin D  
grade-d Guggul  
grade-d Harpagophytum procumbens  
grade-d Vitamin C  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.