The Best Nutritional Supplements for Inflammation
Natural anti-inflammatory supplements can help the body fight pain and inflammation. They may even prevent some of the long term complications of chronic inflammation, such as cancer. Before trying a new anti-inflammatory treatment, even a natural one, it is important to consult a doctor. Natural remedies are often potent medicine that can cause side effects and interact with other drugs.
When they work, however, they may reduce the need to take prescription or OTC medications. Inflammation is the body's response to irritation, infection, and injury. Short term inflammation protects the body, while chronic inflammation can lead to long term pain and damage, such as in arthritis. The most effective anti-inflammatory supplements that people may wish to try, depending on the cause of their inflammation.
The main effective supplements:
1. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fatty fish such as cod, are among the most potent anti-inflammatory supplements. These supplements may help fight several types of inflammation, including vascular inflammation. Vascular inflammation is a significant risk factor for heart disease and heart attack.
In one study of 250 people with pain from degenerative disc disease, 59% of the participants were able to substitute fish oil for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The right dosage varies with the potency of the supplement. Some products come in pill form, while other manufacturers sell omega-3s as oil. When using these products, people should always follow the instructions on the packaging.
Like many prescription anti-inflammatory medications, omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil may increase the risk of bleeding. People with bleeding disorders and those taking blood thinners should not use this supplement. Omega-3 fatty acids are available to purchase online.
Curcumin, which is an active ingredient in turmeric, is a plant in the ginger family. Animal studies have suggested that it may help reduce inflammation to speed up wound healing and even reduce cancer risk. A 2011 study also found that curcumin may help reduce inflammation from obesity-related metabolic conditions. Curcumin altered several inflammatory pathways, reducing insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia.
A typical dosage of curcumin is 400–600 milligrams (mg) three times daily. Although it is safe to take curcumin with low doses of NSAIDs, higher doses may increase the risk of bleeding. Curcumin also increases the risk of bleeding in people taking blood thinners and those with bleeding disorders. Curcumin is available to purchase online.
S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e) is a substance that the body creates naturally. It plays an important role in the epigenetic regulation of genes. Epigenetic factors affect gene expression and behavior, turning some genes on or off and changing the effect of others.
Doctors sometimes recommend SAM-e to manage symptoms of depression, osteoarthritis, and certain liver conditions, as inflammation may play a role in each of these. A handful of clinical trials have suggested that SAM-e may help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with various types of arthritis - sometimes as well as NSAIDs can. The right dosage depends on the condition a person has. For example:
- A person may take 200–800 mg twice per day for fibromyalgia.
- A person may take 800–1,600 mg twice per day for depression.
- A person may take 600–1,200 mg three times per day for osteoarthritis.
SAM-e may interact with a wide range of drugs, so people must not take it without first consulting a doctor.