Nutraceutical Approach to Chronic Osteoarthritis: From Molecular Research to Clinical Evidence

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 29;22(23):12920. doi: 10.3390/ijms222312920.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative inflammatory condition of the joint cartilage that currently affects approximately 58 million adults in the world. It is characterized by pain, stiffness, and a reduced range of motion with regard to the arthritic joints. These symptoms can cause in the long term a greater risk of overweight/obesity, diabetes mellitus, and falls and fractures. Although the current guidelines for the treatment of OA suggest, as the gold standard for this condition, pharmacological treatment characterized by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), opioids, and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2-specific drugs, a great interest has been applied to nutraceutical supplements, which include a heterogeneous class of molecules with great potential to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, pain, and joint stiffness and improve cartilage formation. The purpose of this review is to describe the potential application of nutraceuticals in OA, highlighting its molecular mechanisms of actions and data of efficacy and safety (when available).

Keywords: chondroitin; collagen; glucosamine; hyaluronic acid; methylsulfonylmethane; nutraceuticals; osteoarthritis; vitamin C; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / therapy
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / diet therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis / prevention & control
  • Secondary Prevention