Effects of Nutritional Interventions in the Control of Musculoskeletal Pain: An Integrative Review

Nutrients. 2020 Oct 9;12(10):3075. doi: 10.3390/nu12103075.


Food consumption has significant positive effects on an individual's health status, including the reduction of symptoms associated with musculoskeletal pain. However, specific food groups indicated for the treatment of pain are not yet determined. Hence, this review aimed to analyze the effects of nutritional interventions with specific diets, oils and/or fatty acids, and foodstuffs in natura in the reduction of musculoskeletal pain. An integrative review was conducted in the following databases: Embase, PubMed, LILACS, and Google Scholar. Clinical trials written in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and published between 2000 and March 2020 were included in this review. Seventeen studies were included. Among these, a reduction of musculoskeletal pain with different types of nutritional interventions, such as vegan and Mediterranean diets and the consumption of blueberry, strawberry, passion fruit peel extract, argan oil, fish oil (omega-3), olive oil, and undenatured type II collagen and vitamin D gel capsules, was observed in 14 studies. Eight studies evaluated the profiles of several inflammatory markers, and of these, decreased interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and tumor necrosis factor-α levels were observed in two studies. This review suggests that different nutritional interventions with specific diets, oils and/or fatty acids, and foodstuffs in natura reduce musculoskeletal pain, specifically in adults with osteoarthritis. Besides pain improvement, nutritional interventions, including the consumption of strawberry and vitamin D gel capsules, decrease the levels of several inflammatory markers.

Keywords: diet therapy; fatty acids; fruit; inflammatory markers; muscle; obesity; skeletal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Collagen Type II
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Diet, Mediterranean
  • Diet, Vegan
  • Female
  • Fish Oils
  • Fragaria
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / diet therapy*
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / metabolism
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Olive Oil
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Vitamin D


  • Collagen Type II
  • Fish Oils
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Olive Oil
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamin D