Similar to arthritis supplements, joint health supplements are claimed to reduce pain and inflammation, although they’re also claimed to increase collagen production, improve tendon elasticity, boost lubrication between joints, and more.
But what does science have to say about these ingredients? Are they effective? Are they worth your money? Are they even safe to begin with? We’ve outlined some of the most common ingredients below in order to help you make a more informed purchasing decision.
Contains a chemical that may imitate insulin to help reduce blood sugar levels and ease several different gastrointestinal disorders. However, there is insufficient clinical evidence showing bitter melon is useful for any conditions. In addition, there are no agreed-upon dosages for bitter melon, and long-term safety beyond 3 months is unknown.
Used for a variety of conditions, including gastrointestinal upset, PMS, cold, and flu symptoms. However, other than premature ejaculation, there is insufficient evidence showing cinnamon bark to have any effect whatsoever. There are no dosing instructions available for cinnamon bark, although it may be possibly unsafe when taken in large amounts.
A primary structural protein contained in human connective tissue, although there isn’t enough clinical evidence available to show that oral supplementation provides any tangible benefits. There are no agreed-upon dosages for collagen, and it’s unknown how safe supplementation is or any of the common side effects associated with collagen.
A non-naturally occurring (e.g. made in a lab) ingredient that’s commonly used to treat osteoporosis and bone loss associated with certain diseases. While there is insufficient evidence showing ipriflavone is effective for many conditions, it’s considered likely effective for treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, reducing osteoporosis-related pain, and reducing bone loss due to paralysis. Dosing falls between 200 and 1,200mg per day, although long-term use (greater than 6 months) may cause a decreased white blood cell count.
A critical mineral for proper body function, potassium is contained in many of the foods we eat, although supplementation has been used to treat many different conditions. However, other than potassium deficiency, there is insufficient evidence showing supplementation to be effective. Normal potassium dosing for adults falls between 40 and 80 mEq/L per day, and anything above this may lead to digestive upset and vomiting.