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Best-selling anti-inflammatory supplements for pain and joint health

A new crop of anti-inflammatory supplements for joint health and pain—many of them curcumin- and boswellia-based—are top sellers. My mom's rave review helps show why this category is poised for even more growth.

Supplement samples hit my desk every week. It's a good thing—but unlike our food editors, I can’t try every pill and powder. That’s where office mates, friends, and family come in. Got a health complaint? I have a supplement for you to try out. I don’t tend to hear back from my guinea pigs, but my mother, now 74, proved an exception. She has had serious knee problems for the past few years and is awaiting double knee replacement surgery. I mailed her a couple of bottles of some top-selling anti-inflammatory/pain supplements with curcumin, boswellia, ginger, and other rising joint health ingredients. Soon I got a call—a request for more, please. "I feel better," she said. Granted, mom's just one person, but her anecdotal experience got me interested.

Pain and inflammation is a hot category that’s poised for more growth. Why?

Boomers are looking for pain relief solutions.

For some consumers who have tried established joint health ingredients like glucosamine and been underwhelmed with the effects, it's appealing to try natural herbal ingredients that may help promote healthy joint function.  The front label of one new joint pain product even promises “improvement in joint comfort within 7 days,” a claim the company says is based on results of two human studies of a proprietary boswellia extract.

It’s about more than just joint health.

These supplements' anti-inflammatory herbs—including curcumin from turmeric root, boswellia, ginger, black pepper extract, rosemary, and white willow bark—address not just joint health, but also  inflammation, which medical experts increasingly say may increase risk for a plethora of health conditions.

New studies and media attention help.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article examining the rise of turmeric, specifically its bioactive component, curcumin, as a natural alternative to arthritis medications. Recent studies show curcumin’s potential benefits may include promoting gut health and immunity, among other things. (News of fabricated study results by a prominent curcumin researcher this spring seems not to have slowed the ingredient’s rise.)

Retailers, are you already featuring this type of supplement? If not, you might consider setting up a Pain & Inflammation end-cap, or doing in-store education.

Some products you may want to consider:

  • Europharma Curamin, Curamin PM, and new Curamin ExtraStrength
  • New Chapter Zyflamend, including new Tiny Tabs
  • Solgar No. 7
  • Rainbow Light Theramend Cox-2 Flex
  • Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme
  • AFI's NiLitis SR

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