Which supplements can I recommend to my osteoarthritis patients?

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2018 May 1;57(suppl_4):iv75-iv87. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/key005.


OA is a chronic and disabling joint disease with limited evidence-based pharmacological treatment options available that improve outcomes for patients safely. Faced with few effective pharmacological treatments, the use has grown of dietary supplements and complementary medicines for symptomatic relief among people living with OA. The aim of this review is to provide a summary of existing evidence and recommendations supporting the use of supplements for OA. Systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials investigating oral supplements for treating OA were identified. Limited research evidence supports recommendations for the oral use of Boswellia serrata extract and Pycnogenol, curcumin and methylsulfonylmethane in people with OA despite the poor quality of the available studies. Few studies adequately reported possible adverse effects related to supplementation, although the products were generally recognized as safe. Further high quality trials are needed to improve the strength of evidence to support this recommendation and better guide optimal treatment of people living with OA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Dietary Supplements / standards*
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*